Alexander Tenor Tuba 151 in BbIn the late 60's Tommy Johnson, long time friend and tubist colleague of Roger Bobo, took ownership of an Alexander Tenor tuba and learned quickly the advantages of such an instrument. Particularly, this instrument seemed to be the perfect instrument for Bydlo, the famous tuba solo in the Ravel orchestration of Pictures at an Exhibition by Mussorgsky.
After seeing, hearing and playing this instrument, Roger stopped at the Alexander factory in Frankfurt am Mainz while on vacation, and ordered his own Alexander 151 tenor. Both the Johnson and Bobo tenors are very similar except Roger added a 5th valve to his after his return to Los Angeles. The parts for the 5th valve (valve and tubing) were supplied by Alexander and the addition of the valve to the tuba was done by George Strucel, the horn maker and brass repair.
Other than for Bydlo, this instrument was used frequently, both in the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Television and motion picture studios in Hollywood. It can also be heard on Crystal Records #126 PRUNES in his arrangement of Bach's Air for the G String.
It should also be mentioned that Strucel made a mouthpiece for this tenor tuba which was also very successful. It featured a normal tuba rim, but the cup was quite shallow and far more appropriate for a tenor instrument. Copies of this mouthpiece are available from Yamaha; the Bobo TT model.
There is a very clear parallel with the way a tubist uses a tenor tuba with
the way a trumpet player uses a piccolo trumpet.