+ DEAD MAN BLUES, Imperial Songrecord catalog No. 06515, was reissued from the original Q.R.S. 3674 in July 1927.
Many roll collectors have suggested that J. Lawrence Cook may have created, or at least had a hand in the editing of the Q.R.S. Morton rolls listed above. Since Cook was based in New York for all of his working life, he had no involvement with the Morton rolls, which were recorded and edited in the Chicago factory.
In a letter to Mike Meddings, dated 2nd April 1975, responding to a direct question on the above, Cook wrote: “I never met Jelly Roll Morton in person, but I can tell you that, so far as I know, he made only one roll recording for Q.R.S. In my judgement he was a sloppy, ear-playing pianist. However, I think he deserved all of the fame he gained. This being because he definitely invented a certain style of jazz playing. I know this well, for I have transcribed quite a number of his record and band recordings for musicians wanting to study his style.” [JLC]
The following detailed information regarding the Q.R.S. Music Co. comes from California music roll collector Ed Sprankle: Q.R.S. were located at: 306 South Wabash Avenue, Chicago, Illinois., 518 W. 55th Street, New York City, New York and 153 Kearney Street, San Francisco, California. This is based on the 1920 (complete to 9/1/19) massive roll catalog. [G]
1918 correspondence shows the 412 Fine Arts Building, Chicago address as executive offices. A 1921 stock offering shows the executive offices address as 11th Floor Kimball Building, Chicago. The stock offering shows factories in New York, Chicago and San Francisco. Branches and Factory agencies were in: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Columbus, Ohio; Denver, Colorado; Buffalo, New York; London, England; and Melbourne & Sydney, Australia. [G]
In 1931 Max Kortlander purchased the Q.R.S. Music Co. for $25,000 and changed the name to the Imperial Industrial Company.
There was another Imperial Player Roll Co., owned by the Cable Piano Co., who were located in Chicago, and they produced some noteworthy music rolls by Roy Bargy and Charley Straight.
The Chicago Defender dated 27th November 1926
3674 — Dead Man Blues
3675 — Midnight Mamma
RECORDING Q.R.S ARTISTS
JELLY ROLL MORTON
J. LAWRENCE COOK
JAMES P. JOHNSON