Nelson-Wiggen Style 6 Orchestrion

from the Yaffe Collection


The Style 6 was Nelson-Wiggen's most elaborate cabinet-style (keyboardless) orchestrion, and it includes piano, mandolin attachment, xylophone, snare drum, bass drum with tympani effect, cymbal, wood block, tambourine, castanets and triangle. The instrumentation is comparable to that of the popular Seeburg KT Special, but with a more subtle single-stroke xylophone in place of Seeburg's reiterating version.

Oscar Nelson and Peter Wiggen had been engineers and factory supervisors for the J.P. Seeburg Piano Company since its beginning in 1907. They quit working for Seeburg in the early 1920s and opened the Nelson-Wiggen Piano Company in 1922, offering their own line of coin pianos and orchestrions, most of which played styles A and 4X rolls. The 4X roll was similar to the earlier style G roll used by several models of Seeburg orchestrions, but the music was specially arranged for single-stroke xylophones with many short holes playing arpeggios and quickly repeated notes in the style of a human xylophone player, in contrast to the longer holes that played sustained notes on the pipes in earlier Seeburg orchestrions. Late-era Automatic G rolls also incorporated the xylophone arrangements.

The Style 6 is quite rare, having not been introduced to the market until 1926, just a few years before the end of the automatic music era. Only a dozen or so are known to exist. It has separate suction regulators for the piano, xylophone and drums, allowing the loudness of each instrument to be adjusted relative to the others. The rolls played on these recordings here were made during the era in which the Nelson-Wiggen 6 was made, with the exception of G-746, which predates it by one year. The music is presented here in chronological order, to demonstrate how it evolved from the mid-1920s into the early 1930s.

Provenance of this Nelson-Wiggen Style 6 Orchestrion is as follows

Notes by Art Reblitz

Nelson-Wiggen Style 6 Orchestrion

VOL. 1
35 Tracks
Total Time: 71:59


VOL. 2
35 Tracks
Total Time: 69:51


Automatic G-746 (1925)

Capitol G - Unknown Number (Eddie Freyer recut #109X) (1927)

1.Yes Sir, That's My Baby, FT1.My Angeline, W
2.Ah-Ha, OS2.I'm Marching Home to You, FT
3.I Hear You Calling, Pal of Mine, W3.If I Had You, FT
4.If You Knew Suzie, FT4.High On a Hilltop, FT
5.In the Garden of Tomorrow, FT5.All by Yourself in the Moonlight, FT
6.unknown, FT [This is not "Ukelele Baby," as stated on program card)

Clark 4X-277 "Radio Revue #15" (1929)

7.Twilight Shadows, W6.Bigger and better Than Ever, OS
8.Sweet Georgia Brown, FT7.Marianne, FT
9.Stop, You're Ticklin' Me, OS8.He's a Good Man to Have Around, FT
10.Sing Loo, FT9.Love Me, W

Clark 4X-119 "Snappy Favorites" (1926)

10.My Sweeter Than Sweet, FT
11.Masculine Women! Feminine Men!, FT (Played by Pete Wendling)11.Gotta Feelin' for You, FT
12.Pretty Little Baby, FT (pb Wendling)12.Sunny Side Up, FT
13.Let's Talk About My Sweetie, OS (pb Wendling)13.To Be Forgotten, W
14.My Pillow and Me, FT (pb Clarence Williams)14.Can't We Be Friends?, FT
15.Everything's Gonna Be All Right, FT (pb Wendling)15.Turn on the Heat, FT
16.Drifting Apart, FT (pb Wendling)

Clark 4X-326 "Radio Revue #30" (1930)

17. Gypsy Land, FT (pb Charley Ilich & Art Hickman) 16. The One Man Band, FT
18.Maxie Jones (King of the Saxiephones), FT (pb Wendling)17.Overnight, FT
19.As Long As We're in Love (from "Hello Daddy"), FT (pb Art Kahn)18.The Waltz You Saved for Me, W
20.In My Gondola, FT (pb Arden & Kortlander) 19.And Then Your Lips Met Mine, FT

Automatic G-894 (1927)

20.I Want You for Myself, FT
21.The Whisper Song (Pst! Pst! Pst!), FT (pb Wendling)21.Strike Up the Band, FT
22.Hello Cutie, FT (Wendling)22.The Moon is Low, FT
23.It's O.K. Katie with Me, FT (Max Kortlander)23.Anchors Aweigh, FT
24.I Wonder If Someday You'll Want Me Back Again, W (Scott & Watters)24.I Love You So Much, FT
25.Side by Side, FT (Wendling)25.Rockin' Chair, FT
26.I'm In Love Again, FT (Victor Arden)

Clark 4X-357 "Smart and Snappy" (1932)

27.All I Want is You, FT (Wendling)26.I Know You're Lying, But I Love It, FT
28.The Winding Trail, W (Harold Wansborough)27.Where the Lillies of the Valley Grow, FT
29.Since I Found You, FT (Wendling)28.Home on the Range, W
30.Flapperette, FT (Kortlander)29.Got a Date with an Angel, FT

Capitol G - Unknown Number (Eddie Freyer recut #109X) (1927)

30.My Silent Love, FT
31.Button Up Your Overcoat, FT31.Is I In Love? I Is, FT
32.Don't Hold Everything, FT32.In a Shanty in Old Shanty Town, W
33.Mia Bella Rosa, FT33.A Great Big Bunch of You, FT
34.Kansas City Kitty, FT34.Crazy People, FT
35.There's a Place in the Sun for You, FT35.Hello Gorgeous, FT


                     Listen to a sample.......


Nelson Wiggen Style 6



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