Virtually nothing is known about C. Roland Flick other than the few facts given on the sheet music covers of his published works still on public record. Perhaps a minor contributor to the original Tennessee Nashville sound, he is best known in the ragtime community for his Snowball Babe
Since writing the above in 2005, Karen A. Flick, wife of Ronald Flick who is the composer's fist cousin twice removed, has sent me the following information in April, 2012. Thanks a million, Karen!.
Charles Roland Flick was the son of Frederick Flick and Anna Mary Simon. Frederick was a carriage maker/wheelwright and he was the son of Frantz Flick and Margaret Betzer. Frederick was born in Germany January 5, 1835 and died May 22, 1890 in DeWitt County, Texas. He is buried in Hillside Cemetery, Cuero, DeWitt County, Texas. He served in the Civil War as a private in Company "B", 4th Battalion, Texas Artillery (Shea's Battalion) under Daniel D. Shea. Anna Mary Simon was the daughter of Mathias Simon and Caroline Webber. She was born in Germany September 16, 1843 and died June 26, 1912 in DeWitt County, Texas. She is also buried in Hillside Cemetery Cuero, DeWitt County, Texas. Both Frederick Flick and Anna Mary Simon Flick immigrated to the United States in about 1847. Frederick arrived in New Orleans and Anna Mary arrived in Galveston, Texas. Frederick moved to Texas sometime between 1850 and 1860 where he met and married Anna Mary Simon.
Frederick and Anna Mary Flick had 11 children; Alvina (married Henry Joseph Lienhard), Caroline (married Unknown Shield or Shields), Raymond Charles (married Annie Laurie Wasserman), Florence (married Lawrence A. Marshall), Hubert, August Henry (married Elizabeth Leona North), Bertha (married Lawrence A. Marshall--same husband of Florence Flick--Bertha died in 1914), Charles Roland (married Etta Mae Hynds), Paulina Margaret (married Cecil Ralph Matthews), Lydia (married Joseph B. Collins), and Joseph Albert (married Ona L. Barringer).
Charles Roland Flick was born August 27, 1875, in Cuero, DeWitt County, Texas, and died February 2, 1940 in Nashville, Davidson County, Tennessee, of coronary occlusion, arteriosclerosis and hypertension. At the time of his death his occupation was given as salesman for Harden Piano Company. He is buried in Atlanta, Georgia, cemetery unknown. He married Etta Mae Hynds, daughter of Joseph Gentry Hynds and Mary Elizabeth Johnson. Etta was born August 1885 in Atlanta, Georgia, and died June 18, 1947, in Atlanta, Georgia, cemetery unknown. She was a graduate of the Brenan (or Brenau?) Conservatory of Music. Charles and Etta married in June 1906 and there were no children from this union.
Charles Roland Flick received his early music education, studying under Jacob Bloom, in Cuero, Texas and moved to Nashville, Tennessee about 1899. He came from a musical family and was involved in various musical events in and around Galveston and San Antonio, Texas, before he moved to Nashville.
From the Atlanta Constitution newspaper, dated March 3, 1906:
"Mr. Flick, who is a prominent member of Nashville's musical coterie, is a native Texan, his family still living in Houston, Texas. He has made his home here for the past 7 years now, counting Nashville friends by the score. He possesses rare gifts as a musician and as a composer has done very successful work and gained wide reputation. In addition he is a man of much business acumen and ability. He is now connected with the Jesse French Piano Company, and the Arcade Music Publishing Company."
His name is found as a teacher in the college yearbook of Agnes Scott College, Decatur, Georgia in 1920. He taught piano and it stated he received his music education at the Cincinnati Conservatory as a student of Jacob Brown and he also attended the Stern Conservatory in Berlin, Germany, 1903-1904, as a student of Max Donner. His name is also found in the school yearbook for Harpeth High School, Nashville, Tennessee, in 1902, under the heading of "officers of instruction and government." He was listed here as a violin instructor.
In 1910 he and his wife were in Nashville, Tennessee. In 1920 they were in Atlanta, Georgia, and in 1930 they were back in Nashville where he was a salesman in a piano company.
In 1903 he applied for a passport and he gave his physical description as follows: 5' 11", blue eyes, light brown hair, fair complexion, and medium build. He listed his occupation as violinist.
He wrote several pieces including; "Because You Called Me Your Sweetheart" and "The Backward Trail" with lyrics by Alice Whitson Norton, "Wishing" with lyrics by Beth Slater Whitson, "I Want You", "Memories", "Love's Request", and "Fantasie, Opus 13" for piano which he dedicated to his 3 sisters (Lydia, Paulina, and Caroline which were the only sisters that were still living at that time, the other 3 having died before 1940).
Own Library :
||Ragtime Music CDs:
|| on "From the Land of Ragtime"
Muted Strings at Twilight (1909) A/T/T/B/GB(B) Oriental Carnival (1899) A/T/T/B/GB(B) Snowball Babe (1900) A/T+D/T/B/GB(B)
Further sheet music at DBE: ON HOLD