Monday, September 20, 2010
EDWARD TAYLOR PAULL..February 16, 1858 to November 26, 1924..COMPOSER
LISTED ARE THE DATES OF HIS COMPOSITIONS AND SHOWN ARE EXAMPLES OF HIS BEAUTIFUL COVERS
The Chariot Race or Ben Hur March
The Old Man's Story
The Stranger's Story, or Why Do Our
Loved Ones Leave Us [Same Piece]
Charge of the Light Brigade
New York and Coney Island Cycle March
The Stranger's Story (Waltz)
He's Goin' to Hab a Hot Time Bye and
The Ice Palace March
America Forever! March
America Forever! March Song 
We'll Stand by the Flag
We'll Stand by the Flag (Song)
If You Were Only By My Side
Uncle Jasper's Jubilee
You Won't Do Any More 
A Warmin' Up In Dixie
The Chariot Race or Ben Hur March (Song)
A Warmin' Up In Dixie (Song)
Dawn of the Century
The Witch's Whirl Waltzes
When Johnny Goes A Camping 
Our Wedding Bells Will Ring Some Day 
The Storm King
The Burning of Rome
The Romany Rye
The Circus Parade
The Jolly Blacksmiths 
Paul Revere's Ride
Silver Sleigh Bells
The Triumphant Banner
The Home Coming March
Lincoln Centennial Grand March
The Dashing Cavaliers 
Ring Out, Wild Bells
The Roaring Volcano
Kaiser Jubilee March
Jubilaums Marsch (German Edition)
Paull's Hesitation Waltz
Herald of Peace March (rel. 1918)
Battle of the Nations
Battle of Gettysburg
America Forever! March Song (rev. Lyrics) 
Hurrah! For the Liberty Boys, Hurrah!
American Wedding March
The Spirit of France
Custer's Last Charge
The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
Spirit of the U.S.A.
Top of the World
Other E.T. Paull Publications
The Della Fox Little Trooper 
What Might Have Been 
Sweet Rosa Dugan (from Hogan's Alley) 
Whisper Again Sweet, I Love You! 
The Elks Grand March 
Get Off Cuba's Toes 
Loan Me a Nickel or Pass Down de Centre 
Great New York 
You'll Always Find a Welcome for You at
Home, Sweet Home [15,1]
Grand March Welcome 
Sweet Little Annie Bell [Georgia Irving]
True to His Promise [Erwin C. Roeppen]
My Little Baby Boy [15,1]
The Thompson Street Cadets 
The Girl I Loved All Summer 
Sunset: March 
Asleep at the Switch 
The Rutherford: Two Step 
The American Queen 
The Mardi Gras 
Cisnero Waltzes [Unknown]
Sing, Sweetest Bird [3,21]
Beautiful Flowers 
I've Scratched You Off Ma' List [23,24]
Uncle Josh's Huskin Dance 
Lily is My Sweetheart 
Queen of Beauty-Waltzes [26,27]
The Conqueror: March [16,1]
Sweet Memories: Waltzes 
Would You? Well, In a Minute 
I'll Be a Sister to You [23,24]
My Pretty Polly 
What Reily Left Behind 
The Highland Laddie: March 
By the Lakes of Killarney 
The Old Church Door 
The Little Village Church-Yard Near the
Whose Little Girl Are You? [33,34]
La Banda Rossa March 
The Rag Time Dance 
The Coontown Frolic 
My Black Bess [23,24]
Up the State 
The Rudyard Kipling Waltzes 
Cupid's Awakening Waltzes 
Mexican Echoes - Serenade 
Queen of the Night - York Caprice 
Southern Zephyrs - Gavotte 
Morning Vespers - Idyl 
Pearl of the Antilles - Cuban Dance 
The Cossack - Pollacca 
I Loves You, Sadie, 'Deed I Do! [2,36]
Mammy's Little Dinah 
Plantation Echoes-Cakewalk 
The Rag Time Patrol 
Return of the Admiral 
X-L-C-R (Excelsior) 
Cindy, My Black Belle, Do! 
A Flower from Irish Soil 
Down Old New England Way [2,43]
May O'Shea: Waltz Song 
I Cert'ny Works Hard for Mah Money [44,45]
Sweet Irene (Schottische) 
The Midnight Fire Alarm [46,1]
United Nations: March 
I'll Meet You, Love, Along the Line 
The Coon That Wore the First Shirt Waist 
My Louisiana Babe 
Mandy, Mandy 
It's Only a Little Hot Air 
Midst the Old Virginia Pines [49,50]
I Am Waiting for Your Answer, Dear,
Broken Ties [21,51]
Come to Mother Again 
The Boy Who Wears the Coat of Blue [53,54]
A Signal from Mars [55,1]
Dance of the Fire-Flies [38,1]
My Rose from Tennessee 
I'd Give a Hundred if the Gal Was Mine 
I Did Not Know I'd Miss You as I Do 
If You'se Got Money You Can Knock at My
Stolen Kisses 
Since Sally's In the Ballet [59,60]
Enticement - Agacerie 
Richard Carvel Waltzes 
Where the Orange Blossoms Bloom [23,61,62]
Nobody Else But You [53,54]
Oh Joe, Dear Joe 
Phantom Dance 
De Sand Man's in Your Eyes Baby 
Pork Chops Am Good Enough for Me [64,65]
Nero's Delight: Waltzes 
The Passing Soldiers: Patrol 
The Patrol (In Mandolin Folio) 
The Midnight Flyer [69,1]
Arizona [43,1] (Rearranged)
The Hurricane 
The Masquerade [72,1]
The Flash Light [73,1]
Napoleon's Last Charge [73,1]
The Race Course [74,1]
The Carnival King [75,1]
Ticklish Sensation [76,1]
Egyptian Glide: Tango 
Egyptian Glide: Two Step [77,1]
Say 'Au Revoir' but not 'Good-Bye' [78,79,1]
Armenian Maid [76,80]
Just Because I Want You All the While [76,80]
Vanity - Valse Idyl 
Drifting Along to the Isle of Love [76,80]
Love's Fascination Waltz [81,1]
Dreamy Oriental Melody [82,83]
The Legion of Victory [84,85]
Beneath the Spanish Moon 
The Porta-Povitch: Five Step [87,1]
Tootise (unpublished) [88,89]
Sweet Molly Asthore [90,91]
March Victorious [92,1]
1. arr. by E.T. Paull
2. w/by Harry S. Miller
3. w/H.A. Freeman
4. w/Vincent P. Bryan
5. w/Arthur Treveylan
6. w/Edmund Braham
7. W.O. Johnson
8. Castell Brydges
9. Barney Gilmore
10. Madeliene Shirley
11. Leo Wheat
12. J.R. Henning
13. J.W. Richardson
14. John H.W. Byrne
15. Sam E. Allen
16. William A. Corey
17. Charles Shackford
18. E.G. Brown
19. May Casta
20. G.V. Gilbert
21. Ion Arnold
22. L.J. Monico
23. Andrew B. Sterling
24. Harry Von Tilzer
25. Len O. DeWitt
26. Arthur Treveylan
27. Otto M. Heinzman
28. Herbert L. Clarke
29. M. Gutenstein
30. Annie B. O'Shea
31. Gussie L. Davis
32. Harry Jonas
33. George Rosey
34. Thomas Naismyth
35. G. Peluso
36. Charles Jerome Wilson
37. E.S. Phelps
38. Danno Sintenis
39. Charles Clinton Clark
40. Arthur A. Clappé
41. Sam Rosenberg
42. Myles McCarthy
43. Emily Smith
44. Walter McCleunan
45. Nathan Bivins
46. Harry Lincoln
47. Joseph A. Gruber
48. P.F. Dailey
49. George A. Barry
50. Louis G. Freeman
51. George Morgan
52. Barrington L. Brannan
53. Harry S. Marion
54. Theodore F. Morse
55. Raymond Taylor
56. Ben Harney
57. Harry Wright
58. A.V. Walker
59. Mike Bernard
60. Vincent P. Bryan
61. Bartley Costello
62. Jesse M. Campbell
63. Billy Johnson
64. A.F. Dannic
65. Charles B. Niblo
66. Everett J. Evans
67. C.A. Egener
69. Frederick W. Hager
70. Saul L. Alpert
71. Alfred Feltman
72. George F. Krell
73. Edwin Ellis
74. Jack Glogau
75. Ralph K. Elicker
76. M. Alexander (Maloof?)
77. Alexander Maloof
78. Harry Kennedy
79. Maud Kennedy
80. Wilbur Weeks
81. Isidore J. Schanes
82. Ida Simpson
83. Blanche Ring
84. Geald Carlton
85. Rudolfo Guarda
86. Leo Bennett
87. Stanislaw Portapovitch
88. Arthur P. Coogan
89. C. Barton Lauché
90. WIlliam H. Martin
91. Herbert Ralph Ward
92. Elizabeth G. Black
Early Years in Virginia
Edward Taylor Paull was born the oldest of three children to Henry Washington Paull and Margaret C. (Thornburg) Paull in pre-Civil War Gerrardstown in what is now West Virginia, as Virginia had not yet been divided. Edward was the oldest of three children, including Laura May (5/23/1859) and Mary C. (12/27/1861). Henry Paull attempted a variety of occupations according to census listings. He was shown as a miller in 1850, a farmer in 1860, and boarding house keeper in 1870, the latter vocation of which he was successful enough to buy a great deal of land in Martinsburg after the end of the war. Young Edward certainly witnessed the ravaging effects of the war as it not only affected life in the Shenandoah River Valley but divided the state of Virginia politically as well, eventually splitting it into two states. The lasting memories of this are often reflected later in his compositions and covers.
Paull eventually found work in his late teens in a the J.S. Caroll music store in Martinsburg selling pianos and organs, and likely sheet music as well. An 1881 ad for Estey Organs.
He is shown in 1880 as an agent for the Estey Organ Company, and still living with his parents and sisters. Several ads in papers throughout the Shenandoah Valley indicate that he was a traveling agent for Estey, as well as Fischer and Weber pianos, possibly selling pianos and organs off the back of a wagon at rural locations and small towns.
One of the first published notices of Paull appears in The Music Critic and Trade Review of September 20, 1881. "Mr. Edward T. Paull, of Martinsburg, West Virginia, called upon us a few days ago, while in this city, on matters connected with his music business. Mr. Paull handles the Decker Bros, and Weber pianos and the Estey and Loring & Blake organs in the State of West Virginia, having his headquarters in Staunton, a branch in Martinsburg, and sub-agencies throughout the State. Mr. Paull reports an active market in his section for the above makers' instruments at which we are not surprised, for they are fine goods and need no bush to proclaim them."
Among the first writings of Paull in association with the music industry is the following letter excerpted from the February 20th edition of The Music Critic and Trade Review concerning local business.
MARTINSBURG, W. VA., February 9, 1882.
I have nothing special to report to you from this section of the country, as far as musical entertainments are concerned.
The demand for musical instruments here and throughout the valley of Virginia is becoming much better than it was heretofore. I do a good business with the Estey organ and Weber and Fischer pianos. I flatter myself that I sold the last piano that was sold in the year 1881. I sold it and closed the bargain just one hour and a half before New Year's day, or half past ten o'clock at night. The piano I sold was a J. & C. Fischer square, the purchaser being Mr. Phillip Rodes, of Strasburg, Va. There may have been a piano sold later in 1881, but I doubt it.
Yours, very respectfully, EDW. T. PAULL.
Paull appears again with a letter in March 20th, 1882 edition of the same paper, this time perhaps living in Winchester, Virginia. He wrote concerning questionable practices by the D.F. Beatty Piano and Organ Company in New Jersey which were under investigation . It is partially excerpted here:
WINCHESTER, VA., March 2, 1882.
Editor of THE MUSICAL CRITIC AND TRADE REVIEW:
Sir — I read a rather long article in your February edition of THE MUSICAL CRITIC AND TRADE REVIEW about D. F. Beatty's methods of doing business. I suppose there are undoubtedly numerous transactions of the Hon. D. F.'s that never come to light which would prove to the better thinking class of people that his Highness was not the extremely kind friend that he styles himself to be to the dear confiding public.
One of his transactions has recently come under my observation, and I will mention the circumstances connected with it, and would like to ask IS THIS A BEATTY SCHEME?
The facts are as follows:
A Mrs. Wilson, residing at Strasburg, Va., on December 17 or 18, sent D. F. Beatty a check for $63 for one of his Mozart organs. The check was duly forwarded by Mr. Beatty to the proper bank and the money was collected for the same. Mr. B. acknowledged receipt of check. In the course of correspondence he promised immediate shipment of the organ... Mrs. Rodrick desired the organ for a Christmas gift to her children, but Christmas, New Year, and the middle of January came, but no organ... She wrote Mr. Beatty to please forward the money to her.
He wrote her, however, stating that her organ would be shipped very soon, and after waiting quite awhile, she wrote about it again. He replied that it would be impossible to fill her order under thirty days, or more, for that particular style of organ, but if she desired he could ship her one of his 'Beethoven 27-stop Organs' immediately, but it would cost her $30 more... She hasn't received the organ yet, although March is here, and from all accounts I suppose she will be quite lucky if she gets it by next December.
The question, however, that arises is this: Is this a Beatty scheme? A kind of patent process to "bleed" customers, or not?
It is seemingly characteristic of the American people to permit themselves to be humbugged. They cannot be blamed very much, for any one who reads the flaming advertisements of the 'Honorable,' and have long articles of his Mayorship thrust in their faces, should almost consider it an honor to have dealings with such a noted person.
They imagine that Washington, N. J., must be the London of America, as they hardly ever read of the Mayors, etc., of such villages as New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Cincinnati, or Chicago.
It is surely time that such misrepresentations as he sets forth in his advertisements should be brought to light, and I know of no better medium than your worthy paper, THE MUSICAL CRITIC AND TRADE REVIEW.
Very respectfully, EDWARD T. PAULL
It is reasonable to assume that Paull had received some form of music education during his upbringing which allowed him to be able to effectively demonstrate both the instruments and the music, and may have even dabbled in light composition by his early 20s when he became a manager and then a traveling instrument salesman. However Edward evidently was not as capable of managing his personal financial life, and either the market became saturated or the debt that comes from having to front a number of instruments overcame him. His father H. Washington Paull sold off some of his property assets to pay of some of his son's debts of $2,750 in 1885 and 1886. Paull then moved to Richmond, Virginia, possibly to make a fresh start of things, where he managed the Sanders and Stayman music store for a time. He married Gertrude A. Kern, born in Winchester, Virginia (3/12/1864), around 1892. Their daughter Edna Page Paull was born the following year. It was at this time that Paull decided to venture into composition and publishing, doing so in a very grand manner.
In late 1890, Paull had partnered with John G. Corley who he appears to have known, or worked with for nearly a decade by that time, to acquire the Richmond branch of Sanders & Stayman of Baltimore, Maryland, and renamed it the Richmond Music Company. As noted in a Music Trade Review notice of January 5, 1891, "The new company will sell pianos and organs direct from the factories to the public, thus securing to purchasers the lowest possible prices." There was no initial mention of sheet music made.
It was in the year 1893 that General Lew Wallace published his epic novel, Ben Hur - A Tale of the Christ, a book which actually converted the author to Christianity as he wrote it. Ben Hur was soon adapted for the stage using phenomenal sets and staging techniques, including a sometimes dangerous chariot race with real horses on a treadmill, that would not be eclipsed in the theater for nearly eight decades. With a topic that was a sure thing to sell, Paull penned his first descriptive piece, The Chariot Race or Ben Hur March. To ensure potential sales, he commissioned a five-color lithograph cover from the A. Hoen Company of Richmond depicting the famous fictional race. Until this time, Hoen was known largely for cartography from their Baltimore office, and brightly colored cigar boxes from the Richmond branch. Paull released the work through his Richmond Music Company.
The piece was nearly instantly successful. It even featured a congratulatory letter from General Wallace printed inside during the first few years of publication. (In later years when the initial silent movie version of Ben Hur was released by newly-formed M.G.M. in 1925, and it was subsequently performed by the Sousa band, there was a resurgence of interest in the Paull composition largely by association.) Ben Hur was quickly followed by The Old Man's Story and/or The Strangers Story (which are the same piece with different titles). Soon to follow was The Della Fox Little Trooper March and Two Step by W.O. Johnson, dedicated to a famed stage performer of the time. The latter also featured a fabulous color cover from the A. Hoen Company, a trend which would continue for some three decades. What Might Have Been by Castell Brydges was published in March of 1896. This and all of his subsequent pieces soon appeared under his own imprint featuring the soon-to-be-famous footer for the E.T. Paull Publishing Company.
New York Successes
In late April 1896 Paull moved to New York City where he would remain for the rest of his life. There were notices in the Richmond papers during the third week of April that Corley was selling off all assets of the E.T. Paull Publishing Company there. Paull set up shop at 20 East 17th Street in Manhattan. His next descriptive piece was Charge of the Light Brigade, registered in June of 1896, and the first of many commemorating famous military campaigns. Even though Paull was now nearly 300 miles from Richmond, where Light Brigade was undoubtedly started, he continued to use Hoen's services based on their fine work with the five color lithography process. The Paulls moved into a nice home in the Mt. Vernon neighborhood at 210 South Fifth Avenue, up towards Yonkers, several miles north of his office.
Paull's descriptive pieces, of which many would be published over the next two and a half decades, were usually prefaced with a rather verbose and detailed "Explanatory" about the event, and there were subtitles throughout each one indicating the action that the music was supposed to represent. This was likely more for the edification of the pianist than the listening audience, as it was unlikely that the pianist or even a narrator would read these titles as the piece was performed. Whether it was due to this unique quirk, the general simplicity and interchangeability of his marches, the eye-catching brightly colored covers or a combination of all these that sold his sheet music, it cannot be denied that Paull was providing the public with a product that they felt they needed since his pieces sold well.
In late 1897 Paull relocated his company to 44 West 29th Street. He hired composer Jesse Campbell as his professional manager, who was largely responsible for promoting the publisher's works to stage performers and music outlets. On the chilly evening of February 1st, 1898, while Paull and his family were down south visiting in West Virginia, the pipes in his Mt. Vernon home burst, owing to the extreme cold and the fact that his water had not been properly shut off. The descriptions of the home with icicles hanging from the chandeliers and a glacier coming down the staircase were printed in various New York papers. When Paull returned home on February 2nd, he found the damages to likely be in the area of around $5,000, enough to inspire him to compose another one of his "disaster" marches, The Ice Palace to help pay for the recovery. A lithograph of his parlor was featured on the cover of the timely work. Evidently, the damage was worse than initially reported. In mid April 1898, the New York Times announced E.T. Paull's purchase a three story brownstone at 226 West 105th Street in upper Manhattan, which was of considerable size 55 by 100 feet.
His company now prospering, Paull also continued to take on some works of other composers, often asserting that they were "Arranged by E.T. Paull" on the cover, although the extent to which he altered them, if at all, is largely unknown. The most memorable of these is Harry Lincoln's Midnight Fire Alarm from 1900, the best selling piece in his catalog not composed by its publisher. Lincoln went on to a successful career with Vandersloot Music in Pennsylvania, but aside from Repasz Band was never able to capture the same magic that made Paull-published works so successful, including his own. Meanwhile, Paull made some attempts at popular music forms, including the cakewalk, as well as classical styles including waltzes and light parlor music. He published a folio of such works by himself and others in the early 1900s.
In early 1900 Paull and his family took a brief trip to Mexico, and as a result they were skipped by the Federal Census takers. He then accompanied his wife and daughter to Europe aboard the Batavia. They were abroad for three months, according to his passport and some mentions in The Music Trade Review. While in Germany he attended a John Philip Sousa Band concert, and was both surprised and flattered to hear them perform his most recent piece, Dawn of the Century. Shortly after his return from this journey Paull's company moved into new spacious quarters utilizing two floors of 46 West 28th Street, where he would remain for several years. Paull took one of his only known trips to the Midwest, and possibly Western United States in mid 1901. According a notice in The Music Trade Review of June 8, "E. T. Paull is shortly to make a trip West, when he will give his many friends who have never seen him a chance to find out what sort of a man this march and waltz composer is. They will find out that composing is not his only good point." Business was steadily expanding in 1901, so Paull hired famous Australian baritone singer Bert Morphy to look after his professional department, which had recently been abandoned by Jesse Campbell. He also hired singer Harry Rogers, "The Original Bowery Boy," as an active promoter and performer of his works.
Perhaps it was at Bert Morphy's urging, in an effort to associate the Paull Company with the latest musical trends, that the publisher briefly acquired the services of the brilliant ragtime pianist and composer Mike Bernard. The following announcement appeared in The Music Trade Review of September 28, 1901. "One of the best known piano players in the country is Mike Bernard. He has won many contests for piano playing, and is well known throughout the continent. Mr. Bernard has joined the forces of the E. T. Paull Music Co., and will devote all his time to furthering the firm's interests and he will doubtless prove a valuable acquisition in every way. He has just written the music to a clever song entitled 'Since Sally's in the Ballet,' Vincent B. Bryan having written the words. Another good number by Mike Bernard is 'The Phantom Dance...' With Bert Morphy - the general manager, Mike Bernard and Harry Rogers, things should certainly hum at 46 West Twenty-eighth street, New York." Another notice in the October 26 edition of the same journal noted that "Mike Bernard, well known as the champion long distance piano-player, and who 'banged the box' six seasons at Tony Pastor's, is now the manager of the professional bureau of the E.T. Paull Music Company... He informed The Review that he is going to spring a surprise on the public soon. What it is he will not say." Other than the two publications mentioned, nothing more of Bernard's appeared under the Paull logo, and perhaps the surprise turned out to be that their association was somewhat short-lived.
After a steady string of colorfully-covered pieces, it was in 1903 that Paull most successfully combined all of the elements of descriptive music, exciting narrative, sensational cover and a literally hot topic, in a piece that featured a historical disaster, The Burning of Rome. It remained in publication for nearly two decades in varying forms, and was followed by such other disaster-themed works as The Roaring Volcano. Paull also focused on patriotic figures and events, composing a number patriotic marches that attempted to approach the caliber of those by the famous Marine Band leader and his friendly rival, John Philip Sousa. He also actively promoted the works of others under his label to great acclaim. One example concerns A Signal From Mars by Raymond Taylor, "arranged" by Paull. According to a 1902 snippet, which inadvertently does not even mention the composer, "The E. T. Paull Music Co. have placed a re-order of twenty thousand copies for their new march, 'A Signal from Mars,' which makes sixty thousand copies in a little over three and a half months that have been ordered of this piece and since it was first placed on the market. The manner in which this march has 'caught on' is amazing. The extraordinary large sale that it has had so early shows that the musical public do not hesitate to take anything that E. T. Paull writes or arranges. It is certainly a compliment to his ability as a march writer." Later advertising rectified the oversight.
Not too much was known about E.T. Paull's private life. However, comments in trade magazines by his peers indicate that in spite of his sometimes bombastic "best march yet" advertising he was a rather humble person, and enjoyable company, usually with a good story or two to tell. The energetic Paull was relatively tall at 5'11", and moderately athletic in build. He was more often than not hurrying from place to place, but also stopping for a moment to enjoy a good cigar, something that bore printed mention from time to time. One sport that E.T. appeared to be particularly good at was bowling. According to a 1908 mention in the trades, "E. T. Paull for the third consecutive season won the first prize in the bowling contest of the Alhambra Club. In sixty-nine games his average was 172. Verily, is Paull the Apostle of Bowling."
While Paull was certainly a "do-it-yourself" type of composer, not only constructing the naming his pieces, and specifying the contents of the cover art, there was one rare instance in which he enticed the public to get involved with his work by offering $10 in gold coin to whomever could provide a good name for his latest march in 1908. Out of some three thousand titles that were submitted, the one sent in by Mr. W.C. Bales, appropriately a member of the Sheffield Advertising Agency, was picked as the winning entry. The publicity behind the naming of The Home Coming March and Mr. Paull's payout was sufficient to assure good sales of the piece. Curiously, just before it was sent into print the discovery was made that his composer credit was not on the cover, to which he was quoted as having remarked, "By Gemini! You're right; I never noticed it."
To Germany and Back Again
During the 1910s he prospered through expansion, having added four-hand piano and band arrangements of his works to his catalog, as well as promoting his works to the piano roll industry. In 1910 he and Gertrude are shown with their daughter Edna, a servant, and three lodgers in their Manhattan brownstone. It was hard to argue with Paull's success as a publisher, perhaps even more so than as a composer, because with little in the way of ragtime-based output he was still making a splash in the music stores and was well regarded by others in the industry. An article on him in the March 12, 1910 edition of The Music Trade Review, partially quoted here, gave some insight to this success from his contemporaries:
In one corner of a quiet, cosy, well-appointed suite of offices in West Twenty-eighth street stands a whirring, clicking instrument known as a New York Stock Exchange ticker. It seems to be rather an anomaly in the office of a music publisher, and yet the proprietor of the establishment is seen to go over to it occasionally during the day and study the cabalistic signs set out on the narrow tape that runs through his fingers. The music publisher at the ticker is E.T. Paull, America's new "march king." We do not know what the stock quotations have to tell him... The point is that the stock ticker is there—the only one to be found in the office of a New York music publisher.
Why is it there, and what kind of a business is this that enables a man to have cause to keep in instant touch with the changing values of securities?... Mr. Paull's colleagues, or competitors — call them what you will - have known for some time that here is a man of means, one of the comparatively few such in the business of publishing popular music. And anyone who is at all cognizant of the situation knows that the business of the E. T. Paull Music Co. is unique; that it is, in fact, in a class by itself. Here is no great mass of "dead" numbers. No piles of music are gathering dust in the store room, waiting to be sold as old paper. No "hits" of a former year, now forgotten, defy attempts to revivify them. Instead, Mr. Paull pursues the even tenor of his way, the envy of some publishers and the admiration of all issuing just two march or two-step numbers each year.
...All of this composer-publisher's previous numbers, in fact, still enjoy steady sale. They are what may be called standard sellers, with an established clientele. One of the more recent of his productions was the "Lincoln Centennial Grand March," issued last year as a felicitous memorial of the event which the entire country celebrated early in 1909. This march, from a musical standpoint, was undoubtedly Mr. Paull's greatest composition up to that time. It was, furthermore, the only grand march, in the full meaning of that term, written for several preceding years...
Such is the vocation of the publisher in whose office the stock ticker whirrs merrily through the day. With a clean, quiet, wholesome business he has gained for himself fame and fortune. With the latter, and with what private message the ticker clicks off to him daily, we have no concern. In brief, it is none of our business. In its broad scope, however, it is interesting to publishers and music dealers in general, as showing that a sound business position can be gained by a combination of ability and foresight, unmixed with the jealousies, the throat-cutting methods, and the trade evils which hold in thrall many less prosperous publishers.
One of the secrets of the success of this house, for we may conjecture if we may not pry, we believe to be the foresight of the proprietor and the characteristic of learning what conditions are, then accepting them as such and meeting them with businesslike spirit... Mr. Paull said:
"It is no longer to be doubted that so-called popular music is rapidly falling, in average level, to a retail price of ten cents a copy. This condition of cut prices has been brought about largely by over-production. The supply exceeds the demand, so that cut rates have been indulged in for the creation of a market. It would be hard to fix the actual blame for all this, as it has been due to a series of circumstances over which no one seemed to have actual control. Ten cents is a fair price for much of what is offered on the market, but publishers who offer a good grade of music are confronted with that handicap which is placed on their business. They must follow suit or lose business, since they cannot raise their publications to a level with the classic and the high-grade... As for myself, I simply recognized that the day of high prices had passed. I held out against the lower rates for two years. Finally I yielded, and soon was getting the larger orders to offset the lower prices. In the end I have come to feel that the fight against the new order of things was wasted energy, since one must seize opportunities that actually exist, and not expect to succeed by jousting at the windmills of what ought to be, nor by following visions of trade chimeras that retreat as one advances toward them."
Note that a follow-up article later in the year announced that the stock ticker had been removed from Paull's office, but that he still appeared satisfied with "the results of what it used to tell him.
E.T. Paull fully dressed in his George Washington era Minute Man uniform in 1910.
From late May to mid July of 1910 the Paulls traveled extensively through Europe, but focusing largely on Germany. His notoriety in that country was well noted in The Music Trade Review of July 30:
As commander of the Eastern department of the Minute Men, Mr. Paull was one of a guard of honor of five accompanying the Deutsche Kriegerbund for a tour of the Fatherland. The Kriegerbund is made up of men who are veterans of the German army, and the trip of 150 members through that country was made the occasion for some grand ovations accorded officially by the cities through which they passed...
"The tour through Germany was made something of a hands-across-the-sea affair, on account of the American flag which the guard of honor bore. In several places this guard, with the flag, appeared where no other flag foreign to Germany had ever before been permitted. 'The trip was an ovation from start to finish, and what with parades, receptions, banquets, and so on, we could hardly have endured more of a welcome, if more had been offered. After proceeding up the Elbe River we found a big reception awaiting us at Hamburg, where we landed. We were received by the high senate, which constitutes the government of Hamburg... At Dresden was perhaps the finest of all the fine receptions and banquets, although that at Hanover was but little behind it. At Dresden the banquet was attended by 1,500 persons. At Hanover we were received by a committee of 1,000 citizens, all in double-breasted frocks and high hats. At Berlin we attended a review of 25,000 troops, ours being the first organisation to bear an American flag on Templehofer Field..."
The other places visited were Mains, Frankfort (where even the housetops were crowded in welcome), Karlsruhe, Stuttgart, Munich and Regensburg, where the trip ended. Mr. Paull himself proceeded to Vienna, Budapest, Venice, Milan, Paris, Brussels, Antwerp and London. While he was away, he says, he did not have five minutes' time to devote to any thoughts of the music business.
The company moved to mid-town Manhattan around May 1910, now working out of a four floor office building at 243 West 42nd Street, right on the fringe of the theater district. By 1915, many other firms would follow Paull to Times Square, which for a time would become a new center of music publishing. E.T. Paull music would remain in that desirable location until 1925. There was a lot of buzz, some of it coming from Paull's publicity machine, about many of his pieces in advance of their publication. In 1910 his ambitious Napoleon's Last Charge, a musical description of the Battle of Waterloo, drew critical acclaim. One description noted that, "a notable passage in the new march, as we can say of personal knowledge, is a bass solo which underlies the harmony that pictures to the listener the awful charge under full headway. This was written into the number by Mr. Paull himself, and makes the march not only of positively distinctive character but increases its merits most remarkably." Similar hype came with his 1912 publication of The Roaring Volcano One typical publicity story read as follows: "The E.T. Paull Music Co., which has won enviable success through the publication of the famous E.T. Paull marches at the rate of about two each year, bids fair to add to its laurels when the latest Paull march, 'Roaring Volcano,' is before the trade and public. Certainly in the new number, Mr. Paull has secured a firmer grip than ever on his honorary title of 'The New March King,' for it is a descriptive piece of fascinating brilliancy and capably arranged for piano and orchestra." In many ways, it was an advancement of his famous The Burning of Rome from 1903, but did not have the same sales success at a time when piano rags and ragtime songs dominated much of the popular market. The brilliant Hoen cover likely saved it from a more tepid retail rate.
A notable release was that of The Egyptian Glide in 1914, which Paull published simultaneously in two different versions. In advertising this piece composed by Syrian born bandleader Alexander Maloof, the publisher was hitting not only on the current trend for one-steps as well as the evolving tango. E.T. Paull (left) participating in an October 1913 flag ceremony in Leipzig, Germany.
"There are two different distinct arrangements of The Egyptian Glide. The special Tango arrangement by Alexander Maloof, and the One Step, Two Step and Trot, by E. T. Paull. There is a descriptive article on the inside of the Tango arrangement that tells where the Tango originated; and tells how the Tango should be danced properly as explained by Vernon Castle, the greatest exponent of modern dances. Many people have a wrong conception of the Tango as a dance." Paull's association with Maloof (who may have also composed as M. Alexander) was important, since the composer and music professor had his own suite of studios at Carnegie Hall at that time.
In 1915 Paull was compelled to pull a 1913 publication from the market, his own Kaiser Jubilee March, which had been published simultaneously in Germany and the United States. The composer had revisited Europe, and Germany in particular, from August to October 1913 for the Kaiser's 25th anniversary, the event for which the march was composed. He participated in another Minute Man ceremony in Leipzig with the unfurling of the American flag at a monument celebrating the battle of Leipzig a century before. Paull and his Minute Men later went to Berlin to meet the Kaiser. The return from this trip on the Bremen could have been his last, as they met with treacherous weather during the thirteen-day voyage that threatened to sink the ship. Following this trip it was clear that the composer held the ruler in high regard, composing the tribute. However, given the growing tensions in war-torn Europe in 1915 and western sentiments turning against Germany, this work with the beautiful cover featuring a relief bust of the monarch was likely viewed as increasingly inappropriate to remain in print.
From late January to mid February 1915, Paull served jury duty for a New York Supreme Court case. His comment on that obligation was that being a good citizen is a long way from being good business. Soon after this he released his ambitious Battle of the Nations in a stunning run of 100,000 copies, one of the first of such pieces associated with the ongoing war in Europe. He also made a couple of ventures into publishing film theme songs at a time when live music was the primary soundtrack for a movie.
The Final March
Adjustments had to be made during "The Great War" around 1917 to 1919, which necessitated conservation of ink and paper. As a result, many of the pieces reissued at this time were cropped from large format size to what is now considered standard format (in response to U.S. Government requests to all publishers). Paull was part of this movement in his role in the Music Publisher's Association, and is mentioned in a series of cables to the London Music Publisher's Association concerning universal adoption of the new format. "June 11, 1918. London Music Publishers' Association, London: National Association of Sheet Music Dealers strongly recommend English publishers adopt nine and a quarter inches by twelve and a quarter inches for sheet music. Same adopted for America. Greatly desire uniform size account shelving and display. Received general public approval here. R. W. HEFFELFINGER, Secretary. June 12, 1918. London Music Publishers' Association, London: Music Publishers' Association, United States, heartily endorses and urges adoption of National Association of Sheet Music Dealers resolution regarding suggested new size sheet music., E. T. PAULL, Secretary."
During the war some Paull publications were even printed without the color plates in a single ink color using the black or top layer stones, showing only the outlines of the famed lithographs. Even so, previously vivid covers like that for The Triumphant Banner still had a high-class quality about them due to the fine illustration work that was the foundation for Paull covers. One Paull march from 1918, Pershing's Crusaders, which was brought out with the permission of the United States Government and the Committee on Public Information, was adopted by the Seventy-seventh Division of the U.S. Army, a great honor for the composer. Another in frequent demand overseas during the war was Hurrah! For the Liberty Boys, Hurrah!. Near the end of the war the composer brought out a new printing of the timely Herald of Peace March from 1914.
Following the end of the conflict, Paull's 1919 entry honored the U.S. allies in the war, Spirit of France. One of the more unusual offerings by the firm in 1919 was Armenian Maid composed by M. Alexander and Wilbur Weeks. It was a characteristic "Oriental song and fox-trot," dedicated to Miss Aurora Mardiganian, an Armenian actress who played herself in the 1919 biographical film Auction of Souls. Included with this sheet was an insert with a picture of the actress and a short history of "some of the trials she and her people went through during the war period." Taking up a cause on behalf of the composers, Paull advertised that a portion of the profits derived from the sale of the number were contributed to the Armenian Relief Fund. On December 20, 1919, Paull's daughter Edna was married to Uriah Carl H. Vinson of Alabama at a spectacular wedding which took place in his palatial Manhattan home on West 143rd Street.
Edward and Gertrude were still shown as living in upper Manhattan in 1920, and Edna and her new husband Carl were lodging with them. E.T. Paull (left) with fellow publishers J. M. Priaulx, Isidor Witmark, E, B. Marks and Michael Keane in 1920.
The ever independent Paull finally joined ASCAP in 1921. He had already been at times the Treasurer, and later the General Secretary of the Music Publisher's Association for well over a decade, and would remain as Secretary until his death. In 1921 he decided to make a second attempt at the piano roll business, after a previous venture in 1916 did not go very far. It was already known that the composer preferred piano rolls of his works over acoustic recordings, because the cylinders and discs were too short to fully accommodate his works when they were played in their entirety. An article in The Music Trade Review of October 29, 1921 stated that, "These rolls carry Mr. Paull's personal conceptions and the individuality of his musical compositions as he would demonstrate them. They are specially prepared arrangements in which D. Edward Miller, one of the best master roll arrangers, has collaborated. They are made on the new Leabarjan electric perforating machines and each roll carries word descriptions that assist materially in playing the rolls in a manner to get the most out of each rendition. At the beginning of each roll is a special large size label which gives full instructions and a clear explanation of each piece, including the 'headings; that follow throughout the roll." Paull was obviously leaving nothing the chance in regards to the proper interpretation of his works.
One more spectacular grand march was released in 1922, although with a colorful cover by the Starmer Brothers rather than the A. Hoen company. Custer's Last Charge actually eclipsed many previous Paull releases with descriptive passages of Native American chants and horses racing through the wind. The Paulls also became grandparents with the birth of Elizabeth P. Vinson that same year. After a flurry of other post-war patriotic victory marches, Paull's business decreased as the buying public started to embrace the jazz age. Fewer people were playing music on their pianos, having gravitated to phonographs or player pianos for personal entertainment. The publisher was stricken for a time, as described in this snippet from The Music Trade Review of February 17, 1923. "E. T. Paull, head of the E. T. Paull Music Co. and secretary of the Music Publishers' Association of the United States, has been absent from his office for over a period of six weeks owing to a severe attack of synovitus rheumatism. While Mr. Paull is slightly improved it is understood he will be unable to be at his office for some time to come." In spite of this temporary health setback, which kept him from releasing any of his own works in 1923, Paull did get back to work later in the year.
Paull's own piano roll line seems to have faded by 1923. Some of his pieces were incorporated into a media concept similar to what Paull had introduced in 1923, this time favored by the QRS Piano Roll Company in their new line of story rolls. These piano rolls fit Paull pieces perfectly with narrative, and possibly some pictures, printed on the paper to describe what was being heard as it played. The QRS story rolls added a great deal of allure to the publisher who was known for his long descriptive narratives printed on the inside cover of many of his more ambitious works. The four hand arrangements had an added element of magnificent scope. He also did not need to worry so much about sales and distribution. Paull responded to the initial batch of four rolls in a letter to Lee S. Roberts of QRS, part of which is quoted here:
I have, as you know, been active in the field of composition a great many years, during which time 1 have shared with my fellow composers that very natural feeling that some of my works, particularly those of a descriptive character, might not convey to the hearer the mental picture that was before me when composing them. These compositions were inspired by historical facts, and I conceived the idea of having stories of these facts printed with the musical score. I reasoned if the song writer enjoyed the privilege of telling his hearers what was in his mind, why not the importance to me.
Recently my attention was called to the Q.R.S. Story Rolls and in them I saw the fulfillment of a long cherished ambition which was to give the player owner my "brain children" in a complete form. I cannot tell you, Mr. Roberts, the sense of gratitude I feel towards your company because of the opportunity thus offered, not only to myself, but my many followers as well. This gratitude has been greatly increased since playing the trial rolls of Napoleon's Last Charge, Paul Revere's Ride, The Burning of Rome and the Battle of Gettysburg, all of which you so kindly sent me yesterday. I want you to know with what keen delight I am looking forward to my other numbers that you have consented to issue in Story Roll form.
In spite of best intentions and a good idea, the story rolls did not fare very well for QRS, and were soon abandoned. Most customers, it seems, preferred lyrics instead, and once the story roll had been "told" the novelty was more or less gone. It is unclear if any further Paull titles were published by QRS in this format.
E.T. Paull's final months were spent publishing a few more pieces, including two of his own. His penultimate release, The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, was heavily advertised as his finest and most dramatic descriptive march yet. "It is based upon the theme adapted from the Book of Revelation. The story evolves around the prophetic vision of St. John of the legendary four horsemen; the first riding a white horse, indicative of peace, prosperity and happiness; the second rider, with sword in hand, is mounted on a red horse, symbolizing the reign of war with ensuing bloodshed and murder; third, the rider on the black horse, signifying depression, sadness and sorrow; and, finally, the pale horse and rider symbolizing famine, terror, frenzy and death, generally known as 'Death on a White Horse.' It is extremely versatile in its nature, ranging from the soft and sweet melody, interpreting joy and happiness, to strong and powerful strains, visualizing war and its horrors." It was perhaps prophetic as well.
The composer remained at his post right up until his death the day before Thanksgiving 1924, from what was initially described as a "stroke of apoplexy." His private funeral on Friday, November 28 was attended by many of his peers in the publishing business, after which Paull was laid to rest in Evergreen Cemetery (a.k.a. Cemetery of the Evergreens) in Brooklyn, New York. In spite of his former success as a publisher, his net estate amounted to only $28,156.62 in addition to the business. One additional march, Top of the World was published more than a year after his death, featuring the last of the colorful lithograph covers that became his legacy. More was promised, and indeed some advertisements pointed out that there were dozens of pieces in the catalog not yet published, but other than Top of the World they did not materialize as the Great Depression approached.
His wife and daughter held on to the company with help from friends for a short time. In February 1925 it was announced that the Richmond Music Supply Corporation, run by Maurice Richmond, had purchased the entire catalog for $25,000. They also obtained the services of Miss Caroline Frank who worked with Paull for many years and was continuing to manage the business activities of the estate. It is important to note that this was the first company that took a chance on the young composer in 1893 when he presented them his first publications in Richmond, Virginia. Within a few years the Paull branch of the company was reorganized into the Paull-Pioneer Publishing Company. They managed to publish three folios of his marches that are nearly as collectible as the individual pieces themselves.
Gertrude moved in with her daughter, granddaughter and son-in-law in Gastonia, North Carolina sometime in the late 1920s. They are shown there in the 1930 Census with Carl working as a manager for F.W. Woolworth. Gertrude died March 18, 1940 in Gastonia at age 75, and was buried next to her late husband in Brooklyn. The remainder of the family held on to whatever copyrights they had until the works slowly passed until the public domain. At this writing that includes all but his last three pieces published in 1924 and 1926. All of Paull's works are highly collectible today, particularly the ones with the Hoen covers. They are just as memorable for how much fun they are to perform as they are as pieces of early 20th century art.
My sincerest thanks must go to leading E.T. Paull historian Wayland Bunnell who contributed a some of the information to this biography in his initial research on the publisher. Wayland owns one of the most complete E.T. Paull collections in existence, over 400 sheets, including those with alternate covers. You can contact him for more information and a catalog of music he has for sale at firstname.lastname@example.org. The remaining information was researched from public