J. Lawrence Cook
 1972 AMICA International Convention Speech
 Edited and annotated by Jean Lawrence Cook M.D. and Millie Gaddini

1972 AMICA INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION SPEECH
Introduction
1972 AMICA International Convention Speech
References   Kudos

INTRODUCTION

The Second International Convention of The Automatic Musical Instrument Collectors’ Association was held at the Alexandria Hotel, 501 S. Spring Street, Los Angeles, California on 30th June — 3rd July 1972. Ed Sprankle, Karl Petersen, Robbie Rhodes, together with Bob and Ginny Billings, were among some of the noted AMICA members who attended the Convention. Distinguished guest artists included, Robert Armbruster, Ursula Deitrich-Hollinshead and J. Lawrence Cook, who gave an after-lunch speech in the Palm Court Room at the hotel on 3rd July 1972. The speech has been edited and annotated by Jean Lawrence Cook M.D. and Millie Gaddini.

2000 Mike Meddings

1972 AMICA INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION SPEECH

J. Lawrence Cook

Edited and annotated by Jean Lawrence Cook M.D. and Millie Gaddini

First of all I want to . . . I like to talk informally, in other words I like to talk to a group of persons as though there are only one or two. As a matter of fact, I’d be trembling and carrying on, you know. But I don’t like to be too formal. I want to . . . the first words I’ll say will be sort of formal. I’m going to stand up.

Mr. President, Mr. Vice-President and officers, members and friends of this organization, thank you for inviting me.

The enjoyment of being here has exceeded my wildest expectations. It just seems that we’ve all known each other for a long time and I think maybe we have, but didn’t know it, through the things that we all like.
[applause]

That does it for the formal part. How’d I do?

Well, first of all I . . . I want to assure you that I’m still . . . I might not be kicking, but I’m still alive. And the reason I say that is this. When you have been active in one thing for many years . . . I’ve had thoughts similar to those that many people have had — is he still around now? And spooky enough, I have gotten letters. One in particular stands out in my mind.  This guy wrote and said, “I saw an article and I saw your picture in the paper, thought you were long dead.”
[laughter]  I mean dead, but not long, not that long. So, if you don’t mind I’ve made a few notes. I mean . . . this would expedite what I have to say without boring you.

Next I would like to tell you something about the origin of the name of J. Lawrence Cook. I was orphaned at an early age. I wasn’t a year old when my mother died. I wasn’t 3 years old when my stepmother died. Well, there was some controversy over what my name should be. My father’s name was Jacob Lincoln Cook. And as I have told several groups, my mother didn’t go for Jacob, because her father was a minister and educator and all that - forget Jacob, you know, he doesn’t have to advertise it.

And in those days many people named their sons “George Washington Jones.”  You know. “Abraham Lincoln Smith” and all that . . . and, and, she didn’t like that part of it. It’s not that she didn’t like “Jacob” or “Lincoln” or “Washington”, but that was just it. So . . . he’s a nice guy . . . so they compromised it . . . could it be “J. L. Cook, Jr.?”

That’s all right . . . the . . . the middle name is built in my family name, which was Lawrence. How about the “J?” We’ll work on it . . . you see. So, unhappily enough she died before it was decided upon.

And I have a picture. I brought it along with me. I have it upstairs there, when I was 7 months old. 7 months, four days to be exact. And on the back of it in my mother’s handwriting it says, “J. Lawrence Cook.” Imagine a baby named . . . you know . . . so . . . I’ve been stuck with that. I was stuck with that for, oh, going on 18 years. But under various circumstances I had to . . . you know the way forms are . . . some forms are . . . you must give your first name, middle initial, and last name. Well, I put anything, James, John, Jay (J-a-y), Joe, you know, but when I had to register for the draft in World War I, well, I got frightened.

I said, now something has got to be authentic about this and I had heard through different relatives that my mother favored the name “Jean.” Well, here we go again, another problem. In this country and maybe in some others, “Jean” is used mostly for a girl’s name, you see? Although actually it is . . . the French name, the French version of John. Everybody knows that. And so I sat there after tearing up one blank where I’d said, “J. Lawrence Cook” . . . and I said, shucks, if my mother liked it, I can live with it. But I had used “J. Lawrence Cook” for so long I just kept signing it that way, except when I had to do it otherwise. But on credit cards or whatnot, I always put a little “Mr.” before it, because I got tired of . . . you know . . . getting junk mail saying “Miss Jean L. Cook.” So, that’s the story on that.

Now, someone asked me . . . no . . . they didn’t ask me. Bill suggested that I . . . several things . . . as a matter of fact, most of the things I wrote here and can’t read . . . he suggested. “How were numbers selected for reproduction on rolls?”

Well, I was with . . . I have done work for several companies. But the one that I was with, they are the ones that I knew how they were selected. I don’t know how the others did it. But actually it was easy in those days.

In those days Billboard used to publish the list of the top ten numbers. That was a built-in selection, ‘cause you had ten to start with. Second were show numbers. If there was a show and it went up, you know, it made out all right, then you didn’t dare not do the . . . the top numbers from that show . . . you see.

Then other than that there were various ways. The manager of the recording department, Max Kortlander, he would get a call from some publisher tipping him off how much money they were going to spend . . . you know, and how it was going to be plugged . . . and this thing is going to be a hit. Well, he didn’t just take their word for it, he would write it down and check on it. And then, those he decided upon, they were added to this list that’s already building up, you see, so there was really no problem. So, so far as I know, that would have been mostly the standard way of doing it. But different companies had different ways. Some guy’s mother-in-law might like a song or something like that, you know . . . well they weren’t, you know . . . they weren’t selling that many rolls anyhow, so it didn’t make that much difference.

I think all of you have found that . . . I like . . . people to make me laugh. I like to be friendly with them and vice-versa.

But I can’t resist telling you a little personal incident that occurred when I was about, well, between 3 and 4.

Sometimes you goof in trying to be funny . . . you know that . . . Okay. Even if they laugh, it’s tongue-in-cheek, or something like that.

But at one time a woman, who tried to be very fancy, she visited our home. And she had a new hat . . . and you know . . . a fancy dress, new shoes . . . and I don’t know if the corset was brand new or not. But she had that on too, you know.

So, after getting all of these complements, which I thought weren’t really sincere, she turned to me. “Little boy, how do I look?” I said, “You look just like a monkey!” Well, that was right! I was sincere you see!
[laughter]

And another thing. There’s a lot of innocent sincerity in my family. My oldest granddaughter who is now 15 . . . we are all very determined. I mean sometimes we can’t eat, you know, because of that. But we had determination . . . so . . . it amused me that my oldest granddaughter . . . I think she would have been about 3 years old. So, she was going to do something naughty and my daughter said, “Don’t do that, I’ll spank you.” She turned her backside. “Spank me now, I’m doing it!” [laughter] And she got the spanking and she did it! [laughter]

So, yeah, . . . I’ve often thought of that. So, another note I have here is — editing of hand-played rolls. The explanation of how rolls made could confuse anybody, because different companies had different systems. Some were very similar. Others were very different. The first rolls were made by . . . having devices to count your . . . locate your notes and you did this laterally and then this way you counted your tempo. And you had a ratchet that told you how many steps to take for a quarter note and this or that tempo. But, following that they built a piano with a mechanism that, as you played, it would mark down and you played them right up to tempo. But they soon discovered that, that was where the work really began, because there’s a very great difference between recording a number in that manner, as you would do in a regular live performance, and translating it into a master to produce rolls.

And so they supplemented this system — it was very expensive — with hiring arrangers, who could mark on the paper the position of notes and the tempos and so forth, that would simulate hand playing. Well, this was much less expensive, so I do know. I don’t know about the other companies, but at QRS we had these guys who came in and did the recording and they didn’t know. I’m cutting a roll, that’s all they knew. Then about 3 weeks later they could come in and . . . you know hear a proof of it.

“Why did it take so long?” You know a whole lot of work had to be done. There was a department to pre-edit it. A department to . . . take knives and punches to punch out those lines and dots and so forth. It had to be edited on a special piano by one of the 3 editors that we had and . . . they hit a dead spot and . . . they would reach under . . . they had a special piano for that. They’d reach under the roll and sound something, you know, with what was happening. If it sounded good they just simply pull the roll down and cut in the note, you see. Then . . . this could take anywhere from a day, or two or three days.

And then it had to go back to a department that did what the arranger does anyhow. Only he had this as a guide. But the . . . the thing that made it useful was that in that, instead of having the creative notions of the arranger, they had captured the creative notes . . . notions of the player. And they . . . I mean, actually they thought that that’s how they played it. They didn’t. I remember one incident that Frank Milne told me about. He said . . . this guy, he was recording an organ roll . . . a very famous man. And when after . . . anywhere from a week to 3 weeks when they finally got it into the state of a proof copy, they called him in. All of them did their own . . . you know, classical rolls. They had to approve them.

Well now, you see, on straight notes . . . Okay. But on all tremolo, every company you made an exact division by staggering. In other words you put the . . . for example, if you had two notes you would cut it here, advance the paper and then cut another one here and that made them alternate. Well, this made them exact.  And so . . . I don’t know whether Frank was exaggerating or not. He said the guy sat down and cried. “I never thought I could play that perfect.”
[laughter]

So there are a lot of tricks in these things that people don’t realize.

I think people like . . . we here in this, you know this audience . . . I think . . . we suspect certain things. I mean you can’t fool everybody, you know.
[laughter]

But, what’s the difference? If they like . . . you know, they like what they hear, finally, and, and, that’s the main objective.

Now, I want to get back to systems of recording. There were some that I didn’t even know about, but that, er, those that I do know about were marking systems. You say that, but there were different types of marking systems.

I won’t go into that, it’s a little confusing. Somebody ask me on the side or something, you know, ’cause I don’t want to take up a lot of time, you know, but there were different marking systems. And to simplify that statement, different ways of getting the notes on paper in the right place, you know.

For example, I signed an autograph a while ago and the . . . the . . . the pen slipped and made a hole in the paper. I said, “That’s all right, it might be the right note.”
[laughter]

And the whole thing . . . the whole thing is getting the right perforations in the right places. That’s the way it is, you see.

So, another system was, as I . . . I told you, the piano that marked it, and therefore no one had to know anything about the technology of recording . . . just come in and play and that was it.

Another one was a dummy keyboard hooked up to a perforator. Well, you had to sit at the piano and laboriously work out your arrangement. And you heard nothing. It was silent, but you followed the notes and made your . . . you know . . . your tempo and things according to whatever notes they were. You don’t even know how it’s going to sound like, what you did, you see. But they did that. And when the Depression hit and messed up everything . . . Max . . . including the bankruptcy of . . . QRS, which was by the way, the largest company in the world. They did more business than all of the others combined.

Max Kortlander took the risk of buying out . . . you see they had many products beside piano rolls. Well, the whole deal failed. Max Kortlander took the risk of buying out the player roll department, machinery and stock and so forth. Well, of all of those who got fired, I was one of the two lucky ones. I’m not counting the factory personnel, or anything, those who had something to do with actually making the masters, which were needed for the factory personnel to have something to do.

So, all of these nice people that I’d worked for, for a number of years, worked with rather, for a number of years, they lost their jobs.

Different things happened to different ones. One died. One had to be confined. I don’t know if he’s out yet. And, and things like that.

So . . . so I was called in. I was one of the lucky ones. Here I am making a fortune for those days. It’s no fortune now . . . you know . . . it’s no fortune now. But I was making two hundred and better a week.

Well, being one of the fortunate ones. We were then still at the state of marking and punching. So they needed a marker and a puncher. I was the marker at thirty dollars a week and puncher at twenty-five.

Imagine my embarrassment when I had an apartment that cost me a hundred dollars a month, a garage that cost twenty-five dollars a month.

Now, the problem is, how am I going to eat. Well, I did various things . . . obviously I made out somehow, but it wasn’t easy. But, I am not alone in the things . . . you know some of my friends were on . . . they didn’t have welfare and that stuff . . . you know . . . some of my friends were on soup lines.

So, you look at their position and mine, I was one of the lucky ones and, and that’s what it is. So, I supplemented that . . . I’ll let you in on a secret. I supplemented that by doing various things.

I had been in the Post Office before I went to QRS and I, I tried desperately to get back. Didn’t make out . . . but I had to take another examination and then I got back in . . . and man I stayed there. I . . . you know, and I reached qualifications for retirement. Because you look at the . . . these two kids and you’re buying a house and they are growing up. You want to send them to college, and all that. And you don’t know . . . you know, where the next dollar was coming from . . . well, I knew where it was coming . . . man . . . you know, I knew where it was coming from . . . Post Office.
[laughter] And . . . I worked four hours a day. That was my agreement with Kortlander. Four hours a day. And then, I went home and had a bite, had a little sleep and then went to work at midnight. Came home and . . . I got home about ten minutes to nine. Every day I went through the same thing . . . I . . . I survived.

So, let me see, what else did Bill mention . . . told me to say . . . let me see.

Okay, skipping a whole lot, you’ll have to read that. I don’t know if it will ever be published, but I’m working on my biography, you see. Some of these things you’re going to have to wait.
[applause] Thank you, I don’t deserve that applause because I’m not going to write it. I’m taping it. And the writer might leave out half of what I say. I don’t know, you see . . . but . . . but he’s the guy that’s going to put it in a position to be accepted by a publisher. So, a lot of things . . . you’ll just have to wait.

Now, let me see, when it was? . . . 1961. I’m walking in to my office from the Post Office and Mr. Kortlander stopped me.

He says, “Lawrence” — incidentally he had this premonition, you know, he was ailing a lot of ways, although he didn’t look it.

He says, “Lawrence, I’ve been figuring who to run this factory.”

I say “Yeah.”

He say
(s) “You!”

“Me, run? . . . Here I am, a mad musician, you tell me about running a factory.” You know . . .

He said, “I know what you’re thinking”, he said, “Who’s going to make the masters?”

He says, “Well I’ll tell you. You — but make less masters” . . . you got . . . lot . . .

He said, “You did all of this over here”, you know and, you know . . . “And . . . thousands of numbers.”

And I wound up agreeing. I didn’t know whether I had made the best judgment or not, because at that time I was involved in making nickelodeon rolls and band organ rolls. I wasn’t making band . . . I did the marking for those. I actually perforated and sold the nickelodeon rolls. Barrel piano rolls, you name it . . . well . . . I figured there was only one way to do that.

He said, “How soon can you retire from the Post Office?”

I said, “I can’t wait . . . until July 14th of this very year.”

He said, “Well?”

You know . . . it all worked out. And so I gave up the other activities and concentrated on that. Well, so one day I had a cold, and this thing was really annoying me, and I (was) trying to do a number.

And . . . I said, well I’ve got to do something to keep just to keep me awake to finish this number and get home and get some sleep. And so I, I, I went to Mr. Kortlander . . .

I said, “You know what?” I says, “I’m going to get me a little nip.”

So, so he said, “Go ahead Lawrence.”

I said, “Man, I want to live I got a lot of things to do.”

He said, “I want to live too.”

This . . . there’s a funny part to that and a sad part about it. I came back. He wasn’t out there in the shipping department where he usually liked to be. He liked to bark out the order to the order takers.

So, er, a little later after I got back, his brother Herman came in and said to me, “Lawrence, Max don’t feel too good.”

(I) said, “Yes?”

He say
(s), “You think maybe it’s that big glass of tea?” His doctor had him drinking a glass of tea. I don’t know. I don’t want to exaggerate, but . . . at least that high, once a day.

He said, “You know, sometimes, I told him, I said, sometimes that could upset your stomach, you know, and all.”

I said, “Well, tell him I said take it easy.”

And so meanwhile there was another man there to be interviewed as a possible recording artist.   He was good.  And he was so good, in fact, that . . .

I said, “Well, look this piano is out of tune. Right next to the boss’s office there’s a better piano.” And he started to play.

He hadn’t struck two chords before the office manager came out and said, “Lawrence, Lawrence, Lawrence, Lawrence . . . Mr. Kortlander is sick, I’m scared you know.”

(I) said, “Why don’t you go in there and . . . you know . . . say something to him?”

I started in there. Herman met me at office door. I saw Max sitting there. I was gonna, you know, pat his shoulder.

So, Herman said . . . “Max just died.”

I broke down . . . ‘cause we had had our fights, and so forth. Just like at least I and my wife and maybe one or two others here. But . . . it doesn’t mean anything. It brings, brings you closer because you’re so sorry later. And . . . we . . . we were very close together. And I just broke down. I just wept convulsively. And, there’s more to that, but you don’t want to be bored with that either.

So, the responsibility of running the factory was something.    I, I’m like this.   I can be just as mean as I am kind, if you push me too far, you see . . . so they kidded me.

Said . . . I walk in . . . said, “Hi boss” and all like that.

So, one day I, I had them gather around.

I said, “Now look, I’m no boss, I’m still one of you but I have a responsibility now. My job depends on that you help me, I’ll help you.”

But there was some . . . envy and jealousy somewhere along the line and I got so that I . . . couldn’t even live with myself. I was going around screaming at everybody and I, you know, firing everybody and all that. And I just quit.

I, I saw an opportunity at the Aeolian and . . . I said, well, they didn’t admit it but I knew darn well they needed somebody like me. I played it cool and they played it cool because they didn’t even accept me when I first went there about six weeks later. And so I went to the Aeolian.

I’m sure there are many of you who know all the questions. I don’t know all the answers but, I’ll answer what I can.

And so, that’s, that’s the point.
[applause] Thank you, thank you.

Lawrence has agreed, and he really means it, that he will welcome questions and, he’ll answer them all. He says he doesn’t know all the answers, but he’ll answer them all and if he doesn’t know the answer you’ll never know it. So fire away.

Lawrence, how many rolls of all kinds do you think you’ve punched, cut, edited, marked, perforated?

Well, I’ve been asked that many times during the day, but then, you made it more difficult. You say “of all kinds.” That’s difficult because I have “made” all kinds. For example, for twenty-five years I was the only one making band organ music except Wurlitzer. And then I had my own little projects what I told you about, of making nickelodeon rolls. I made quite a few of those. And then I . . . you get these odd requests for mechanical music. Chimes, automatic chimes, carillon and, and, and some instruments you never heard of.

But the most interesting was when I got this request from someone in Atlanta. It . . . they said the roll we want you to make, it’s for a racing machine. They sent it to me, it’s a roll about this wide. Well, I was amused at that because they have these places where either you blow something or pump something to make your horse win. They got about six rolls back there and . . . they keep changing rolls. And so the last perforation on there is the horse that wins. First time I knew that . . . but, I still stick to my . . . I mean . . . you know . . . getting serious again. I stick to 10,000.

At one time Max Kortlander and I were taping something for a show called “You Asked for It” and it was a very casual interview, you know. They had sound men, light men all and the whole deal. And so, when that question came up, they hadn’t hinted, you know, that it was coming up, so when I said, “10,000” . . . Mr. Kortlander said right on the tape . . . he said, “Lawrence” . . . he said, “It’s closer to 20,000.” But look, 10,000 is enough. I’ll settle for that.
[laughter, applause] Even money.

Did you make the band organ rolls for your own company, or for some other company?

For a company called B-A-B. — B-A-B. for short. It was Brugnolotti, Antoniazzi and Brugnolotti. [1]  So you know you can’t blame them for calling it B-A-B. Oh, Gosh . . . anybody else?

[inaudible comments]

Many people have wondered that. First place, my mother and father were very musical. Then . . . my father did everything. I mean, he was an educator . . . a minister. He played all the instruments in the band and orchestra. He sang and . . . you name it. My mother sang and played the piano.   She was quite accomplished they tell me.  I didn’t . . . I never knew her. And that, so you see, with those surroundings even at the early age after . . . the whole deal was gone. I was alone. I was impressed by what my mother and father did. Then, I was also confused.

I used to take a chair and put some book, call it a Bible, and preach sermons there, you know what I mean. I says, “I want to be a preacher.” And then something pulled me to the other side. I wanted to be a musician, you see? So, I wound up wanting to be a musician. But I leaned toward classical and I, I studied piano . . . four years at junior college.

Well, I was determined. Very determined to be just that great concert artist until the assistant professor, who used to give me lessons sometimes. When he left the school and I heard that he had a jazz band. Well, he had to eat, didn’t he? I said, “Well I don’t want no jazz band,” you know. “I can’t play jazz anyhow.” And so, I gave up that idea. I said, “Maybe I’ll write music.” And . . . I saw this little ad, something in the “Etude” there, that I picked up in the music room. It said, “Make your own rolls.” I said, “That’s for me.” I can make my own rolls and take them to the public and say, “Look what I got” . . . you know. So, I sold the idea to other writers and I had a little business there, see? And so gradually I got the hang of making rolls.

And I had no idea of capabilities of actually getting into the field among all of these great guys who were my idols. I had no idea of this. But I gradually did. And I played piano. I went to little parties and things like that and sometimes at a concert. Sometimes J. P.
[2] was there, or Fats Waller, and all of that. But I found that, that . . . it was about twenty-five or thirty years ago I, I found well, I can’t be tops in nothing! I got to steal time . . . from this specialized thing in order to practice, otherwise I’m embarrassed when I go to play. And so I said, “I’m going to do one or the other. And I concentrated on making piano roll masters. That’s my answer. I’m sorry it got long. [laughter]

No need of telling you the title. I’d have to, I’d have to make another speech. W-H-I-C-K-E-R, Whicker Bill Blues! I’d have to make another speech explaining where that came from. Because I had never heard of it before, but I liked it and I named the blues — blues was popular then. Impossible name, you know.

PLAYER-PIANO ROLL MUSIC OF “WHICKER BILL BLUES” PLAYED BY THE COMPOSER J. LAWRENCE COOK. RELEASED OCTOBER 1923 ON QRS 2401. [applause]

I just want to thank everybody for being patient, you know.

(My name is) Mr. Mendoza.

Well yes, nice meeting you.

. . . Baxter, Laney rolls, etc. . . . What about some of your own compositions. The things that you wrote?

Well, I wrote that one.

Other names?

Other?

Any other names of compositions?

Yes . . . er, some of them I don’t remember, but one that stands out . . . I saw the boss off at Christmas. None of them worked. But during those years Mamie Smith was very popular on blues. She was the first Negro to record on records. And I said, well look, why don’t we get in on this, you know. So I wrote a song called “My Loving Mamie.” (If) somebody finds a roll of that, then they may have a collector’s item. I don’t have one. But I . . . many others I can’t think of . . . my God, I wrote one called “Garlic” once. Yeah, and one called “Come Back and Get Your Bananas.” I was trying to cash in on “Yes You Have . . .” Right! I did everything. [laughter]

What do you think the future of the roll business is now?

I think the outlook is very encouraging. Beyond . . . beyond expectations, you know of just a couple of years ago. I think it’s here to stay. I really do.

This gentleman over here Lawrence.

Yes?

Mr. Cook . . . did you write out your arrangements and your . . .

Never did, thank the Lord.  Because . . . I tell you why.  Because while this stuff comes fresh in my mind, I look at the music and and run over maybe eight measures.  I don’t need . . . I get . . . I’ve got intros to spare, you see. But . . . and get the hang of it. But I always read the words to try to get the mood of it. And from then on, like Art Tatum, he says “Man”, he told, you know, he said, “When I get to that piano I sit down”, he says, “I’m scared. Hit the first chord and that’s it.”

Once I get the hang of it, that’s it, and I don’t want to see any music. The only time I have a manuscript is when I’m trying to imitate someone on a record then I write that out because, I mean, you can’t hold onto what you wanted to do
(there) (?) You’ve got to have a guide. But otherwise . . . generally that’s my method. I just sit there and enjoy trying to create something.

Lawrence, I hate to have to mention this but, we are going to have to clear out of this room pretty quick, and in order that they can get ready for tonight. Now, probably if you have another roll that you’d like to illustrate something with.

Yeah, I have two more. Yeah . . . umm . . . Well it won’t take long.

And then . . . Lawrence is going to be around for the rest of the convention and some of you know already he doesn’t mind a bit talking. So . . . [applause, laughter]

Is that good or bad?

That is wonderful. [applause]

So, if individually, or groups, or anything else . . . I, I would guess that man has had maybe five hours sleep the last three days and he’s looking better every day . . . so . . . we are going to play a couple more rolls that he brought for illustration. And then I am afraid we are going to have to painfully cut it short.

Well . . . we’ll just play that roll.

What’s the name of that? . . . “Gotta Cool My Doggies Now” . . . and before he plays it I want to say that he will play next . . . “Old Fashioned Love”, which I’ve done many times.  But you’ll see some ideas that I stole . . . without, you know . . . without it being obvious. And the main thing you watch on that will be the backhand bass that I stole from Fats Waller. I didn’t steal it . . . I mean we exchanged ideas. Artists exchange ideas, why can’t I? You know. So, ugh. . . .

Lawrence what date is this arrangement, when did you do this one?

I didn’t do it, Fats Waller did that, and the date would be on the . . . if he had a label it would be on there, but I would say about 1922 or 1923. Fats Waller did it. Don’t give me credit for that . . . a great guy like that . . . and I thank you.

PLAYER-PIANO ROLL MUSIC, PART OF “OLD FASHIONED LOVE” ARRANGED BY J. LAWRENCE COOK. RELEASED DECEMBER 1923 ON QRS 2446.

This is followed by:

PLAYER-PIANO ROLL MUSIC OF “GOTTA COOL MY DOGGIE NOW” PLAYED BY THOMAS WALLER. RELEASED MARCH 1923 ON QRS 2149. [applause]

This is how you can be influenced by the greats. I am influenced, beside from what I stole. I stole a whole chorus from Art Tatum and he influenced my recordings. I didn’t steal it . . . he wouldn’t mind. He’s not living, he wouldn’t mind.

Lawrence, what do you mean the backhand bass, was that referring to this?  [a few chords played]

No . . . no . . . no . . . no . . . it’s where you hit the top note and sustain it . . . You get it . . .

Saw it on roll . . . here’s “Judy.”

Yeah, just play “Judy” and that’s it.

PLAYER-PIANO ROLL MUSIC OF “JUDY” ARRANGED BY J. LAWRENCE COOK. RELEASED JUNE 1959 ON QRS 9690. AN EXAMPLE OF AN ARRANGEMENT INFLUENCED BY SOME ART TATUM “SIGNATURE LICKS.” [applause]

I just want to thank everybody for being patient, you know. [applause]

1972 Jean Lawrence Cook M.D.

REFERENCES

1

Matthew Caulfield — J. Lawrence Cook incorrectly quotes the name of the B.A.B. Organ Company, Brooklyn, N.Y. The initials stand for the three Italians who originally owned the company — Ervista Bona, Andrew Antoniazzi and Dominic[k] Brugnolotti. Letter to Mike Meddings, dated 22nd June 2001.

2

James P. Johnson — Lawrence is referring here to James P. Johnson.

KUDOS


Matthew Caulfield (USA)
Jean Lawrence Cook M.D. (France)
Bob Billings (USA)
Ginny Billings (USA)
Karl Ellison (USA)
Millie Gaddini (USA)


Mike Meddings (UK)
Karl Peterson (USA)
Robbie Rhodes (USA)
Terry Smythe (Canada)
Ed Sprankle (USA)
Prof. Alan Wallace (USA)

Return to J. Lawrence Cook Page Back to Top

Home Page

Jelly Roll Morton J. Lawrence Cook Frank Melrose
Roy J. Carew Anita Gonzales and Bob Kirstein Radio Broadcast Max Kortlander An Essay in Genealogy
International Researchers Jelly Roll Morton and Alan Lomax Library of Congress Narrative MIDI Files Recommended Listening
WWI Draft Registration Cards and Essays Jelly Roll Morton Iconography Library Photograph Gallery Document Archives
Recently Updated Articles Jelly Roll Morton Recordings and Discography Jelly Roll Morton Posthumous Articles Directory of Related Links


1999—2014 Monrovia Sound Studio