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When researching at the Carnegie Library in Pittsburgh, I stumbled across
letters between William Reitz and the Pittsburgh orchestra's manager, W.J.
Mossman.  Tim Williams of their staff was kind enough to send me copies.
I'm sharing the bits about him going to the Victor Orchestra.

July 11, 1909, from Reitz.  I'm writing to you to see if I can have my
contract annulled...for the 1909-1910 season.  I have been offered the
position with the Victor Talking Machine Company of Philadelphia at a weekly
salary of $ 60.00 with two week vacation with pay.

July 15, 1909, from Mossman.  We are awfully sorry to loose you..but since
"His Master's Voice" has called you, I suppose you must sit up and bark at
one of those machines at $ 60 per week... P.S. What in thunder do they want
a bass drummer for, or are you going to wrestle baggage for them?

July 28, 1909, from Reitz.  They play an orchestra of 12 men...and the
drummer also contributes xylophone and bell solos.  

It is worth noting that this just about doubled Reitz's weekly salary.  In
Pittsburgh, the orchestra played for a much shorter season with no vacation
pay.  And 1909-1910 was the orchestra's final season.   

 

Steve Smolian