The Roller Organ Cob Handbook

by Richard Dutton1)

Cobs #1101-1200

Introduction

The cobs in the #1101-1200 numerical range were originally issued over a period from about 1898 to about 1915 (see discussion below). They once again contain an interesting variety of music, but this time nearly sixty of the pieces on them are American popular songs, cakewalks and ragtime tunes that were new at the time; the only “old chestnut” that had already been around for decades among the popular songs was the 1852 “tear jerker” “Lilly Dale” on cob #1192. Four cobs contain marches, including John Philip Sousa’s “El Capitan March” divided between two cobs, #1125 and 1126. There are five Polish patriotic pieces on cobs #1147-1151, which were very likely issued around the time of a revolution in Poland in 1905, and just a handful of other foreign pieces, two of them Welsh national songs on cobs #1108 (“Llwyn Onn” (“The Ash Grove”)) and #1111 (“Land of our Fathers”). In addition, there is the usual sprinkling of operatic, classical and semi-classical pieces and traditional dance tunes, including “Fisher’s Hornpipe” on cob #1131 and “Turkey in the Straw” on cob #1172.

The large concentration of popular songs in this numerical range reflects the growth, beginning in the 1890s and continuing into the first decade of the twentieth century, of Tin Pan Alley, the New York-based group of music publishers who adopted new and aggressive methods of promoting sales of sheet music, including sending out “pluggers” to push particular songs by performing them in various public venues and providing free copies of sheet music or even cash payments or other benefits to performers of the day to induce them to include particular songs in their repertoire (Isaac Goldberg, in his wonderful and entertaining 1930 book Tin Pan Alley: A Chronicle of American Popular Music, summarized it nicely by saying that in the pre-Tin Pan Alley days, popular music publishing had been “more or less a sporadic affair”, with song successes resulting from “the will of God rather than the will of the publisher”; the music publishing business was “largely passive” and “the public came to the song”, but “shortly there would be a reversal of roles” and “the song would be sent out to pursue the public”). Tin Pan Alley exerted enormous influence on American taste in popular music and was responsible for the greatly increased volume of sales of sheet music during the late 1890s and early 1900s, with song after song achieving the status of a “million seller”.

Assuming that the cobs in the #1101-1200 range were all issued in numerical order, which was almost certainly the case, it is possible to determine from the copyright dates of the sheet music for the then-new American popular songs and instrumental pieces in the range the approximate years during which the cobs in the range were first issued. The song on cob #1101, “She Was Bred in Old Kentucky”, the first cob in the range, dates from 1898, so no cob with a higher number could have first been issued any earlier than that year, while the latest copyright date of any American popular song or instrumental piece in the range is 1915, the date of “I Didn’t Raise my Boy to Be a Soldier” on cob #1197. If you list the cob numbers for all of the then-new American popular songs and instrumental pieces in the range that had a copyright date of one of the years in the period from 1898 to 1915 and then arrange them in order of copyright date, it becomes clear that the cobs in the range must have been issued gradually over roughly that period, with only three or four new cobs issued in some years, a much larger number of new cobs issued in or shortly after both 1905 and 1911 and no new cobs issued for approximately a year in about 1910 and again for approximately the period from 1912 through 1914:

1898: #1101, 1104, 1117, 1118, 1123

1899: #1112, 1114, 1116, 1124

1900: #1129, 1130, 1132, 1133

1901: #1134, 1135, 1139

1902: #1136, 1137, 1138, 1143

1903: #1140, 1141, 1144, 1164

1904: #1146

1905: #1145, 1152, 1153, 1154, 1156, 1157, 1158, 1159, 1160, 1163, 1165, 1167, 1168, 1170

1906: #1155, 1161, 1162, 1191

1907: #1173, 1177, 1198

1908: #1176, 1179

1909: #1174, 1178, 1184

1911: #1180, 1181, 1183, 1185, 1186, 1187, 1188

1915: #1197

After cob #1188, which completes a lengthy run of mostly 1911 popular songs, there was a switch first to what might be called “miscellaneous” older pieces (the familiar “Wedding March” from Mendelssohn’s incidental music to “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” on cob #1190, the 1906 “stage Irish” popular song “Where the River Shannon Flows” on cob #1191 and the 1852 American “tear jerker” “Lilly Dale” on cob #1192). After that, however, follows a run of four English songs related to Britain’s involvement in World War I, which began in 1914: #1193, “It’s a Long Way to Tipperary”, a music hall song which became associated with British soldiers longing for home; #1194, “Rule Britannia”, which has been called “a second British national anthem”; #1195, “The Lads in Navy Blue”, which sings the praises of the British Navy; and #1196, “The Soldiers of the King” (originally “The Soldiers of the Queen“), which sings the praises of the British Army. All were presumably issued between 1912, the date of “It’s a Long Way to Tipperary”, and 1915, the date of “I Didn’t Raise my Boy to Be a Soldier” on cob #1197, and might have been made with the intention of selling them in the British Isles where, we know, cob roller organs were marketed (See the introduction to the section on cobs #401-500).

As for the pieces on the five Polish cobs, the lyrics to two of them appear in the same collection of Polish songs with the translated English title “Great Polish Songbook”, published in Krakow in 1919, which includes the lyrics for nine out of ten of the Polish songs in the 1001-1100 numerical range. The only pieces in this numerical range about which I was unable to obtain definitive information, however, are two of the other Polish ones, “Krakowiak” (which is a type of Polish folk dance in which the dancers also sing) on cob #1149 and “Na Barykady” [“To the Barricades”] on cob #1151.

Most of the labels on 20-note roller organ cobs were red with black lettering, although the earliest labels on the very lowest-numbered cobs were black with gold lettering (These black-labeled cobs are extremely rare). Beginning with cob #1186, however, the Autophone Company began using tan instead of red labels for all newly-issued cobs as well as many of the lower-numbered cobs that it was still manufacturing. Accordingly, all cobs in the #1187-1298 numerical range have tan labels, and cobs in the #1-1186 range generally have red labels but some can be found with either red or tan labels.

As for the relative scarcity of the cobs in the #1101-1200 numerical range, because they did not first appear until 1898-1915 they were not available for purchase for as long a time as some of the lower-numbered cobs were. Nevertheless, some of them contained pieces of music that were extremely popular, and these cobs, at least, were sold in large numbers. Therefore, while there are no cobs in this numerical range with a scarcity rating of MC (“most common”), there are two, those containing the very popular songs “Break the News to Mother” (cob #1102) and “In the Good Old Summertime” (cob #1136), with a scarcity rating of VC (“very common”) and there are another 13 with a scarcity rating of C (“common”). More than half of them, however, 51, have a scarcity rating of LC (“less common”) and 28 have a scarcity rating of S (“scarce”). Another 5 have a scarcity rating of VS (“very scarce”) and there is one cob in the range with a scarcity rating of “N” (“no known copy”), #1151, the obscure Polish patriotic song “Na Barakady”.

Cobs #1101-1110

#1101 - She was Bred in Old Kentucky, Scarcity: C
There is sheet music in UM with a copyright date of 1898 for this once extremely popular song, which is described on the cover as a “charming ballad of sentiment”. The lyrics were credited to “Harry Braisted”, the pretty, lively and interesting tune was credited to “Stanley Carter”, the publisher was Joseph W. Stern & Co. in New York (see notes to cobs #1064, 1067 and 1071) and there is a notation at the top of the cover “The reigning success of the season—over 200,000 copies already sold”. “Harry Braisted” and “Stanley Carter” were the pseudonyms of a pair of songwriters named Harry B. Berdan (1870-1947) and Frederick J. Redcliffe (probably 1870-1946). According to FS, at the time they wrote the song they were partners in a printing concern and they adopted their pseudonyms “to avoid confusion”. The 1898 New York City Directory contains separate entries for Berdan and Redcliffe, in each case with the occupation “printer” and a business address of 156 Fifth Avenue as well as a home address of 14 Perry Street, so that they apparently lived as well as worked together, and the 1900 U.S. Census record also shows them as both living at the same address, each with the occupation “lithographer”, Berdan as having been born in November, 1870 and Redcliffe as having been born in June, 1870. FS reports that the duo set out to write a sentimental ballad that would be as successful as the songs of Paul Dresser (see notes to cobs #1058 and 1090), who was at the time regarded as the greatest writer of such songs, and that the title came to Berdan in connection with Redcliffe’s purchase of a horse, whose owner said that “she was bred in old Kentucky”. In the first verse, the singer recalls the day he asked his beloved’s mother for her hand in marriage and in the chorus the mother responds, praising her Kentucky-bred daughter and telling the singer he is very lucky to marry such a girl. In the second verse the singer, years later, says his beloved died that day, ending their long and happy marriage, and her mother’s laudatory chorus about her is then repeated. Despite the great popularity of the song, neither Berdan nor Redcliffe followed music as a career. 1905 and 1915 New Jersey Census records show Berdan, at ages 34 and 44, born in December (rather than November), 1870, living in Long Branch, New Jersey, with the occupations “printer” and “publisher”, respectively, while 1920 and 1930 U.S. Census records show him at ages 49 and 59, living in Long Branch (1920) and Oceanport (1930), New Jersey, with the occupations “salesman—stationery” and “salesman—envelopes”, respectively. An obituary article in the November 17, 1947 edition of the Asbury Park [New Jersey] Press reported Berdan’s death at age 76 the previous day at his home in Port-au-Peck (a section of Oceanport) and noted that he had lived there for 25 years and spent his winters in Florida, but made no mention of his ever having been a songwriter. The 1880 U.S. Census records show Redcliffe as age 8, living in New Haven, Connecticut, where his father had a restaurant, and the 1902 Catalogue of the Trustees, Rectors, Instructors and Alumni of Hopkins Grammar School of New Haven, Connecticut, a well-known prep school that continues to exist today, lists Frederick John Redcliffe of the Class of 1888 as having attended the school from 1882 to 1888. A Massachusetts marriage record shows Redcliffe’s marriage on August 27, 1902 in Brockton, Massachusetts (where his wife Minnie was born), age 35, born in New Haven, Connecticut, occupation “lithographer”, while the 1910 U.S. Census records show him as age 42, living in Manhattan, with the occupation “printer”, the 1920 U.S. Census records show him as age 49, again living in Manhattan, with the occupation “general manager—shipyard” and the 1940 U.S. Census records show him as age 69, living in Manhattan, with no occupation listed. A New York City death record shows the death of a Frederick Redcliffe in Manhattan on April 24, 1946, giving his age at death as 84. Although, as is so often the case, the ages given for Redcliffe in the different census records, his marriage record and his death record are not consistent with one another, the record from Hopkins of his class year and the years he was a student there and the 1900, 1920 and 1940 U.S. Census records are all consistent with his having been born in June, 1870, as stated in the 1900 Census records.

#1102 - Break the News to Mother, Scarcity: VC
This is still another song that became extremely popular in the 1890s and was written, composed and published by Charles K. Harris (1867-1930) (see also the notes to cobs #600 and 2016 (on which his best-known song, “After the Ball”, appeared), 1055, 1086 and 2036). It is again a “tear-jerker” and the two verses tell the story of a soldier who is mortally wounded while under fire as he attempts to raise a fallen American flag; the general praises him upon hearing of his valor, only then to discover that the soldier is his own son, who, unbeknownst to the general, had run away from home. In the chorus, the singer is the fallen soldier, giving the message he wants to be relayed to his mother. There is a copy of the sheet music for the song in LL with a copyright date of 1897.

#1103 - Bolero from Fencing Master, Scarcity: S
The lively uptempo piece on this cob is from the 1892 operetta “The Fencing Master”, with music by Reginald De Koven (1859-1920) and a libretto by Harry B. Smith (1860-1936). Three songs from the same operetta appeared on Grand cob #2041 (no copy of which is known to exist) and four songs from the 1890 operetta “Robin Hood”, also with music by De Koven and a libretto by Smith, appeared on Grand cob #2012. De Koven was born in Connecticut, graduated from Oxford, studied with several prominent European musical figures of the day, and after returning to the United States became a composer as well as a music critic. A biography of him in the March 25, 1901 edition of The Indianapolis News included the wry comments that “Though personally he has to stagger under the weight of a monocle, his music is popular with the public”, “Some of the critics constantly call Mr. DeKoven’s music ‘reminiscent’” and “It has been claimed by Mr. DeKoven’s friends that, while he is not the most popular man on earth, he is far from being the stiff, supercilious being he is sometimes pictured”. “The Fencing Master” takes place in fifteenth-century Italy and its plot, too complicated to summarize here, centers around the daughter of a fencing master who has been brought up as a boy. The bolero tune is from Item no. 20 in the score (“Duet and Chorus”) in Act III. De Koven included at the bottom of the first page of the piece in the score the note “A portion of the above theme is taken from a Spanish popular air”. References: OC; EM; see also the notes to cob #2012 for further details about De Koven

#1104 - Gabriella Brown, March Song, Scarcity: LC
United States copyright records show that a copyright filing was made during April, 1898 for a piece with the title “Gabriella Brown is Back in Town, March Song” with words and music by Kelso and Joseph Dickson Murdock, published by Groene Music Publishing Co. in Cincinnati, Ohio. There are Ohio death records for both Kelso Murdock and Joseph Dickson Murdock, who were cousins. The record for Kelso gives his date of birth as November 21, 1868, his place of birth as Cincinnati, Ohio, his date of death as December 13, 1937 and his occupation as Vice President and Treasurer of the Murdock Manufacturing and Supply Co., and the record for Joseph gives his date of birth as October 1, 1869, his place of birth as Cincinnati, Ohio, his date of death as January 4, 1907, and his occupation as Vice President of the Murdock Manufacturing and Supply Co. According to an obituary article about Kelso Murdock in the December 14, 1937 issue of the Cincinnati Enquirer, he had organized the company in 1906 with another cousin and it was a plumbing, gas and steam fixture concern that also manufactured a type of drinking fountain that was invented by Kelso Murdock and was often placed on street corners and in public parks. The piece on this cob is, therefore, once again a work by amateur songwriters who pursued careers in commerce rather than music. I have not yet seen sheet music for it, but it was described in one of only a handful of references to it in 1898 newspapers as “the latest ‘c—n song’ out…said to be a fine one” (August 27, 1898 edition of the Newton [Kansas] Daily Republican) (On the subject of “c—n songs”, see also the notes to cobs #1083 and 1085).

#1105 - Romance from Anne Boleyn, Scarcity: S
It is once again a surprise to find this piece from an opera that was almost seventy years old at the time in the midst of then-new popular songs from the late 1890s. “Anna Bolena”, first performed in Milan in 1830, was the first opera by Italian composer Gaetano Donizetti (1797-1848) to achieve widespread acclaim. Its plot was based on the events just prior to the execution of Anna (Anne Boleyn), the second wife of Enrico (King Henry VIII of England), in 1536. Near the beginning of Act I, Anna is brooding in her chambers and asks her court musician, Smeton (Smeaton), to sing and he is given a harp to accompany himself and sings the aria “Deh! Non voler costringere”. The aria appears in item 3 in the score, which is titled “Scena e romanza” (“Scene and romance”), and its lovely tune was nicely adapted for this cob. Reference: GD

#1106 - Premier March (Two Step), Scarcity: LC
I have once again found references to sheet music for a piece with the same title as the piece on this cob from the right time period, but I have not yet seen a copy of the actual sheet music to verify that the two pieces are the same. There is a piece dating from 1898 with the title “The Premier. March and Two Step” composed by Bert R. Anthony (1876-1923) with sheet music published in Fall River, Massachusetts, and since the other new songs immediately preceding this one in this numerical range (on cobs #1101, 1102 and 1104) date from 1898 and 1897, this is an appropriate date for the tune on this cob. Anthony was a music teacher and music publisher in Fall River who put together collections of simple pieces for piano students as well as composing a number of works, including some that were played by John Philip Sousa’s Band. References: Notice in the April 23, 1901 edition of the Fall River Daily News that sheet music for a number of Anthony’s pieces including “Premier March” was for sale, adding that two of his pieces had been played by Sousa’s Band when it performed in Fall River; U.S. Census records showing Anthony (listed in 1880, age 3, as “Bertie” and in 1910 as “Herbert”) living in Fall River with the occupation “piano salesman” (1900) and “publisher—music” (1910); Fall River street directories showing Anthony at a number of different addresses there with the occupation “clerk” (1897-1902), “music publisher” (with his younger brother Howard) (1903-1909, 1911-1915), “music teacher” (1910-1916), “Knickerbocker Studio for Dancing” (1917-1918) and “piano teacher” (1919-1923); death notice in the June 19, 1923 edition of the Fall River Daily News reporting that Herbert R. Anthony had died the previous day aged 46 years, 9 months and 8 days

#1107 - Georgia Campmeeting (Two Step), Scarcity: C
[With regard to this cob, see the WARNING AND HISTORICAL CONTENT DISCLAIMER about songs containing offensive language or negative stereotypes at the end of the General Introduction to this Handbook.] This very well-known and lively dance tune, with the full title “At a Georgia Campmeeting”, dates from 1897, was both composed and published by Kerry Mills (1869-1948) and is a cakewalk, that is, the kind of tune that was played for the then-popular dance based on the fancy strutting steps African-American couples would perform in slavery times to compete for the prize of a cake (see also the notes to cob #1085). At the top of the first interior page of the sheet music, a copy of which is in LL, the following comment was included, apparently written by Mills himself: “This March was not intended to be part of the Religious Exercises “At a Georgia Campmeeting” - but when the young folks got together they felt as if they needed some amusement. A Cake Walk was suggested, and held in a quiet place nearby - hence this Music.” When the ragtime music craze quickly swept through the United States and then the rest of the world in the late 1890s, distinctions among cakewalks, true piano rags of the type composed by Scott Joplin (see the notes to cob #1175) and uptempo African-American dialect songs became quickly blurred so that by 1900 we find this piece referred to as a “rag-time hit” and Mills referred to as one of the major figures in ragtime music on the basis of his having composed it. He was born Frederick Allen Mills in Philadelphia, was trained as a violinist, and had been a professor of music before becoming extremely successful writing and publishing pieces in a more popular vein. “At a Georgia Campmeeting” was published by his music publishing firm, F. A. Mills, in New York. Two of his other greatest successes also appeared on the cob roller organ, “Whistling Rufus” on cob #1116 and “Red Wing” on cob #1173. References: OC, RA

#1108 - Llwyn Onn (The Ash Grove—Welsh), Scarcity: VS
This traditional Welsh tune has been arranged and adapted in many versions, both as an instrumental piece and as a song with a variety of differing lyrics in both Welsh and English. The tune is quite familiar and well-known and it is therefore surprising that this cob has a scarcity rating of VS (“very scarce”). The most likely explanation for this is that some lists of available cobs gave only the Welsh title, “Llwyn Own [sic]”, for the piece or omitted the cob completely because of its unrecognizable title and roller organ owners accordingly either did not recognize the title and select the cob or were not even given the opportunity to select it. Reference: John Owen, arr., Gems of Welsh Melody (London, Simpkin, Marshall & Co., and Wrexham, Hughes & Son, 1880) (includes several versions of the piece with both Welsh and English words)

#1109 - The Waterfall (Wasserfall, Tyrolien song), Scarcity: S
This is a Tyrolean song in which a couple sings about how they pledged their love to one another at a beautiful spot next to a bubbling waterfall. There are two slightly different editions of sheet music for it as arranged by “Miss Alice Siedler”, both published by the Boston music publisher White, Smith & Co. and both with the title in German as well as English (“Der Wasserfall” and “The Waterfall’), a copyright date of 1878 and English and German lyrics. One is in MN and the other is in DU. Alice Siedler was a singer and actress who was mentioned in a number of Boston and New York newspaper advertisements and theatre reviews during the period from 1868 through 1880; she was sometimes referred to as “the popular songstress” and billed as a singer of ballads. In the March 24, 1879 edition of the Boston Post, for example, it was noted that she played opposite the well-known “Dutch” (German) comedian Gus Williams (see notes to cobs #175 and 1005) in a burlesque based on Gilbert and Sullivan’s “H.M.S. Pinafore” at Tony Pastor’s Theatre in New York.

#1110 - Flower Song, Scarcity: LC
Many who may not know the piece on this cob by its title would nevertheless recognize it because of its frequent use over the years as background music to accompany heart-wrenching scenes in melodramas as well as parodies of such scenes. It was written by Gustave Lange (1830-1889), a very prolific German composer of salon pieces for the piano who lived for much of his life in Berlin. Its German title was “Blumenlied” and it was his opus 39. References: BB, MN (sheet music for the piece from Schirmer’s “Favorite Compositions for the Pianoforte” series with a copyright date of 1884; based on the opus number, however, the piece dated from much earlier)

Cobs #1111-1120

#1111 - Land of My Fathers (Welsh), Scarcity: S
The piece on this cob is the Welsh national anthem. Its title, in Welsh, is “Hen Wlad fy Nhadau”, its music was composed in 1856 by James James (1832-1902), a harpist, and its lyrics, in Welsh, were written in the same year by his father, Evan James (1809-1878), a weaver, wool merchant and sometime poet. Both lived in the town of Pontypridd near Cardiff in Wales. During the next several decades the piece become more and more popular through its performance and its publication in print, and a vocal version of the piece was recorded by the Gramophone Company as one of its first offerings in the Welsh language in 1899, also the probable year of first issuance of the cob (based on the fact that the piece on the next cob, #1112, dates from that year), which invites speculation as to whether the recording or the cob came first and whether the issuance of one influenced the issuance of the other. References: John Owen, arr., Gems of Welsh Melody (London, Simpkin, Marshall & Co., and Wrexham, Hughes & Son, 1880) (sheet music for the piece with both the Welsh words and two different versions of English words, one version by Owen; the piece had first been published in an earlier version of the same work (the First Series, in 1860)); Dictionary of National Biography, Second Supp., Vol. II, p. 361 (1912) (entry on James James)

#1112 - Hello—Ma Baby, Scarcity: LC
[With regard to this cob, see the WARNING AND HISTORICAL CONTENT DISCLAIMER about songs containing offensive language or negative stereotypes at the end of the General Introduction to this Handbook.] There is sheet music in NP for this 1899 song with words and music by Joe (Joseph E.) Howard (1867?-1961) and Ida Emerson (1878?-?), who were at one time husband and wife and who performed together in vaudeville as Howard and Emerson. It is another song with lyrics in dialect and the cover of the sheet music shows an African-American man and woman in opposite corners, each talking on the telephone; the singer is the man, who knows his new sweetheart only from telephone conversations. The piece is regarded as one of the most notable early songs in the “ragtime” genre; in fact, as was mentioned in the notes to cob #1083, Edward Berlin, in RA, described it as one of the three “c—n songs” of the 1890s most frequently identified as “ragtime”, and in the chorus the singer does call his telephone girlfriend “ma ragtime gal”. It is another song (see the notes to cob #1111) that was recorded in 1899, in this case on both cylinder and disc. Additional references: article in the June 22, 1899 edition of the [Norfolk] Virginian-Pilot reporting that Howard and Emerson sold the rights to “Hello—Ma Baby” to the sheet music publisher, “T. B. Harris & Co.” (the name was actually Harms, not Harris), for only five dollars; numerous newspaper articles over many years containing often inconsistent information about Howard and Emerson including where and when Howard was born, their ages when they met, and when and for how long they were married, probably attributable in part to careless and inaccurate reporting but also attributable in part to exaggerations and even fabrications by the garrulous and often-interviewed Howard, who continued to be a prominent figure in the entertainment world for many decades after his divorce from Emerson, who performed separately from him for many years but ultimately was remembered primarily as one of his many ex-wives; see, for example, an article in the April 11, 1916 edition of the Chicago Tribune containing details about Howard’s marital history to that point (his then-wife had just committed suicide), including Howard and Emerson’s elopement and marriage and his subsequent infatuation with an actress named Mabel Barrison and divorce from Emerson; article in the August 10, 1924 edition of the St. Louis Globe-Democrat including details of Howard and Emerson’s rocky relationship and reporting that they were married in 1894 and divorced in 1906; interview in the July 12, 1925 edition of the Philadelphia Inquirer in which Howard said that he was only 19 when he married Emerson and she was a widow, nine years older than him, with three children, which, in light of other verifiable ages and dates for both of them, clearly was not true; obituary articles in a number of newspapers following Howard’s sudden death on stage after performing in a charity concert in 1961 giving his age, variously, as 79, 82, 83 and even 94, which is consistent with sources such as EM and OA that give his birth year as 1867 (BW, BU and OC, by contrast, give the year as 1878, and his wife at the time of his death, Miriam, described in some of the obituary articles as his “ninth wife”, who was present when he died, insisted that he was only 79, but this would have made him only about 12 when advertisements for performances by Howard and Emerson first appeared in newspapers in 1894); article in the September 1, 1940 edition of the Pittsburgh Press which quoted at length from Howard in which he said that at that time he was 73, which would be consistent with an 1867 birth year; announcement in the August 28, 1909 edition of The New York Dramatic Mirror that Ida Emerson and fellow burlesque performer Harry Hills had been married the previous week; 1910 U.S. Census record showing Ida and her husband Harry living with her mother and her mother’s husband in Manhattan, giving her age as 31 and her occupation as “actress”; 1915 and 1925 New York State Census records and 1920, 1930 and 1940 U.S. Census records, all showing Ida and Harry as living in Freeport, Long Island, New York and giving her ages as 37, 47, 42, 56 (inconsistent with the other ages and presumably an error) and 61, respectively, which together pinpoint her birth year as 1878; other online sources that, without citing any authority, give her year of birth as 1873 and year of death as 1945, although I have found no corroborating evidence for either of these dates

#1113 - High Born Lady, Scarcity: LC
[With regard to this cob, see the WARNING AND HISTORICAL CONTENT DISCLAIMER about songs containing offensive language or negative stereotypes at the end of the General Introduction to this Handbook.] The full title of this lively 1896 song is “My Gal is a High-Born Lady” and there is sheet music for it in NP. On the cover is a caricatured dressed-up African-American couple, the man in a top hat and tails, and in the lyrics, which are in dialect, the singer says that he will be married that evening to his “high born lady” at what will be a grand event attended by important figures in the African-American community. The cover of the sheet music refers to the piece as “the new c—n hit” and “a swell colored affair in verse & song” and there is a list on the inside cover headed “C—n Songs” including the piece and eighteen other then popular pieces for which sheet music was published by the publisher, M. Witmark & Sons (With regard to such songs, see also the notes to cob #1083). Both the lyrics and music were by Barney Fagan (1850-1937), a well-known Irish-American dancer who performed in minstrel shows (MM said he was “justly recognized as the world’s greatest general dancer”). According to FS, he wrote and composed the piece while cycling one morning along the shore of Lake Michigan in Chicago and sold it to the publisher for a hundred dollars in cash the same day. Additional references: OC; obituary article in the January 13, 1937 edition of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reporting that Fagan died the day before on his eighty-seventh birthday, penniless, although he at one time earned $1,000 per week

#1114 - Smoky Mokes, Scarcity: LC
[With regard to this cob, see the WARNING AND HISTORICAL CONTENT DISCLAIMER about songs containing offensive language or negative stereotypes at the end of the General Introduction to this Handbook.] There is sheet music in LL for this lively 1899 piece, subtitled “Cakewalk and Two-Step” (see the notes to cobs #1085 and 1107). On the cover is a photograph of the faces of a group of four African-American boys and although the piece is an instrumental there is a notation that the same publisher, Feist and Frankenthaler in New York City, also published sheet music for a song version “with Humorous D—y Text”. There is a copy of the sheet music for this version in MN but the lyrics, in dialect and by W. Murdoch Lind, although they may have seemed humorous to some in 1899, are once again objectionable by today’s standards because they refer to African-Americans using offensive slang terms and depict them using gratuitously negative stereotypes. The opening lines of the first verse are an invitation to come down to the old Town Hall, where there is going to be a cakewalk which competitors known as “the Smoky Mokes” are expected to win, and later in the verse is the line “Strike up de old ragtime”, once again reflecting the blurring of the distinctions between cakewalks and ragtime music by the late 1890s. The word “moke” itself is, according to The Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang (1997), a slang term for an African-American or other dark-skinned person, “usually used contemptuously and considered offensive”. The tune was written by Abe (Abraham) Holzmann (1874-1939), a native of New York who worked as a staff composer and manager with music publishing firms and later as advertising manager of the publication International Musician. Additional references: OC; article in the July 25, 1920 edition of the Brooklyn Standard Union titled “How Leo Feist Became a Music Publisher” in which Feist tells how when he first started out in the business he induced a pianist working with him (meaning Holzmann, whom he did not name in the interview) to write a cakewalk and the pianist wanted to title it “Echoes from the South”, but he (Feist) chose the name “Smoky Mokes” instead

#1115 - Eli Green's Cake Walk, Scarcity: C
[With regard to this cob, see the WARNING AND HISTORICAL CONTENT DISCLAIMER about songs containing offensive language or negative stereotypes at the end of the General Introduction to this Handbook.] The piece on this cob is still another cakewalk and there is sheet music for it in NP with a copyright date of 1896 including lyrics in dialect and sheet music for it in LL with a copyright date of 1898 and no lyrics. The tune was composed by Sadie Koninsky (1879?-1952), a musically talented young Jewish woman who lived in upstate Troy, New York, and was still in her teens when she submitted it for publication to the Joseph W. Stern music publishing firm in New York City (see the notes to cob #1064), which published both the 1896 and 1898 versions. References: Obituary article in the January 2, 1952 edition of the [Troy] Times Record identifying her as the last member of a prominent Troy musical family and stating that she had composed over 300 pieces and had been a violinist as well as a music publisher and teacher; 1880 U.S. Census record listing her (under the name “Sarah”) as living in Troy with her parents, age 3; 1900 U.S. Census record again listing her as living with her parents in Troy, age 20, born in August, 1879, occupation “musician”; later U.S. Census records which do not include a date of birth and give ages for her that are inconsistent with her ages as given in the 1880 and 1900 records and are also inconsistent with one another: 1910: age 27—“publisher, songs”, 1920: age 42—“music publisher”, 1930: age 46—“musician”, and 1940: age 59—“teacher, music” (In the 1910, 1930 and 1940 records she was listed as younger than she would have been even if she had been born in 1879, which would have made her even younger than 17 in 1896 when this song was first published, which is unlikely); 1905 New York State Census record giving her age as 26 and occupation “musician”; New York State Department of Health death record listing her age at the time of her death in Troy on January 2, 1952 as 73 (The upshot of all of this is that (1) since she was listed in the 1880 Census she could not have been born after that date and her age in that Census was given as 3, suggesting a birth date in 1876 or 1877, (2) the listing in the 1900 Census is the most specific in giving her birth date as August, 1879 and age as 20 and the listing in the 1905 Census also points to a birth year of 1879, but if this were correct she would have been less than a year old, not 3, in 1880, and (3) if she had attained the age of 73 when she died on January 2, 1952, her birth year would have been 1878, not 1879, unless she were born on January 1 or 2, 1879, and the 1920 Census record is also consistent with an 1878 rather than 1879 birth year)

#1116 - Whistling Rufus, Scarcity: C
[With regard to this cob, see the WARNING AND HISTORICAL CONTENT DISCLAIMER about songs containing offensive language or negative stereotypes at the end of the General Introduction to this Handbook.] This very well-known and lively dance tune, once again a cakewalk, dates from 1899 and, like “At a Georgia Campmeeting” (see notes to cob #1107), was both composed and published by Kerry Mills (1869-1948). By the following year, as noted in RA, it was referred to as a “rag-time hit” and Mills was referred to as one of the major figures in ragtime music on the basis of his having composed it. The cover of the sheet music, a copy of which is in NP, depicts a caricatured African-American in a top hat, tails and spats whistling while he accompanies himself on a guitar and the lyrics, in dialect, describe an old African-American musician named Rufus Blossom who is known as “the One Man Band”, were written by W. Murdoch Lind, who also wrote the lyrics to “Smoky Mokes” on cob #1114, and once again include slang terms for African-Americans and gratuitously negative stereotypes of them that would be objectionable today. Additional references: OC, RH (noting that it was one of the rag tunes most frequently issued on 78 R.P.M. records from 1897 through 1958, having been recorded 42 times; other tunes in the list that also appeared on the cob roller organ are “At a Georgia Campmeeting” (24 times), “Smoky Mokes” (24 times), “Creole Belles” (cob #1132; 15 times) and “Red Rose Rag” (cob #1183; 10 times))

#1117 - Just as the Sun went Down, Scarcity: C
By contrast with the lively cakewalk tunes on the preceding few cobs, the piece on this cob is a “tear jerker”, although the tune is not gloomy-sounding. There is a copy of the 1898 sheet music for it in LL that gives as its subtitle “A Pathetic Incident of War Time” and shows “Lyn Udall” as both the writer and composer. The lyrics tell of two soldiers who died side by side on the battlefield “just as the sun went down”, one holding a lock of the white hair of his mother and the other holding a lock of the brown hair of his sweetheart. “Lyn Udall” was a pseudonym of John H. (Henry) Keating (1870-1963), who was born in Council Bluffs, Iowa, attended Notre Dame University and, during his long life, lived for many years in the Portland, Oregon area and later for many years in Venice, California. Among the numerous songs for which he wrote the lyrics and/or composed the tunes, four from the late 1890s were especially popular, and in each case more than a million copies of the sheet music for them were reportedly sold. One of them was this song and another was “Just One Girl” on cob #1118. Despite this success, however, Keating worked for much of his life in fields other than songwriting. An article in the September 5, 1913 edition of the Coos Bay [Oregon] Times titled “Keating on Songs” described him as formerly the “longtime manager of the North Bend [Milk] Condensary”, a local business, and at that time a “Portland real estate man,…of the St. Charles Land Company” who had also written over 200 songs, and reported that Keating had at that time retired from song writing and had said that because of changes in both the music business and the type of song that was then popular it had become a “poor paying business”, with songwriters receiving royalties of only one-fifth of what they had received fifteen years earlier. Additional references: OC; ASCAP Biographical Dictionary of Composers, Authors and Publishers (3rd ed., 1966); 1880 U.S. Census record showing Keating, age 10, living in Council Bluffs with his parents; 1900 U.S. Census record showing him as age 30, again in Council Bluffs living with his mother, his sister and her husband, with the occupation “music composer” (although before then he was already living in Portland, Oregon; he is listed in Portland city directories as a railroad freight clerk living in that city in 1893-1898); 1901 Portland city directory listing him as “J. Keating, musician”; 1902 Portland city directory listing him as being in the “dairy and creamery machinery” business with his father, Martin Keating; 1910 U.S. Census record showing him as age 40, living in North Bend, Oregon, with the occupation “manager milk condensary”; 1920 U.S. Census record showing him as age 49, living with his mother and brother in Portland, Oregon, a divorced real estate agent; 1929 Portland street directory showing John H. Keating, no occupation listed, with wife Esther, and the fictitious Lyn Udall, writer, in separate listings but at the same address; 1930 Portland street directory listing Keating, with wife Esther, now “agent, SLA Co.” (the Sun Life Assurance Co.), at the same address as the preceding year, but with no listing for Lynn Udall; 1936 Santa Monica, California street directory listing John H. Keating, “bookkeeper”, with wife Esther, at an address in Venice, California; funeral home record showing death of Esther, of the same address in Venice, of acute appendicitis in San Francisco in 1937; 1952 California voter registration index listing John H. Keating at the same address as in 1936 and 1937

#1118 - Just One Girl, Scarcity: LC
This pretty waltz song also dates from 1898 and the sheet music for it in NP shows the composer as “Lyn Udall” and the lyricist as “Karl Kennett”. In the simple lyrics, the singer says that he will be happy forever with his sweetheart Pearl, with whom he walks to work and whom he looks forward to marrying. As was said in the notes to the preceding cob, “Lyn Udall” was the pseudonym of John H. Keating (1870-1963); likewise, “Karl Kennett” was the pseudonym of Guy Catlin (1867-1901), who died at the age of 33 only three years after the song was written, and about whom apparently only a few scraps of other information have been preserved. References: article in the May 22, 1899 edition of the Indianapolis [Indiana] Journal titled “Song Writing Lottery” that said “The surprise of the year in the popular-music world is the wonderful success of two new writers—Karl Kennett and Lyn Udell [sic]. They are two young men living in Portland, Ore. …Udell’s real name is John Keating, and he is a popular young business man with a great deal of ability as a pianist”; article in the October 6, 1899 edition of the Albany [Oregon] Democrat reporting that “Jack Keating and Guy Catlin of Portland…authors of “Just One Girl”” had returned home from “the Bay” (presumably meaning Coos Bay, south of Albany) where they had been preparing some new compositions; article in the March 17, 1901 edition of the Richmond [Virginia] Dispatch titled “Writers of Songs” noting that “Guy Cutlin [sic], who wrote “Just One Girl”, died in New York City on the first of the month; age 33”, and that “All of his songs were published under the name Karl Kennett”; Vermont birth record for Catlin recording his birth in Burlington, Vermont on November 30, 1867; 1880 U.S. Census records in which Catlin, then age 12, was recorded twice, once living with his parents and sister Helen in New York City and once living with his grandparents and sisters Sarah and Helen in Burlington; article in the December 5, 1901 edition of the Morning Oregonian about the settlement of his estate reporting that his brother W. W. Catlin of Portland was the administrator and a beneficiary and that the other two beneficiaries were his sisters Sarah and Helen (According to various newspaper accounts and Portland city directories, W. W. Catlin, also born in Burlington, was a successful Chicago businessman who later became involved in mining in Alaska and lived for several years in Portland, first, beginning in 1894, as the Receiver of the Oregon National Bank, then, beginning in 1898, as a grain and stock broker, and finally, in 1901, as Vice President of the Khayyam Copper Co. and stock broker; during this time period his younger brother Guy is shown in the city directories as working with him as a bookkeeper in 1895 and 1897 and as living in Portland with no reference to W. W. with the profession “clerk” in 1898 and with no profession listed in 1899 and 1900)

#1119 - Zenda Waltzes, Scarcity: LC
The ““Zenda” Waltzes” were composed by Frank M. (Morris) Witmark (1875-1948) and the sheet music for them, a copy of which is in LL, was published in 1895 by his family’s “Tin Pan Alley” music publishing firm, M. Witmark & Sons; Frank was one of the six sons and was not yet 20 at the time. The cover of the sheet music includes a dedication to “Mr. E. H. Sothern” and notes that the waltzes were played during the engagement of the play “The Prisoner of Zenda”, in which the noted actor Sothern played two roles, that of Rudolf, the king-to-be of a fictional country named Ruritania, who is drugged and imprisoned prior to his coronation, and that of his look-alike distant cousin, an Englishman also named Rudolf, who impersonates him. Witmark followed up this very successful composition with other waltzes named for theatrical productions of the time such as the “Cyrano Waltzes”, creating, essentially, what are now called “theme songs”, and he also composed for musical comedies. References: OA; Isidore Witmark and Isaac Goldberg, From Ragtime to Swingtime: The Story of the House of Witmark (New York, Lee Furman, Inc., 1939) (a wonderfully entertaining book of recollections by Frank Witmark’s oldest brother that is full of information and anecdotes about songwriters and performers of the roller organ era as well as Frank and other members of the Witmark family, whose interest in music and entertainment extended greatly beyond just the publishing business and some of whom were themselves performers); article in the March 18, 1881 edition of the New York Times about the precocious “Frank Morris Witmark”, who would turn six on July 30 of that year and could identify over 300 pieces immediately upon seeing the notes in the sheet music for them even though he had not yet learned the alphabet (and even when the sheet music was presented to him upside down!) and could follow, in the sheet music, pieces his old brother Isidore played on the piano, indicating when the page should be turned and saying “false” if Isidore played an incorrect note; notice in the August 6, 1948 edition of the Bridgewater [New Jersey] Courier-News reporting Frank Witmark’s death in Weehawken, New Jersey

#1120 - Home to Our Mountains, Scarcity: LC
The tune on this cob is a different arrangement of the tune that also appeared on cob #188 under the title “Back to our Mountains”. The Italian title is “Ai Nostri Monti” and it is from Act IV of the opera “Il Trovatore” by Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901), first performed in Rome in 1853 and first performed in the United States in 1855. It is sung as a duet by the imprisoned Manrico, the troubadour or “trovatore”, and Azucena, the Gypsy woman who has raised him as his mother. References: VB, GD

Cobs #1121-1130

#1121 - Narcissus, Scarcity: LC
This lively and familiar piano piece was composed by Ethelbert Nevin (1862-1901), was published in 1891 and became enormously popular immediately. Nevin was born near Pittsburgh and was a child prodigy who began composing at a very early age. He studied in Germany and lived abroad in a number of places before dying in New Haven, Connecticut at the age of only thirty-eight. He composed “Narcissus” very quickly, considered it one of his most inconsequential compositions and disliked being recognized, forever after, primarily for this one work. A fuller and more extended version of the piece appeared on Grand cob #2072 (see also the notes to that cob, including the references). Additional reference: article in the December 7, 1913 edition of the Pittsburgh Post following the publication of a biography of Nevin by Vance Thompson in which Nevin is quoted as referring in correspondence to his “nasty little Narcissus” and “mean little Narcissus”

#1122 - Intermezzo Rusticana, Scarcity: LC
The very beautiful and well-known “Intermezzo” from the opera “Cavalleria Rusticana” by Italian composer Pietro Mascagni (1863-1945) appeared on this cob, in a longer but more condensed and thus quicker-paced version on cob #1218, and in a fuller and more extended version on Grand cob #2077 (see also the notes to that cob). Also, the “Drinking Song” from the opera, which immediately follows the “Intermezzo”, appeared on cob #1023. Mascagni, who is remembered primarily for this one opera, was born in very modest circumstances in Leghorn (Livorno) in Tuscany and was an unknown music teacher when he entered the hastily-composed opera in a music competition in 1889 and won first prize. The opera was first performed in Rome, to great acclaim, in 1890 and first performed in the United States in Philadelphia the following year. References: VB, GD

#1123 - Moth and Flame, Scarcity: S
There is a copy in NP of the sheet music for this 1898 song, the title of which was actually “The Moth and the Flame”, with lyrics by George Taggart (1870-1928) and music by Max S.Witt (1871?-1914). The lyrics tell of a man who meets his former love at a gala party and professes his continuing love for her, she tells him she is to be married to someone else, and he warns her that her intended is already married, comparing her, in the words of the chorus, which switches from 4/4 to waltz time, to a moth (a maid) who is attracted to a flame (“a bad man’s art” and “the light of shame”) but flutters away just in time. The woman nevertheless proceeds with the wedding, but the groom’s wife appears and objects and although the groom strikes her down and denounces her as an impostor the bride throws down her bridal wreath, calls him a coward and says she was warned about this by her “true love”. The cover of the sheet music refers to a then-popular play also titled “The Moth and the Flame” with a plot similar to the story in the song and includes a photograph of the wedding scene in the play. Taggart, a New York-born newspaperman and theatre critic, was especially moved by the scene when he saw it and it motivated him to write the poem that became the lyrics to the song. He submitted the poem to New York music publisher Joseph W. Stern & Co. (see the notes to cob #1064) and Witt, who was at the time on staff there, wrote the tune to accompany it and the Stern Co. published the sheet music. Witt was born in Germany and was a prolific composer as well as a producer of vaudeville acts and musical director. References: FS; March 22, 1928 edition of the Asheville [North Carolina] Citizen-Times (detailed article about Taggart’s career and his death while working as a night clerk in a Salvation Army hotel in Charleston, South Carolina, including an obituary which he wrote for himself); 1900 U.S. Census record listing Witt, age 29, composer, born in Germany in November 1870 (although in an application for a U.S. passport dated April 26, 1901, signed by Witt and certified by Joseph W. Stern, his birth date is stated in two places as November 12, 1871 and his age as 29; in the same document, Witt’s height is stated to be only 4 feet 7 inches, and FS says he suffered from curvature of the spine); note in the April 10, 1914 edition of Variety reporting Witt’s sudden death five days earlier at his home in New York

#1124 - Sunny Tennessee, Scarcity: LC
The piece on this cob (not to be confused with the 1921 song “My Sunny Tennessee”, on cob #1267) was actually titled “The Girl I Loved in Sunny Tennessee”, with words by Harry Braisted and lyrics by Stanley Carter. There is a copy of the sheet music for it in UM, dating from 1899, once again published by the recently-established “Tin Pan Alley” music publishing firm of Jos. W. Stern & Co. (see notes to cob #1064), and at the top of the cover it is described as “a new ballad by the authors of “She Was Bred in Old Kentucky””, which, as we have seen, was on cob #1101. As noted in the paragraph about that cob, “Harry Braisted” was a pseudonym of Harry B. Berdan (1870-1947) and “Stanley Carter” was a pseudonym of Frederick J. Redcliffe (probably 1870-1946), and the tune on this cob is rather similar to the tune of their very successful song of only a year earlier. Despite the liveliness of the tune, however, the lyrics to this song are of the “tear jerker” variety: the singer tells how he sped by train to his home town in Tennessee to meet his sweetheart, only to learn when he arrived that she had died.

#1125 - El Capitan, No.1 (March), Scarcity: LC
#1126 - El Capitan, No.2 (March), Scarcity: LC
The tunes on these two cobs are, respectively, the first part, in 6/8 time, and the second part, in 2/4 time, of the well-known and stirring “El Capitan March” by the great composer and conductor John Philip Sousa (1854-1932), known as “the March King”; we have already encountered other marches by him on cobs #577, 1009 and 1096, and six of his marches appeared on Grand roller organ cobs as well (#2003, 2011, 2025, 2063, 2067 and 2143). “El Capitan” dates from 1896 and the themes used in it come from an operetta of the same name and year for which Sousa wrote the music. There is a copy of sheet music for the march in MN. Additional reference: OC

#1127 - Soldiers in the Park, Scarcity: LC
The lively song in quick march tempo on this cob was the most successful and longest-surviving piece from the musical comedy “A Runaway Girl”, which opened in London in May, 1898 and in New York three months later. The tune was written by the well-known English composer Lionel Monckton (1861-1924), an Oxford graduate who left the legal profession for full time pursuit of his longstanding interest in song composition. The lyrics for the songs in the play were by Harry Greenbank (1865-1899) and Aubrey Hopwood (full name Henry Aubrey Hopwood, 1863-1917), but the sheet music for this song, a copy of which is NP, credits only the lesser-known Hopwood for its simple lyrics, in which the singer expresses enthusiasm and excitement about seeing and hearing a soldiers’ band play in the park. Hopwood, although English, was, according to advertisements in London newspapers in the late 1880s, at that time a real estate agent and manager of a fruit and vegetable farm in Winter Park, Florida, and in a review in the November 26, 1897 edition of the London newspaper the Pall Mall Gazette of a novel he wrote titled “Down by the Suwannee River” the reviewer said that Hopwood wrote “of Florida and the dangers and disasters which beset orange-growers there as if he were familiar with the place and people”, apparently not aware that in fact he was. According to other newspaper notices, he was also an author of children’s books, and in addition he wrote a handbook on the old English sheepdog breed published in 1905. References: OC; EM; Scottish Births and Baptisms record giving the date of Hopwood’s birth in Edinburgh as April 4, 1863; 1901 England Census record showing Hopwood then in Chelsea, London, age 38, “author”; England & Wales National Probate Calendar giving the date of Hopwood’s death as October 25, 1917

#1128 - Holy City, Scarcity: LC
There is sheet music for “The Holy City” in CC, published by the London publisher Boosey & Co. and with a copyright date of 1892. Although the piece has a religious theme and is sometimes sung as a solo at Easter services, it is more in the nature of a drawing room ballad than a hymn, and with only a couple of exceptions it has not been included in any hymnals. In it, the singer tells of a dream he had in which he envisioned three places: beside the temple in the old city of Jerusalem (verse one), the site of the crucifixion of Christ (verse two) and the New Jerusalem of Chapter 21 of the book of Revelations (verse three). Both the composer and lyricist were English. The tune was by “Stephen Adams”, the pen name of Michael Maybrick (1844-1913), a baritone performer as well as a composer, who was born in Liverpool and studied music and singing in Germany and Italy. The lyrics were by Frederic E. (Edward) Weatherly (1848-1929), an Oxford graduate who wrote the lyrics to well over 1,000 songs and was also a copyright lawyer. Adams also composed the tune to “The Blue Alsatian Mountains” on cob #104, Weatherly wrote the words to “At the Ferry” on cob #328 and the two collaborated on “Nancy Lee” on cob #2120. OC reports that at the height of its popularity sheet music for “The Holy City” sold at a rate of about 50,000 copies a year.

#1129 - Mosquito Parade, Scarcity: LC
This novelty instrumental piece was intended to call to mind a group of mosquitoes promenading along. The actual title was “The Mosquitoes’ Parade: A Jersey Review”, reflecting the fact that New Jersey was known at the time for its terrible mosquito problem, and the cover of the 1900 sheet music, a copy of which is in LL, shows a long line of mosquitoes emerging from the woods as a rabbit playing the violin and a frog with glasses, a morning coat, a top hat and a cigar look on in the foreground. The composer’s name is given as “Howard Whitney” and across the top of the cover run the words “Played with Great Success by the Whitney Bros.” “Howard Whitney” was the stage name of S. (Sylvanus) Howard Swope (1869-1924) who, with his older brother James, performed in vaudeville as “The Whitney Brothers”. According to articles in a number of newspapers in cities where they performed in 1903, their act at that time included playing music using as unlikely “instruments” as a musical staircase, a series of pitchers filled with ice water, a red hot stove, and xylophones concealed in blackboards. “Howard Whitney” was born in Richmond, Indiana, subsequently lived in Greenville, Ohio, and in his later years made his living first in the automobile business in Greenville and then as a life insurance agent in Cincinnati, although he occasionally still composed music and wrote for the stage. References: 1870 and 1880 U.S. Census records showing Sylvanus Swope, age 9 months and 10 years, respectively, living with his parents and brother James, four years older, in Richmond, Indiana; 1900 U.S. Census record showing S. Howard Swope, born in September, 1869, age 30, and James Swope, born in October, 1865, age 34, both with the occupation “musician”, living with their father in a hotel in Greenville, Darke County, Ohio; U.S. passport application dated October 7, 1899 signed by “Sylvanus Howard Swope, professionally known as Howard Whitney” and certified by his brother James giving Sylvanus’ date of birth as September 30, 1869, his place of birth as Richmond, Indiana and his occupation as “actor”; 1910 U.S. Census record showing Howard Swope, age 40, born in Indiana, living with his wife Lucy in Greenville, Ohio, occupation “retail merchant—musical instruments”; 1913 sheet music in MN for a piece titled “Frolic of the Skeets”, both composed and published by Howard Whitney Swope of Greenville, Ohio, another mosquito-themed piece obviously intended to capitalize on his earlier success, identifying him as “the composer of “Mosquitoes Parade”” and this time including on the cover a drawing of a group of mosquitoes dancing and playing tennis and baseball in a meadow with, once again, a frog in a morning coat in the foreground, this time playing a bass fiddle; numerous newspaper notices in 1910-1911 and 1913 about a “farce with music” titled “Lower Berth 13” and “founded on a story by Howard Whitney Swope” and in 1918 about a musical comedy titled “In and Out” for which “Howard Whitney Swope” co-authored the book and lyrics; lengthy obituary article in the August 29, 1924 edition of the Cincinnati Enquirer reporting the death of S. Howard Swope in Long Beach, California, where he then lived, including a photograph of him and details about his career as an insurance man and his earlier involvement in the automobile business and in vaudeville

#1130 - Dolly Grey, Scarcity: LC
Like the two other battle-related songs recently discussed, “Break the News to Mother” on cob #1102 and “Just As the Sun Went Down” on cob #1117, this song dates from the time period when the United States was involved in the Spanish-American War. In the first verse, the singer is a young man who says he feels called to enlist as a soldier and go to war and therefore bids farewell to his sweetheart Dolly Gray (with an “a” rather than an “e”); in the second verse, when Dolly sees the soldiers returning, her beloved is not among them and she learns that he has fallen in battle and again said good-bye to her as his dying words. The full title of the song was “Good-Bye Dolly Gray” and there is sheet music for it in UM with a copyright date of 1900 showing Will D. Cobb as the writer of the words and Paul Barnes as the composer of the lively tune. Cobb (William Denight Cobb) (1876-1930) was a Philadelphia-born professional songwriter who lived for most of his life in New York and is also remembered for writing the lyrics to the very popular later song “School Days” on cob #1198; he also wrote the lyrics to “If a Girl Like You Loved a Boy Like Me” on cob #1158. “Paul Barnes” was the stage name of George F. Feger (1868-1922), who was born in Schuylkill Haven, Pennsylvania and was a vaudeville singer and comedian who performed as a member of “the Mimic Four”, which was noted at the top of the first interior page of the sheet music. References: OC; World War I draft registration card for “William Denight Cobb”, age 42, born on July 6, 1876, occupation “song writer”, with a home address in Rockville Centre on Long Island; long article about Cobb in the February 2, 1930 edition of the New York Daily News following his death; 1900 U.S. Census record listing Paul Barnes, age 31, born in October, 1868, a divorced actor, and Phyllis Ruffell (misspelled “Raffell”), the actress who later became his wife, as a boarder at the same address on East 14th Street, Manhattan; 1905 New Jersey Census record showing Paul Barnes (36, born in October, 1868, an actor) and his wife Phyllis living in Piscataway, New Jersey with their one-year-old son Paul, who died in 1911; U. S. passport application dated August 13, 1915 filed under the name Paul Barnes in which Barnes stated that he was born in Schuylkill Haven, Pennsylvania on October 10, 1868, was an “actor” and was going to Great Britain for “theatrical business” (His wife, “Phyllis Barnes”, an “actress”, filed a nearly identical application with the same date); long article in the June 1, 1922 edition of the Boston Globe about Barnes following his death on May 8 of that year, referring to “Good-Bye Dolly Gray” as “the battle chant of American soldiers and sailors in the war against Spain”, noting that Barnes’ real name was George F. Feger, and tracing his career from his great success after composing the music to this song through his subsequent financial reverses and health problems and sad death in Manhattan State Hospital; follow-up article in the June 7, 1922 edition of the Globe in which Barnes’ widow Phyllis corrected what she said were inaccuracies in the facts about him reported in the previous article

Cobs #1131-1140

#1131 - Fisher's Hornpipe, Scarcity: C
As noted in the paragraph about cob #122, “Sailor’s Hornpipe”, the tune on this cob is the same as the tune on that cob, but with a different pinning, and the correct title of the tune is “Fisher’s Hornpipe”; the tune generally known as “Sailor’s Hornpipe” is a different one and, further complicating things, appeared on the roller organ on cob #213 under the title “College Hornpipe”. “Fisher’s Hornpipe” is a very well-known dance tune dating back to at least the late eighteenth century and found in the traditional music of the United States, Great Britain and Ireland. The pamphlet American Fiddle Tunes from the Archive of Folk Song, edited by Alan Jabbour and published by the U.S. Library of Congress in 1971 to accompany a selection of recordings with the same name, included a discussion of the piece which noted that the earliest known setting appeared as “Hornpipe I” in a collection of dance tunes titled “Sixteen Cotillons, Sixteen Minuets, Twelve Allemands and Twelve Hornpipes Composed by J. Fishar” published in London in about 1780. It also appeared in numerous other collections since then, including, for example, Ryan’s Mammoth Collection (Boston, Elias Howe, 1883), p. 187, and O’Neill’s Music of Ireland, the 1903 collection of 1,850 traditional Irish tunes compiled by Captain Francis O’Neill of the Chicago Police Department, which contains two different settings of the piece as #1575 and #1576.

#1132 - Creole Belles, Scarcity: LC
This is another lively cakewalk piece from the early years of ragtime music and was composed by J. (Jens) Bodewalt Lampe (1869-1929), who was born in Denmark and brought to Minnesota as a boy, later lived in Buffalo, New York, and in addition to composing and arranging music headed his own orchestra, Lampe’s Grand Concert Band, and was chief arranger in the band and orchestral department in the New York office of music publisher Jerome H. Remick & Co. The sheet music for “Creole Belles” was first published in 1900 by Lampe’s own music publishing firm in Buffalo with the subtitle “A Rag-time March” and then came out the following year in a second edition with a different cover, along with a separate version with words in dialect by George Sidney, both published by Whitney-Warner Publishing Co. in Detroit (which was later taken over by Remick). Copies of the Lampe edition are in MN (a copy issued as a supplement to the Buffalo Sunday Times) and in the Detroit Public Library collection (digitalcollections.detroitpubliclibrary.org) and copies of the Whitney-Warner editions are held in LL (the instrumental version) and NP (the song version). “Creole Belles” is considered one of the most significant pieces in early ragtime music and more than a million copies of the sheet music for it were reportedly sold. Lampe also composed the later tune, “Happy Heinie”, on cob #1160. References: OC, 1900 U.S. Census record showing Lampe living in Buffalo, born in November 1869 in Denmark, age 30, with the occupation “musical binder”; February 10, 1901 edition of the Buffalo Courier including a photograph of the Lampe Concert Band with Lampe conducting; 1905 New York State Census record again showing him living in Buffalo, this time with the occupation “composer”; article in the August 23, 1906 edition of the Buffalo Times reporting that Lampe, already head of the arranging department at the Remick Co., had decided to move to New York City where the company was headquartered; 1909 city directory showing Lampe living in New Rochelle, New York, a suburb of New York City, again with the occupation “composer”; detailed article by Lampe titled “The Arranging of Popular Music” in the December 12, 1914 edition of the Music Trade Review with a photograph of him at his desk at the Remick Co., stating in the introduction that he had been connected with the company for the previous ten years as chief of the arranging department and had first met Jerome Remick during the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo in 1901, when “Creole Belles” was popular; 1920 U.S. Census record showing him under the name of “Joseph B. Lampe”, age 50, widowed and living with his son and daughter-in-law’s family, again in New Rochelle, New York, with the occupation “editor—music”; Probate Petition filed in the Queens County, New York Surrogate’s Court stating that Lampe died on May 26, 1929 a resident of Queens Village in that county

#1133 - Tale of the Kangaroo, Scarcity: LC
The piece on this cob comes from a comic opera, “The Burgomaster”, with libretto by Frank Pixley (1867-1919) and music by Gustave Luders (1865-1913), which had a successful run in 1900 in Chicago followed by a brief run in New York. There is a copy of the sheet music for it in AS, and for an instrumental version of it as a “march-two step” in LL. Its verses start out in 4/4 time and the tempo then picks up in its catchy and spirited chorus in 2/4 time. The lyrics tell of a “dear little kangaroo” in Australia who has found a beau, but her parents do not approve and lock her away, and the beau comes by at night and serenades her until he is captured and put in a circus wagon and she then comes by at night and serenades him. Pixley was an Ohio schoolteacher who became a journalist and playwright in Chicago. Luders was a German-born composer, musician and conductor who emigrated to the United States in 1888, first settled in Milwaukee, and later moved to Chicago at the urging of Charles K. Harris, the composer and publisher of “After the Ball” (see the notes to cob #600). Initially a theatre and beer garden musician and conductor, he became a staff arranger for music publishers M. Witmark & Sons and his arrangement of “My Gal is a High-Born Lady” (see notes to cob #1113), published by Witmark, became a hit in 1896. His first major success as a composer for the musical theatre was “The Burgomaster”, which was also the first of several musical comedies by him and Pixley to be produced. References: OC, EM, BU

#1134 - Down Where the Cotton Blossoms Grow, Scarcity: C
This 1901 song was by the great and prolific “Tin Pan Alley” composer Harry Von Tilzer (1872-1946), who wrote the tunes for many of the most well-known popular songs of the early twentieth century, including the long-remembered “Wait ‘till the Sun Shines, Nellie” (on cob #1153), and for four other pieces that appeared on the roller organ, all in this numerical range, #1144, “Under the Anheuser Bush”, #1176, “Don’t Take Me Home”, #1178, “I Love my Wife, but O You Kid” and #1185, “All Alone”. The lyrics were by his frequent collaborator Andrew B. Sterling (1874-1955), a native New Yorker who turned to songwriting after graduating from high school and first teamed up with him in 1898. Von Tilzer was born Aaron Gumbinsky in Detroit, appeared as a circus and stage performer while only in his teens, moved to New York in 1892 to work in Tin Pan Alley, and after laboring for a number of years without recognition or financial success had a hit song in 1898 with “My Old New Hampshire Home”, with lyrics also by Sterling, which led to his becoming an established Tin Pan Alley composer and starting his own music publishing firm in 1902. He reportedly chose “Von Tilzer” as his pen name by adding “Von” before his mother’s maiden name, and after he achieved success his four brothers all changed their names from Gumbinsky to Von Tilzer as well. There is a copy of the sheet music for the song in UM and the lyrics tell a story similar to that of “My Sunny Tennessee” on cob #1124, but with a happy ending: the singer heads by train from the West to return to his home in the South and anticipates seeing his mother and sweetheart again, and when he arrives there is a joyous reunion. The cover calls the piece “the ballad hit of the century”, which was not an unreasonable claim to make in the first year of the new century, 1901. References: OC; 1880 U.S. Census record showing Aaron Gumbinsky, age 8, living in Indianapolis, Indiana with his parents, both born in Poland, and three brothers: (1) Julius, age 12 (later known as Julius Gumm and shown in the 1900 U.S. Census as living in Brooklyn, born November 1869 in Michigan, then still later known as Jules Von Tilzer, according to an obituary notice in the October 23, 1954 edition of the New York Daily News describing him as general manager of the Harry Von Tilzer Music Publishing Co. and formerly a turn of the century vaudeville performer), (2) Louis, age 10 (later known as “Lewis Jacob”, according to the 1910 U.S. Census record, which shows him living in New York City, age 39, born in Michigan, “publisher—music”, but also known as Jacob L. Gumm, according to the 1915 N.Y. Census record, which again shows him as living in New York City, age 44, “music pub.”, then still later known as Jack L. Von Tilzer, according to the 1940 U.S. Census record, which shows him (“Jack”) living in Cedarhurst on Long Island, age 69, “artists’ agent, radio” and a New York State Death Index entry which shows him (“Jack L.”) as having died in 1945 at age 74), and (3) Elias, age 2 (later known as Albert Von Tilzer and also a songwriter; see the notes to cob #1156), the older three born in Michigan and the youngest in Indiana (A fifth son, later known as Will Von Tilzer, was born in 1882 according to his World War I draft registration card, which shows him as a “music publisher”)

#1135 - I Left Because I Love You, Scarcity: LC
Both the lyrics and music of this 1900 song were by Tony Stanford (1867-no later than 1904) and there is a copy of the sheet music for it in NP with a drawing on the cover of a woman standing at the door of a house, apparently in the snow, holding a baby in her arms. The lyrics tell how a happily married young mother with a baby finds a letter addressed to her husband signed “Your loving May” and assumes that he has been unfaithful, and rather than stand between him and his lover she decides to take the baby and leave. She writes him a note, the words of which are the chorus of the song, and when he returns home he finds the letter and the note, finds her and the baby at her mother’s house, explains that “May” is his lost sister and the husband and wife are reconciled, resulting in a happier ending than in the similar stories in “After the Ball” (cob #600) and “Two Little Girls in Blue” (cob #1006). The back cover of the sheet music includes the first page of the music for each of three other songs by Stanford, who appears from advertisements and reviews in newspapers to have been a reasonably prolific and familiar songwriter of the time—in one article that originally appeared in the New York Sun in 1903 he was mentioned together with the much better remembered Charles K. Harris, Paul Dresser and James Thornton as four “well-known song writers”—and, like many other writers of popular songs of that era, he was also involved in the entertainment business in other ways, in his case as a vaudeville singer, actor and comedian, author of a “burletta” (burlesque/operetta) titled “Queen of the Orient”, theatrical manager, producer and director. Surprisingly, however, I have found no personal details about him except a 1900 U.S. Census record listing him as living as a boarder on East 14th Street, Manhattan, a 32-year-old “theatrical manager” born in Austria in June, 1867 who came to the United States in 1879. If he was indeed Austrian, “Tony Stanford” was presumably a pseudonym. He apparently died no later than in 1904, because there is an advertisement for sheet music for one of his songs referring to him as “the late Tony Stanford” on the back page of the sheet music in UO for “Karama”, a song by a different composer, published with a copyright date of 1904 by New York music publisher Leo Feist, successor to Feist & Frankenthaler, who had published the sheet music for “I Left Because I Love You”. Additional references: article in the April 17, 1898 edition of the Pittsburg[h] Press reporting that he had sung his song “Remember the Maine” on stage at three theaters in that city, to great acclaim (and according to other newspaper references, he also wrote another song relating to the Spanish-American War in the same year, “The Hero of Manila Bay”); article in the December 28, 1900 edition of the New York Sun reporting that Stanford, at that time manager of the theatrical company performing his “Queen of the Orient” at the Theater Comique in New York, was arrested because his leading lady accused him of coming into her dressing room and striking her because she had been late for three performances; articles only two days later in the December 30, 1900 editions of the New York Times and New York Sun reporting that the police had been called to quell a riot at the same theater the previous night because author/stage manager Stanford came onstage during the performance and shouted that the show would stop because the theater proprietor had refused to pay the theatre company their percentage and directed the audience to the box office for refunds, prompting a stampede; advertisement in the July 21, 1901 edition of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle by Namm’s department store for a folio containing ten pieces of music with words and music by Stanford for 20 cents on two days only and that the “world famous composer” Stanford would himself be present at the store; similar advertisement in the September 27, 1901 edition of the Birmingham [Alabama] News for a “Musical Gems Folio” containing ten pieces with words and music by Stanford, probably the same one sold in Brooklyn but with a price of 23 cents, this time describing Stanford as “America’s favorite author and composer”

#1136 - In the Good Old Summertime, Scarcity: VC
The enormous popularity of this waltz song for many decades from the time it first appeared in 1902 is attested to by the fact that the cob has a scarcity rating of VC (very common) even though it was available during only a little more than the last half of the years roller organ cobs were made, and that half included the final years during which interest in the roller organ was declining; one of the best-selling and most frequently encountered cobs, it is the highest numbered one with this scarcity rating. The words were by Ren Shields (1868-1913) and the music was by his frequent collaborator George (known as “Honey Boy”) Evans (1870-1915), and a copy of the sheet music for the piece is in LL (giving the title as “In the Good Old Summer Time”, that is, with the words “Summer” and “Time” separated). Shields, born in Chicago, was a singer and dancer in minstrel shows who later appeared in vaudeville as a vocalist and was also a writer and director. Evans, born in Wales, was brought to the United States at age 7 and was a singer and comedian who also appeared in minstrel shows as well as a composer. The song became an immediate hit when sung by actress and singer Blanche Ring in a 1902 Broadway musical comedy, “The Defender”. According to FS, the idea for the song was conceived when Shields, Evans and Ring were all dining in the open air at Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, Evans exclaimed “There’s nothing like the good old summer time!” and Shields replied that this would be an intriguing title for a song and came up with lyrics for it during the following few days. Ring then participated with Evans in the informal composition of a tune and introduced the song into “The Defender” shortly afterwards. It is still another piece, like many of the waltz songs of the previous decade, with a chorus that was widely remembered long after the verses were forgotten, so that many will not recognize the piece immediately when first hearing the less familiar verse in the opening portion of the tune on the cob. Additional references: OC, BW

#1137 - Mister Dooley, Scarcity: LC
“Mr. Dooley” was a fictional Irish-American bartender in Chicago who expressed his opinions, in dialect, on political matters and other subjects in newspaper columns written by newspaperman Finley Peter Dunne that originally appeared in a Chicago newspaper but later were widely published elsewhere, so that “Mr. Dooley” was a familiar character in households all over the United States in the years of the Spanish-American War and thereafter. As so often happens in such cases, a popular song was written about him in 1902, with lyrics by William Jerome (1865-1932) and music by Jean Schwartz (1878-1956), although the “Mr. Dooley” of the song has very little relation to the one in the newspaper columns except for his name and the fact that Schwartz’s tune has an Irish sound to it: instead, he is a sort of superhuman and timeless character whose varied exploits are described in each of the ten verses of the song, such as giving orders to Napoleon’s army, charging up San Juan Hill with Teddy Roosevelt, being there to greet Christopher Columbus when he first steps off the boat in 1492, etc. We have already encountered Jerome, a minstrel performer, comic actor and vaudevillian who later became a very successful songwriter, as the writer of the lyrics to “My Pearl is a Bowery Girl” on cobs #1052 and #2119 (see the notes to those cobs) and the husband of Maude Nugent, who wrote the song “Sweet Rosie O’Grady” on cob #1071. Schwartz was a very prolific composer who was a central figure in the American popular and show music scene during the first three decades of the twentieth century. He was born in Hungary, brought to New York at age 10 and, after working as a pianist in the sheet music department of a department store, met and teamed up with Jerome, and the pair collaborated on numerous songs and musical scores between 1901 and 1913, including also “My Irish Molly O” on cob #1163. Their song “Mr. Dooley” was interpolated into no fewer than three Broadway shows. References: MN (copy of the sheet music, in which the title appears as “Mister Dooley”, that is, with the word “Mister” spelled out); OC; EM; MM; Application to Become a United States Citizen signed by Schwartz on July 11, 1902 stating that he was born in Budapest and arrived in the United States on August 29, 1888

#1138 - Bill Bailey, Scarcity: LC
[With regard to this cob, see the WARNING AND HISTORICAL CONTENT DISCLAIMER about songs containing offensive language or negative stereotypes at the end of the General Introduction to this Handbook.] The lively 1902 ragtime song on this cob is another one with a chorus that survived in the popular memory for many decades but, unlike “In the Good Old Summer Time” (see the notes to cob #1136), the cob was for some reason not a big seller, as reflected in its scarcity rating of “less common”. A copy of the sheet music for it is in UM. Both the lyrics and music were by Hughie Cannon (1877-1912) and the chorus, in Afro-American dialect, is a plea by a woman to her man, Bill Bailey, in which she says she is to blame for driving him out of their home and offers to do the cooking and pay the rent if he will return. A number of sources, including FS, OC and WF, have reported that Cannon based (or at least may have based) the song on real life occurrences involving a man named Bill Bailey, although the exact details differ from account to account. Cannon was a Detroit-born minstrel singer, dancer and piano player as well as a gifted songwriter who unfortunately drank heavily and died in a hospital in Toledo, Ohio at the age of only 35.

#1139 - Hiawatha (Two Step), Scarcity: LC
There is sheet music for this lively tune in LL that gives the composer’s name as Neil Moret and includes a copyright date of 1901 with a note that the copyright was transferred by Daniels & Russell to the Whitney-Warner Music Publishing Co. in the following year. RR explains that “Neil Moret” was the pen name of Charles N. (Neil) Daniels (1878-1943), a Kansas-born pianist and accompanist who had formed a music publishing company and published his “Hiawatha” in 1901, and in the following year the large Detroit music publishing firm of Whitney-Warner purchased his company in order to obtain rights to his piece and paid him $10,000 for it, the highest sum then paid for a song, as well as offering him a position as manager, which he accepted. Then, in 1903, words were added to the piece and sheet music sales for it climbed into the millions; there is also a copy of the sheet music for the version with words in LL. With these words, which were written by Canadian-born songwriter James O’Dea (1871-1914), in which a Native American brave sings to his beloved, it became the first of a number of songs with a Native American theme that achieved popularity in the first decade of the twentieth century, including “Laughing Water” on cob #1141 and “Silver Heels” on cob #1152, the latter also by Daniels with lyrics by O’Dea; ironically, however, Daniels had composed the original instrumental version with the title “In Hiawatha”, referring to the town of Hiawatha, Kansas, where he had a lady friend at the time. The popularity of the piece was boosted when it was both performed and recorded by John Philip Sousa’s Band. Daniels left Jerome H. Remick & Co., the successor firm to Whitney-Warner, in 1912 and moved to the West Coast, where he had a long further career as a composer and music publisher in the early days of motion pictures. Additional references: OC, FS, obituary article about O’Dea in the April 13, 1914 edition of the New York Times

#1140 - By the Sycamore Tree, Scarcity: S
This song (not to be confused with a 1931 song of the same name by Haven Gillespie and Pete Wendling) came from a 1903 musical comedy, “The Rogers Brothers in London”, one in a series of “vaudeville farces” that appeared on Broadway beginning in 1899 starring two “Dutch” (German) dialect comedians, brothers Gus and Max Rogers (ne Solomon). While the lyrics for songs in the production were by George V. Hobart and Ed. Gardenier and the music was by Max Hoffmann and M. Melville Ellis and all four names appear on the cover of the sheet music, a copy of which is in LL, the first interior page credits the lyrics of this particular song solely to Hobart and the music solely to Hoffmann. In the simple lyrics the singer hears an owl singing “to woo” in a sycamore tree and he says he plans to “woo Sue” by the tree. Hobart (1867-1926), born George Vere Hobart Philpott in Nova Scotia, was a newspaperman-turned-dramatist who for many years was both a prolific writer for the Broadway stage and a director of theatre productions. Polish-born Hoffmann (1873-1963), a composer, arranger and conductor during the early years of ragtime music, is especially remembered for arranging the well-known alternate chorus “with Negro ‘Rag’, Accompaniment” to “All C—ns Look Alike to Me” (see notes to cob #1087) while he was an orchestrator for M. Witmark & Sons. References: OC, EM, RR

Cobs #1141-1150

#1141 - Laughing Water, Scarcity: LC
This is one of the Native American-themed pieces that appeared in the years following the great popularity of “Hiawatha” (see notes to cob #1139) and, as with that piece, sheet music for it came out in two versions, one strictly instrumental, composed by Frederick W. Hager (1874-1958), and one with words written by George Totten Smith (1871-1918) to accompany Hager’s tune in which the singer professes his love for a Native American maid he calls “Laughing Water”. Copies of the sheet music for both versions, which had different covers, are in LL, both with a copyright date of 1903. There is a lengthy and detailed biography of Hager in Popular American Recording Pioneers 1895-1925 by Tim Gracyk, with Frank Hoffmann (Routledge, London and New York, 2008). Hager was born in New Milford, Pennsylvania and brought to New York City to live at age 4, and in addition to being a composer he played an important role in the early days of recorded music as a recording artist both playing the violin and leading house bands of cylinder and disc record manufacturing companies and as director of band and orchestral recording for such companies. “Laughing Water” was his most successful composition and a number of recordings of the piece were issued by Edison, Columbia and Victor, including one in 1903 in which he led the Edison Concert Band. He also established a sheet music publishing company with fellow composer J. Fred Helf, and their firm, Helf & Hager Co., published the sheet music for the 1905 song “Everybody Works But Father”, on cob #1154, and the 1906 song “When the Whip-Poor-Will Sings Marguerite”, on cob #1155, the latter with tune by Helf. George Totten Smith was, according to well over 1,000 advertisements, notices and reviews in newspapers between 1895 and his death in 1918, a prolific lyricist and author of comic musical sketches and plays that included his songs and was also, to a lesser extent, a director, and at the outset of his career, an actor. Unlike a number of the lyricists and composers discussed here, who came from humble beginnings and were children of immigrants or immigrants themselves, Smith was born in New York City, the son of a lawyer, George Putnam Smith, he attended Mount Pleasant Academy, a military boarding school for boys in Sing Sing (now Ossining), New York, and Columbia University, and he was listed regularly in the New York Social Register from the time he was a young man through the year of his death. Additional references: New York City birth record showing Smith’s birth date as March 7, 1871; 1886 catalogue of the Mount Pleasant Academy listing Smith as a cadet at the school and his father, with his office address in the Wall Street area, as one of its patrons; article in the February 15, 1896 edition of Brooklyn Life which reported that Smith was engaged to be married and said that his paternal grandfather Isaac Smith had been U.S. Minister to Siam and Smith had rowed on his class crew and played on both the baseball and football teams when he was a student at Columbia; 1910 U.S. Census record showing Smith at age 38 living in Rye, New York, occupation “dramatic author—plays”; note in the March 15, 1918 issue of Variety that Smith was in Poughkeepsie, New York, “in the hope of benefiting his health, severely impaired in a recent collapse”; Smith’s tombstone in Evergreen Cemetery, Hillside, New Jersey showing his burial with his parents and giving his year of death as 1918

#1142 - Coochi Coochi, Scarcity: S
The part of the tune on this cob that begins about halfway through will be familiar to many because of its long-time use as background music for snake charming and belly dancing. BW includes the first few bars under the title “Hootchy Kootchy Dance” and, although also referring to possible earlier origins, reports that a New York Congressman named Sol Bloom (1870-1949) claimed to have composed it spontaneously, as a young man in Chicago, to accompany belly dancing on the Midway at the Columbian Exposition there in 1893. He did not copyright the piece, however, and five different versions of it appeared under different titles in sheet music copyrighted by others in 1895, the first of them, deposited for copyright in March, a copy of which is in the Indiana University Sheet Music Collection, with the triple title “Dance of the Midway” “Hoolah! Hoolah!” “Coochi Coochi Polka”, giving the composer’s name as “Adam Ferry” (on the cover) or “Fery” (inside). The full tune that is on the cob was also on Stella music box disc #168 under the title “Coochi, coochi Polka—Danse du ventre [meaning “belly dance”]”, but with the composer’s name, as printed on the disc, not “Ferry” or “Fery” but “Clarck”, and in addition was on Regina 15 ½” music box disc #1393 under the title “Coochi Coochi—Polka” with the composer’s name given as “Clark”. Also, there was a roll for the Aeolian Grand and Orchestrelle (#20134) titled “Danse du Ventre Polka (Coochi Coochi)”, by “T. Clark”. The second of the five versions of the piece BW noted were copyrighted in 1895 was titled “Danse du Ventre Polka” with no composer given, deposited during the second week in April by Grasmuck & Schott, music publishers in New York, and in the last week of June of that year the same publishers made three additional copyright deposits for “Danse du Ventre Polka March” for band and “Danse du Ventre” for banjo and for zither, in each case “by T. Clark”. There is also an entry in U.S. copyright records for a new arrangement of “Danse du Ventre” copyrighted on February 24, 1913 giving the name of the original composer as “Tom Clark” and also indexed under “Coochi Coochi Polka” with a cross reference to “Danse du Ventre”. So, to summarize, it is not clear whether the “belly dancing” theme in the latter part of “Coochi Coochi Polka”, which is the full and correct title of the tune on the cob, originated with Sol Bloom, Adam Ferry or Fery, or Tom Clark, or (as is more likely, from the discussion in BW) predated all of their versions.

#1143 - Any Rags?, Scarcity: LC
[With regard to this cob, see the WARNING AND HISTORICAL CONTENT DISCLAIMER about songs containing offensive language or negative stereotypes at the end of the General Introduction to this Handbook.] As noted by Edward A. Berlin in RA, the term “ragtime”, as used to describe a style of music, is generally acknowledged to have come from the “ragged” new and different syncopated rhythms that characterized the style, and some individual pieces of music in the style came to be called “rags”. The word “rag” of course also means a piece of old cloth, and this led to a certain amount of wordplay in musical titles and themes. Thus, the sheet music for the 1902 piece on this cob, which has been called a “ragtime schottische”, depicts on the cover a caricatured African-American with a pack on his back with his hand to his mouth as if he is shouting, and the lyrics describe him as “Ragged Jagged Jack”, who walks through the streets collecting rags, bones and bottles crying out “Any Rags?” and is known as a “very bad omen” and a thief. Sheet music for a different version of the piece came out in the following year with the same cover illustration but describing the piece as a schottische and including the words of only the chorus just once in the middle between two lengthy instrumental parts. The two editions were published by the same Boston music publisher and copies of them are in LL. Both the words and music of the piece were by Thomas S. (Stephen) Allen (1876-1919), who, although regarded as a “Tin Pan Alley” songwriter, was born in Natick, Massachusetts, lived most of his life in Boston and died there. In addition to composing and writing, he was a violinist who led his own orchestra that played at social events and he also played and directed music at theatres. His obituary article in the October 24, 1919 edition of the Boston Globe acknowledged what was apparently regarded as his most memorable accomplishment by describing him in the headline as “Thomas S. Allen, Author of “Any Rags””, and said that he was very successful at songwriting and reportedly made more than $100,000 from it. He also wrote and composed the 1904 song “By the Watermelon Vine Lindy Lou”, which was on cob #1146 under the title “Lindy”. Additional references: Massachusetts birth record for Thomas Stephen Allen stating that he was born on December 16, 1876 in Natick, the son of a shoemaker; 1880 U.S. Census record showing Allen, age 3, living in Natick, the youngest of seven children of Irish-born parents; 1900 U.S. Census record showing Allen living in Boston, age 23, married, occupation “musician”; 1910 U.S. Census record showing Allen living in a lodging house in Boston, age 33, divorced, occupation “musical director—theater”

#1144 - Under the Anheuser Bush, Scarcity: LC
The title of the cheery 1903 song in waltz time on this cob is a pun on the name of the Anheuser-Busch brewery in St. Louis, Missouri, which was already the long-established maker of the already very popular beer brand Budweiser by the turn of the last century. The singer invites his sweetheart Sue to join him for a sandwich and a stein or two of “Budwise” at a local spot with a German band and to “come and make eyes with me Under the Anheuser Bush”. The tune includes phrases from the German songs “Ach Du Lieber Augustin” and “Du, Du Liegst Meir im Herzen” (on cob #162). The lyrics were by Andrew B. Sterling (1874-1955) and the music was by Harry Von Tilzer (1872-1946) (see the notes to cob #1134), and the sheet music for the piece, a copy of which is in LL, was published by Von Tilzer’s recently-established music publishing concern with its office on “Tin Pan Alley” (East 28th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues in New York City). The ornamental capital “A” in the title on the cover with the superimposed flying eagle and the star above it was (and continues to be) the Anheuser-Busch logo and Von Tilzer’s own trademark, a small signed photograph of himself with the words “Our Trade Mark” below it, appears in the upper right corner of the cover.

#1145 - In the Shade of the Old Apple Tree, Scarcity: C
The lyrics and music of this extremely popular 1905 song with its long-remembered chorus in waltz time were by another pair of Tin Pan Alley collaborators, composer Egbert Van Alstyne (1878-1951) and lyricist Harry H. Williams (1879-1922). A copy of the sheet music for it is in CC. In the first verse, the singer recalls holding and caressing his love under an apple tree; in the chorus (the only part of the tune that is on the cob), he says that she told him that she would be waiting for him there; and in the second verse, she has died and he has returned, having made a long trip from the city to place flowers on her grave, and his father tells him she was buried beneath the apple tree as she requested. Van Alstyne was born in Marengo, Illinois, outside of Chicago and was a pianist as well as a composer, Williams was from Minnesota and was a singer as well as a lyricist, and the two toured as a vaudeville act as well as collaborating on many songs during the early years of the twentieth century, including also “Cheyenne” on cob #1162. Later, Van Alstyne had other major hits with “Memories” (1915; on cob #1236) and “Pretty Baby” (1916; on cob #1239), in each case with lyrics by Gus Kahn, and by that time Williams had moved to the West Coast and was producing motion pictures. An article titled “Princely Profits from Single Songs” by Philip Robert Dillon in the August, 1907 edition of The Scrap Book (New York, The Frank A. Munsey Co.), with photographs of Van Alstyne and Williams as well as many of their songwriting contemporaries, reported that “In the Shade of the Old Apple Tree” was by far the most successful song since 1900, with more than 700,000 copies of sheet music for it sold; others in the top ten included “Dearie” (on cob #1170; #2, 450,000 copies), “In the Good Old Summer Time” (on cob #1136; #8, 300,000 copies) and “Dolly Gray” (on cob #1130; #9, 275,000 copies) (These statistics, however, conflict with many other reports, perhaps at least in some cases anecdotal, of sales of sheet music for certain songs of that era reaching into the millions). The article goes on to tell how Van Alstyne and Williams wrote the song: they completed the chorus first but let it sit for a while because they could not come up with appropriate verses to go with it, and then one day the melody for the verse came to Williams while he was riding alone on a subway train, and although not a musician he wrote the notes out in a rudimentary way when he got home, Van Alstyne perfected the tune the same night and Williams wrote lyrics for the verses the following day. When they took it to a publisher, however, they were told that they had to “put a death in it or something to make women cry”. Williams revised the lyrics accordingly but said “It is the trashiest thing I ever wrote!” References: OC; 1880 U.S. Census record showing Van Alstyne living with his parents in Riley, McHenry County, Illinois, age 2, and World War I and World War II draft registration cards for him, in both cases stating his then residence as Chicago, his date of birth as March 5, 1878 and (on the World War II card) his place of birth as Marengo, McHenry County, Illinois, about 60 miles from Chicago (other sources including OC have mistakenly given the year of his birth as 1882 and his place of birth as Chicago); 1880 U.S. Census record showing “Harris H. Williams”, age 9 months, the son of a farmer, living with his parents in Faribault, Minnesota; 1895 Minnesota Census record showing “Harry Williams”, age 15, living with his mother, the proprietor of a millinery store, and his brother in Owatonna, Minnesota, about 17 miles south of Faribault; 1900 U.S. Census record showing “Harris Williams”, age 21, no occupation listed, living in St. Paul, Minnesota with his mother and brother; World War I draft registration card for “Harry Hiram Williams” giving his date of birth as August 23, 1879, his place of birth as Faribault, Minnesota, his residence as Los Angeles, his occupation as “author and moving picture producer” and his employer as the Toyo Film Company of Yokohama, Japan (where the card was signed); entry for Williams in the 1919 Motion Picture Studio Directory published by Motion Picture News Inc. listing him under “directors” but noting that he was also a “scenario writer”, that in his early career he was a song writer, actor and playwright, that he had produced or written a number of comedies and that he was at that time in Japan; 1920 U.S. Census record showing Williams, age 40, living with his wife in Venice, California, occupation “author—motion picture plays”; obituary articles in newspapers all over the country reporting Williams’ death in Oakland, California on May 15, 1922, many of them incorrectly stating that he was born in St. Paul in 1882 and confusing him with a different Harry Williams in saying that one of the songs for which he wrote the lyrics was “Tipperary” (“It’s a Long Way to Tipperary”, on cob #1193, actually an English song); piece in the March 21, 1910 edition of the Washington Times entitled “Sing Their Own Songs” about Van Alstyne and Williams’ appearance in vaudeville in D.C. including photographs of both of them

#1146 - Lindy, Scarcity: LC
[With regard to this cob, see the WARNING AND HISTORICAL CONTENT DISCLAIMER about songs containing offensive language or negative stereotypes at the end of the General Introduction to this Handbook.] The full title of the 1904 song on this cob is “By the Watermelon Vine Lindy Lou” and a copy of the sheet music for it is in UM. Both the lyrics, which are in dialect, and the interesting ragtime tune were by Thomas S. Allen (1876-1919), who also wrote “Any Rags” (see the notes to cob #1143). The cover of the sheet music depicts a young African-American couple seated together in a watermelon patch on a sort of couch that is actually an enormous slice of watermelon. The song is set on a cotton plantation in Louisiana and the singer tells how happy he is when the day’s work is through and he meets his Lindy Lou by the watermelon vine.

With the next cob we move from a long run of popular American songs from the first few years of the last century to another group of five Polish pieces. It is interesting to note that in 1905, which would have been about the time these cobs would first have been issued, there was a revolution in Poland, and this may have had some bearing upon the issuance of these cobs, which contain national, patriotic and revolutionary pieces. As in the case of most of the Polish pieces on cobs #1040-1049, the lyrics, in Polish, to two of them can be found in a 1919 book titled Wielki Spiewnik Polski zawierajacy Piesni Narodowe, Patryotyczne Hymni i Deklamacye z Dziel Poetow Polskich [Great Polish Songbook Containing National Songs, Patriotic Hymns and Declamations from the Works of Polish Poets] (Krakow, Nakladem A. Machnickiego) (digitized on the google.com website and hereafter referred to as WS).

#1147 - Gdy Narod Do Boju (Polish), Scarcity: S
WS, p. 173, with the title “Marsz po ruko 1831” (March of the year 1831”). 1831 was also a year of Polish rebellion against Russia.

#1148 - Jeszcze Polska (Polish), Scarcity: S
This piece is the Polish national anthem, the full title of which is “Jesczcze Polska nie zginela”. Another version, more stately and hymn-like, appeared on cob #1044. The version on this cob is more lively and at a quicker tempo so that the piece plays through twice. The lyrics appear in WS, p. 30, and the title appears on the cover of WS along with the white eagle emblem (see also the notes to cob #1046).

#1149 - Krakowiak (Song & Dance) (Polish), Scarcity: S
The Krakowiak (named for the Polish city of Krakow) is a lively Polish folk dance in which the dancers typically also sing.

#1150 - Marsz Mieroslawskiego (Polish), Scarcity: VS
“Marsz Mieroslawskiego” or “Mieroslawski’s March” is a revolutionary hymn associated with the 1848 Polish uprising led by the Polish poet, writer and political activist Ludwik Mieroslawski. The piece is also known by the title “Do broni, ludy” (“To arms, people”), the beginning words of its lyrics. Interestingly, the tune was taken from “Per te d’immenso giubilo”, the chorus of the wedding guests in Act II of the 1835 opera “Lucia di Lammermoor” by Italian composer Gabriel Donizetti (1797-1848).

Cobs #1151-1160

#1151 - Na Barykady (Polish), Scarcity: N
I have seen references to a Polish revolutionary song with this title, which translates as “To the Barricades”, but because there is no known copy of this cob I have been unable to verify that the tune of that song and the tune on this cob are the same.

#1152 - Silver Heels, Scarcity: LC
This is another piece with a Native American theme. There is a copy of the sheet music for an instrumental version in UM with the subtitle “Indian Intermezzo Two Step” and a copyright date of 1905, giving the composer’s name as “Neil Moret” (the pen-name of Charles N. Daniels (1878-1943)) and noting that he was also the composer of “Hiawatha” (see the notes to cob #1139). As with “Hiawatha”, there is also an alternate version of the sheet music, a copy of which is in FS, with a different cover and with lyrics (the sheet music says “poem”) by James O’Dea (1871-1914) and the notation “Melody taken from the popular Indian Intermezzo”, indicating that once again the instrumental version came first. In the lyrics a young Native American brave professes his love for a Native American maiden named Silver Heels and offers to build her a big teepee if she will come and cook his meals.

#1153 - Wait 'till the Sun Shines, Nellie, Scarcity: C
This once very popular and long-surviving song is another with words by Andrew B. Sterling (1874-1955) and music by Harry Von Tilzer (1872-1946) (see the notes to cobs #1134 and 1144). There is a copy of the 1905 sheet music for it in NP, again published by Von Tilzer’s Tin Pan Alley music publishing firm. FS reports that Von Tilzer conceived the idea for the song in a New York City hotel lobby when he read in a newspaper about a father who had lost all of his family members but his youngest child in a fire but was nevertheless optimistic that the future would bring happiness. In the song, the misfortune is a much milder one: a young woman named Nellie looks out the window at the rain and tells her sweetheart that their plans for a picnic have been spoiled, and he consoles her by saying there will be other opportunities when the clouds have drifted away and they will then wander down lover’s lane together. Then, in the second verse, the sun comes out and they are able to take a trolley ride together and she is able to show off her brand new gown.

#1154 - Everybody Works But Father, Scarcity: LC
Both the words and music of this 1905 humorous song about a very lazy man were written by Jean Havez (1872-1925), who was born in Baltimore, attended Johns Hopkins University there, worked as a reporter and copy reader for Baltimore newspapers as a young man, went to New York, where he wrote songs and skits for vaudeville, and subsequently moved to California where he was a writer of scripts for comic silent movies featuring such stars as Harold Lloyd, Buster Keaton and Fatty Arbuckle. A copy of the sheet music for the song is in UM and the cover includes in large lettering “Lew Dockstader and his Great Minstrel Company” and two photographs of Dockstader, the well-known blackface minstrel who performed the song. References: 1880 U.S. Census record showing Havez as “J. C. [Jean Constant] Havez Jr.”, age 7, living in Baltimore with his father, a French-born steward at the Maryland Club, his mother and his older brother; The Johns Hopkins University Hullabaloo (1892) (University publication listing Havez as a member of the Class of 1893); 1900 U.S. Census record showing Havez living in Baltimore with his mother and brother, age 27, born in December, 1872, occupation “reporter”; 1915 New York State Census record showing Havez living in New York City, age 42, “author”; article in the June 19, 1921 edition of the Baltimore Sun reporting that Havez was beginning work as a writer for Harold Lloyd, had formerly written for Fatty Arbuckle and Buster Keaton, had previously written this song and for ten years had written all the words and music for Lew Dockstader productions as well as designing costumes and scenery, and was a graduate of Johns Hopkins University; U.S. passport application dated June 2, 1922 in which Havez stated his date of birth as December 24, 1872, his place of birth as Baltimore and his occupation as “composer”; detailed obituary article in the February 13, 1925 edition of the Baltimore Evening Sun reporting Havez’ sudden death of a heart attack at his home in Los Angeles

#1155 - When the Whip-Poor-Will Sings, Marguerite, Scarcity: S
There is a copy in CC of the sheet music for this 1906 song with words by C. M. (Charles Marion) Denison (1867-at least 1940) and music by J. Fred (John Frederick) Helf (1871?-1915), published by Helf’s music publishing company, Helf & Hager, with offices on “Tin Pan Alley” (West 28th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues in New York City) (see also the notes to cob #1141). It is a sentimental piece with verses in 4/4 time and a chorus in waltz time in which the singer, Marguerite, recalls her beloved kissing her good-bye and promising her that he would return when the whip-poor-will sings, but she has now waited a long time and although the whip-poor-will is now singing, he has not come back to her. Helf was born in Kentucky and was a vaudeville singer and comedian who had been a member and the manager of a group named the Lyceum Quartette and became a prolific and successful composer and later a music publisher after moving from Cincinnati to New York. Denison is an obscure figure; although sheet music was published in 1905 through 1915 for several dozen songs he wrote, in all but one case giving his name merely as “C. M. Denison”, apparently nothing has ever been written about him. From before 1905 until at least 1911 he lived in Middletown, New York, and the music for a number of his songs was written either by E. F. (Frederick) Dusenberry, who lived in nearby Goshen, New York, or A. J. Holmes, President of the Holmes Music Company in Middletown, which published the sheet music for some of the songs. Fortunately, in the sheet music for a 1912 song titled “The Land of Golden Dreams”, a copy of which is in UM, the songwriters’ full names, C. Marion Denison and E. Frederick Dusenberry, appear, and the 1905 city directory of Middletown lists the Holmes Music Company and Charles M. Dennison [sic] in Middletown and E. Fred Dusenberry in Goshen. Neither Denison nor Dusenberry made music his career. The city directory entry for Dusenberry lists him as a “traveling salesman” and the 1910 U.S. Census records show him as again living in Goshen with the profession “commercial traveler—drugs”. As for Denison, according to census records and city directories he was a telegraph operator both as a young man and as an elderly man and in the years in between worked as a railroad ticket agent, in the milk business, as a bookkeeper and as a stock clerk, and he lived in a number of places in upstate New York. I also found references to C. M. Denison of Middletown having been a breeder of American Kennel Club collies in 1900 and a co-applicant for a patent on a cinder guard for cars in 1903, and in the Patent Gazette, his name is listed in one place as “C. M.” and in another as “Charles M.”, so that his full name was Charles Marion Denison. Additional references: 1880 U.S. Census record showing Helf, age 9, living with his German-born parents and five siblings in Newport, Campbell County, Kentucky, about 60 miles from his birthplace of Maysville (see below); note in the December 4, 1895 edition of the [Maysville] Public Ledger about a visit to Maysville by “J. Fred Helf of Cincinnati”; article about Helf and his then vaudeville partner Hal Yost containing drawings of both of them in the August 9, 1897 edition of the same Maysville newspaper; article in the June 5, 1898 edition of the Cincinnati Enquirer noting that Helf and Yost, “the local variety team”, had split up and Helf’s new vaudeville partner was named Moran; 1899 article from the New York Telegraph reprinted in the August 6, 1899 edition of the Indianapolis Journal noting that Helf had been writing songs “out West” for several years but did not achieve recognition until the “present season”, after moving to New York, reportedly at the urging of minstrel performer Lew Dockstader, who “discovered him”; 1902 New York City birth certificate for Helf’s daughter Mira giving his name as “John Fred Helf” and his place of birth as Maysville, Kentucky; Helf obituary articles in many newspapers all over the country on various dates in November, 1915 reporting that he had died in Liberty, New York after undergoing surgery and had been born in Maysville and stating either that he was 44 or was “in his forty-fifth year” (1905 and 1915 New York Census records gave his age as 33 and 44, respectively, and 1910 U.S. Census records gave his age as 38); 1870 U.S. Census records showing a Charles Denison, age 3, father’s name Marion, living with his parents in Norwich, Chenango County, New York; 1886-1893 Elmira, New York city directories listing Charles or Charles M. Denison, telegrapher, boarding at the home of his father, Marion Denison; 1900 U.S. Census records showing “Charles M. Denniston” [sic], living in Wallkill Township, New York, age 33, “R. R. Ticket Agt.”; Middletown city directory entries for Charles M. Dennison [sic], “asst. milk agent, Ontario and Western Railroad” (1905-1907, 1909), “milk dealer” (1910) and “bookkeeper” (1911); 1910 U.S. Census record showing Charles M. Denison living in Middletown, age 43, occupation “Milk business Creamery”; 1913 Herkimer, New York city directory (Ilion section) listing Charles M. Denison and his son Charles E. both “emp. armory” (meaning, presumably, the Remington arms manufacturing plant; other entries read “emp. typewriter”, presumably referring to Remington’s associated typewriter manufacturing operation); 1915 New York Census record showing Charles M. Denison, age 48, living in German Flatts, Herkimer County, New York, with his wife and children, occupation “Stock Clerk”; 1930 U.S. Census record showing him living with his son and son’s family on a farm in Minden Township, Montgomery County, New York, age 62, no profession listed; 1940 U.S. Census record showing him living in Ephratah, Fulton County, New York, having remarried, according to New York State marriage records, in 1931, age 73, occupation “Telegraph operator Railroad”, still working 40 hours per week

#1156 - A Picnic for Two, Scarcity: S
There is a copy in MN of the sheet music for this 1905 song with lyrics by Arthur J. Lamb and music by Albert Von Tilzer, called, on the cover, “Albert Von Tilzer’s Greatest Song”. The publisher was the York Music Company, Albert Von Tilzer, Mgr., with offices on Tin Pan Alley. A couple is spooning on the sand as the moon, fishes and waves all look on, and the chorus expresses the thought that to settle down in a cunning and roomy little cottage with blooming flowers to love a “dainty little girlie” who says she’s fond of you would be a “picnic for two”. Lamb (1870-1928) was born in England, came to the United States as a young man, and after touring as a minstrel performer became a songwriter who collaborated with a number of different Tin Pan Alley composers. He also wrote the words to the two much better-known songs “Asleep in the Deep” (1897; music by Henry W. Petrie; see notes to cobs #1050 and 2091) and “A Bird in a Gilded Cage” (1900; music by Harry Von Tilzer; see notes to cob #1134), neither of which was on the roller organ. Albert Von Tilzer (1878-1956), Harry’s younger brother, was born in Indiana as Elias Gumbinsky and was one of the five Gumbinsky brothers who all came to New York City, became involved in the music publishing business and changed their name to Von Tilzer. Albert’s best-known composition is probably the tune to “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” (1908; again not on the roller organ). Reference: OC

#1157 - How Would You like to Spoon with Me?, Scarcity: LC
The sheet music for this 1905 song, a copy of which is in UM, gives the title as “How’d You Like to Spoon With Me?” and calls it “the song success of the Shubert Bros. latest English musical comedy “The Earl and the Girl””, a show originally presented in London in 1903-1904 that opened in the United States in 1905 with this song added. The tune was by the later very well-known and successful musical comedy composer Jerome Kern (1885-1945), a native New Yorker, then only 20, who at that time had just started his long career by working as a Tin Pan Alley pianist and music editor as well as composing. The lyrics were by Edward Laska (1884-1959), a less-remembered figure, also young and from New York, who had attended City College and later wrote lyrics to many other songs and was also involved in music publishing. At the time, to “spoon” meant “to behave in an amorous way, to kiss and cuddle” (the lyrics to the piece on the previous cob also used the word) and the song is a duet in which the girl, Elphin, invites the earl, Dick, to spoon with her in the first verse and he expresses enthusiasm about the idea in the second. References: OC; EM; 1910 U.S. Census record showing Laska living in New York City with his Hungarian-born widowed mother and younger brother, age 26, occupation “Manager Publisher Music”; World War I draft registration card in which Laska stated his date of birth as January 3, 1884; article about Laska in the August 26, 1923 edition of The New York Times; obituary article about Laska in the April 29, 1959 edition of The New York Times

#1158 - If a Girl Like You Loved a Boy Like Me, Scarcity: LC
This is still another song that dates from 1905 and a copy of the sheet music for it is in MN. The lyrics were by Will D. (William Denight) Cobb (1876-1930), the Philadelphia-born New York songwriter whom we have previously encountered as the lyricist of the 1900 song “Good-Bye Dolly Gray” (see the notes to cob #1130), and the music was by his frequent collaborator Gus Edwards (ne Simon) (1878-1945), who was born in Germany and brought to New York as a boy and was a singer from an early age and later a songwriter and promoter and producer of shows. The sheet music for the song was published by Edwards’ music publishing company. The two reportedly met when Cobb was working as a bellhop at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York, beginning what became a close friendship and songwriting partnership that continued for many years. The sweet song is in “grazioso” (“graceful”) waltz time and the lyrics are an exchange of words between young lovers that leads to their marriage the following June. References: OC; OA; BU; article about Cobb and Edwards in the February 2, 1930 edition of the New York Daily News; 1892 New York State Census record showing “Gustav Simon” living with his parents and six siblings on Scholes Street in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, age 14, born in Germany, occupation “cigar-maker”; 1900 U.S. Census record showing “Gustav Simon” again living with his parents and six siblings on Scholes Street, age 21, born in August 1878 in Germany, year of immigration 1891, occupation “actor”; U.S. Passport application dated March 20, 1903 for “Gustave Edwards” in which he stated that he was born in Prussia on August 18, 1878 (both OC and OA are therefore mistaken in giving his year of birth as 1879), that he arrived in the United States on a ship from Rotterdam in July, 1891, that he became a naturalized U.S. citizen on the same date as the date of the passport application and that his occupation was “composer”; 1905 New York State Census record showing “Gus S. Simon” living with his parents and four siblings on West 117th Street, Manhattan, age 26, born in Germany, in the United States for 14 years, occupation “composer”

#1159 - Starlight, Scarcity: VS
This is yet another 1905 song by New York “Tin Pan Alley” songwriters, this time with lyrics by Edward Madden (1878-1952) and music by Theodore Morse (1873-1924). It is subtitled “March Song” and a copy of the sheet music for it is in UM with a small photograph of Morse in a circle on the cover. Madden was a native New Yorker who collaborated as lyricist with a number of different Tin Pan Alley composers and wrote the words to “The Red Rose Rag” (on cob #1183) and “Moonlight Bay” (on cob #1227), both with music by Percy Wenrich. Morse was born in Washington, D.C., attended the Maryland Military Academy and, after coming to New York and working as a clerk in the music publishing business, started his own firm, Morse Music Company, which is remembered as the original publisher of “Goodbye Dolly Gray” (see the notes to cob #1130). One wonders to what extent Madden and Morse tried to emulate that very successful song in writing “Starlight”, which is a very similar “tear jerker”: in the first verse and chorus a soldier bids farewell to his love, whom he calls “Starlight”, and marches off to war, and in the second verse when the troops return she looks for him and finds he is not among them, presumably having died in battle. Morse continued to be involved in music publishing as well as composing for the rest of his life, collaborating with Madden as well as other Tin Pan Alley lyricists, and composed the tune to “M-O-T-H-E-R” (on cob #1234), with lyrics by Howard Johnson. References: OC; BU; New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission Designation Report for 47 West 28th Street, December 10, 2019 (noting that in 1900 Morse Music Company had its office in this building) (This report, incidentally, includes an excellent and detailed summary of information about the Tin Pan Alley music publishing business, how it promoted its songs, some of the principal figures involved in it, and its effect upon American popular culture of the early 20th century); World War I draft registration card in which Madden stated his name as Edward Michael Madden, his date of birth as July 17, 1878, his occupation as author and his place of business in care of music publishers Shapiro Bernstein; California Death Index entry for him giving the same date of birth, his place of birth as New York, his date of death as March 11, 1952 and his place of death as Los Angeles

#1160 - Happy Heinie, Scarcity: S
This 1905 instrumental piece is another by Danish-born composer, conductor and arranger J. (Jens) Bodewalt Lampe (1869-1929), who led his own concert orchestra and for a number of years headed the band and orchestral department of music publisher Jerome H. Remick & Co. in New York; for more detailed information about him, see the notes to cob #1132, on which his much better-known composition “Creole Belles” appeared. “Heinie”, originally a nickname for the German name “Heinrich”, later became a slang term for a German. The cover of the sheet music for the piece, a copy of which is in UM, depicts a “Dutch” character (and misspells “Heinie” as “Heine”) and the tune is a “rag” based on German themes, beginning with the familiar melody from the second movement of Austrian classical composer Franz Josef Haydn’s “Surprise Symphony” (Symphony No. 94) which became the tune to the children’s song “Papa Haydn’s Dead and Gone”. The full version of the piece in the sheet music (although not the cob) also includes a brief section of “Die Wacht am Rhein” (on cob #127) as the introduction and part of “Du, Du Liegst Mir im Herzen” (on cob #162) right after the Haydn theme, both also “ragged”.

Cobs #1161-1170

#1161 - You're a Grand Old Flag, Scarcity: LC
We have already encountered George M. Cohan twice, first as the teenaged writer of four extra “encore verses” to the 1894 song “What Could the Poor Girl Do?” on cob #1068 and then as both the writer and composer of the 1897 song “Warmest Baby in the Bunch”, subtitled “Ethiopian Ditty”, on cob #1098, with lyrics in dialect and replete with the usual negative African-American stereotypes of the time. “You’re a Grand Old Flag” is, by contrast, a beloved, long-remembered and still nearly universally known piece that rose to the level of an American patriotic anthem. It originally appeared in a 1906 Cohan show, “George Washington Jr.”, and there is sheet music for it in MN, published by Kerry Mills’ music publishing company (see the notes to cob #1107). The title of the piece in the first edition of the sheet music was “You’re a Grand Old Rag”, but this was quickly changed because it was regarded as disrespectful to the flag. Cohan (1878-1942) remains one of the most outstanding figures in the history of American entertainment and not only wrote both the lyrics and music for his songs but also wrote, produced, directed and starred as an actor, singer and dancer in shows that included them. He was the son of vaudeville performers and appeared beginning when he was a child in an act called “the Four Cohans” that consisted of his parents and sister and he soon moved on to writing and performing in his own shows. He also wrote the World War I-era song “Over There”, on cob #1245. Two biographies of him, notably, are subtitled “Prince of the American Theatre” and “the Man Who Owned Broadway”. References: OC, BW, EM

#1162 - Cheyenne, Scarcity: LC
Because “Cheyenne” is the name of a Native American tribe, the 1906 song on this cob is often lumped together with songs with a Native American theme that became popular during the first decade of the twentieth century (see the notes to cobs #1139, 1141, 1152 and 1173). In fact, however, this song makes no references to Native Americans; instead, it is a “cowboy”-themed song in which “Cheyenne” refers to the Wyoming city of that name and also, in a play on words, to the young lady whom a cowboy calls “shy Ann”. In the lyrics, the cowboy convinces “shy Ann” to hop on his pony with him so that they can ride 67 miles together to Cheyenne to be married, but when they arrive she has second thoughts about going through with the marriage and he tells her that if she does not become his bride she will have to walk home. The song is another by composer Egbert Van Alstyne (1878-1951) and lyricist Harry H. Williams (1879-1922) (see also the notes to cob #1145) and there is a copy of the sheet music for it in MN containing at the bottom of the first page a notice that “This composition can be had for all automatic piano players” on a perforated music roll available from Whitney Warner at 45 West 28th Street, New York, on Tin Pan Alley (see the notes to cob #1159), a reminder that by this time player pianos were already competing with cob roller organs as a means of home musical entertainment. “Cheyenne”, a very popular song, was also widely recorded on cylinders and discs.

#1163 - My Irish Molly O, Scarcity: LC
Like “Mr. Dooley” (see the notes to cob #1137), the song on this cob was written by Tin Pan Alley songwriters William Jerome (1865-1932) (lyrics) and Jean Schwartz (1878-1956) (music) and has an Irish-American theme: the singer, using the words “acushla” (from the Irish “a chuisle”, meaning “o pulse [of my heart]”) and “begorra” (an Irish euphemism for “by God”), expresses his love for his dear Molly and appeals to her to marry him, saying that “spring time…is ring time” and he has already bought the furniture for a flat for them, except that the cradle has not been delivered yet. Jerome’s full birth name was William Jerome Flannery and both of his parents were born in Ireland. There is sheet music for the song in UM with a copyright date of 1905, small cameo photographs of Jerome and Schwartz on the cover and a larger photograph of actress and singer Blanche Ring (see notes to cob #1136), who sang the song when it was interpolated into an American production of an English musical comedy, “Sergeant Brue”, that was brought to the United States in that year. Only the chorus of the song appears on the cob. References: OC; EM; 1870 U.S. Census record showing William Flannery, age 5, living with his Irish-born parents and two siblings in Cornwall [Cornwall-on-Hudson], Orange County, New York

#1164 - Lazy Moon, Scarcity: VS
Both the lyricist and the composer of this pretty 1903 song were interesting figures who were prominent in the history and development of the music of and by African-Americans in the United States. The lyricist, Georgia-born singer, dancer and comedian Bob (Robert Allen) Cole (1868-1911), wrote songs for, appeared in, and put together shows such as “A Trip to C—ntown” (1897), which had an entirely African-American cast rather than the whites in blackface who typically appeared in minstrel performances. A few years later he teamed up with the composer, J. (John) Rosamond Johnson (1873-1954), who was a singer and pianist, and they performed together in vaudeville. Johnson was born in Jacksonville, Florida and was educated at Atlanta University and the New England Conservatory of Music. He is particularly remembered as the composer of the tune to “Lift Every Voice and Sing”, with lyrics written by his also very accomplished brother, James Weldon Johnson, which was sung for the first time by African-American schoolchildren in Jacksonville at a Lincoln’s Birthday event in 1900 and became known as “the Negro National Anthem”. He also wrote many songs and scores, frequently with Cole and/or his brother, that appeared in both solely African-American productions and mainstream vaudeville and musicals and, later in his life, compiled, again with his brother, two volumes of African-American spirituals and wrote a history of African-American music. Music publisher Edward B. Marks, partner of Joseph W. Stern in the Tin Pan Alley music publishing company bearing Stern’s name (see notes to cob #2128) said that Johnson and his brother “combined a clerical dignity [their father was a minister], university culture, and an enormous amount of talent. … They wrote songs sometimes romantic, sometimes whimsical, but they eschewed the squalor and squabbles, the razors, wenches and chickens of the first ragtime”. Similarly, following Cole’s death by drowning in Catskill, New York, at the age of 43, a lengthy and detailed obituary article about him summarizing his career in the August 10, 1911 edition of the New York Age, the “Leading Negro Newspaper”, described him as “the most versatile and gifted colored artist on the stage” who was “ambitious to exhibit on the stage the real life of the progressive, cultured Negro of today with minute accuracy, and sought hard to elevate the public to his own mental level rather than cater to the prevalent, although ofttimes unfair and inaccurate, ideas existing with references to all citizens of color”. In Cole’s simple lyrics to this song, the singer asks the moon to appear from behind the hill so that it will be bright and clear and his sweetheart will come out to meet him in the lane. There is a copy of the sheet music for it in UM with a photograph of George Primrose on the cover. Primrose (1852-1919) was a famous minstrel performer credited with originating soft shoe dancing and according to BU he and his protégés the twin Foley Brothers used “Lazy Moon” as the music for their soft shoe dance routine. References: OC; OA; EM; BU; MM; obituary article about Primrose in the July 24, 1919 edition of The New York Times

#1165 - Sympathy, Scarcity: S
[With regard to this cob, see the WARNING AND HISTORICAL CONTENT DISCLAIMER about songs containing offensive language or negative stereotypes at the end of the General Introduction to this Handbook.] Both the lyrics and music of the 1905 song on this cob were written by “Kendis and Paley” (James Kendis (1883-1946) and Herman Paley (1879-1955)), a duo who usually worked together composing tunes for songs with lyrics written by others. There is sheet music for the song in UM with the subtitle “a c—n plaint”, although the lyrics are not in dialect: the singer, who has just had to walk all the way back from Sheepshead Bay in Brooklyn after losing his “dough” gambling at the racetrack there, laments that friends are always quick to give him sympathy when what he really needs is money. Kendis and Paley are not widely known but there was a little biographical information about them and a photograph of each of them in an article titled “Some Jewish Song-Writers of America” in the July, 1905 edition of The New Era Illustrated Magazine, a New York publication devoted to matters of Jewish interest: James Kendis was from “the West” and, while untutored musically, had the gift of formulating tunes in his mind, and Herman Paley, a native New Yorker who had graduated from the College of the City of New York and studied music at Columbia University, would transcribe their compositions and put them into musical form acceptable for publication. An obituary article about Kendis in the November 16, 1946 edition of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported that he had died at his home in Queens, New York, was born in Minnesota but grew up in Philadelphia, first came to New York when he was only 16 with a sheaf of 50 of his songs that he hoped to sell but none was accepted, came back two years later and had better success, was hired as a staff composer by the Remick music publishing firm in 1904 and later had his own music publishing firm. An obituary article about Paley in the November 5, 1955 edition of the Chicago Tribune, one of many nearly identical articles in newspapers all over the country reporting his death in California the previous day, said that he wrote more than 1,000 songs (and included “Sympathy” first in a list of several of his better-known ones), was a pianist for top vaudeville singers in the 20s and 30s and was for years a talent scout for film studios and radio networks. Additional references: Index to New York City death certificates entry for James Kendis, born in St. Paul, Minnesota on March 9, 1883, died on November 15, 1946, song writer and publisher, son of Russian-born parents Israel and Hannah Kendis, buried in Montefiore Cemetery, Philadelphia [a Jewish cemetery actually in Jenkintown near Philadelphia]; 1900 U.S. Census record for Paley showing him living in Manhattan with his father and four siblings, born in April 1879 in Russia, immigrated in 1882, occupation “musician”; U.S. passport application for Herman Everett Paley dated August 15, 1918 in which he stated that he was born in Minsk, Russia on April 5, 1879 and was a composer and pianist traveling to France to entertain American troops there

#1166 - Waiting at the Church, Scarcity: S
Although this is a British music hall song rather than another American Tin Pan Alley piece, it was performed in the U.S. in 1906 by the well-known British music hall singer Vesta Victoria while she was on an American tour. The lyricist was Fred W. Leigh (1870-1924), whom SU describes as London music publisher Francis, Day & Hunter’s literary editor, and the music was by Henry E. Pether (1867-1932), a prolific composer of music hall songs whom SU describes as Francis, Day & Hunter’s music editor and OC says worked for most of his life as a member of the staff there, arranging and editing albums and songbooks. We have previously encountered Pether as the arranger of the 1893 music hall song “Bunk a Doodle I Do” on cob #1033. The singer is a bride-to-be waiting at the church on what was to be the day of her wedding who receives a note from the groom-to-be that reads “Can’t get away to marry you today- My wife won’t let me!” The American sheet music for the song, a copy of which is in MN, lists as publisher the New York office of Francis, Day & Hunter and has on the cover the heading “Vesta Victoria’s New Song Successes as Featured by the Famous English Comedienne on Her American Tour” and a photograph of her in a bridal gown. In the previous decade, she had popularized “Daddy Wouldn’t Buy Me a Bow-Wow” (see the notes to cobs #1027 and 2014).

#1167 - You Look Awful Good to Father, Scarcity: LC
The sheet music for this 1905 song, a copy of which is in UM, advertises the song as coming from the musical comedy “The Umpire” and credits the lyrics to Will M. Hough and Frank R. Adams and the music to Joe E. Howard. It is a humorous song about Jimmie, who was the toughest kid in his school but was afraid of girls; when he grows up he loses his heart to a “little girl that high” but is too tongue-tied to propose to her, and she recites in the chorus that he “looks good” to all of her family (her father, mother, sister and cousin Lou) and also to her, calls him “Honey”, tells him “I’m yours”, calls in her family and tells them that they are engaged. Hough (1882-1962) and Adams (1883-1963) were still students at the University of Chicago when they collaborated on the book and lyrics for the first of a number of musical comedies for which Howard composed the music and which were presented in Chicago during the period from 1904 to 1910 and in several cases moved on to Broadway in New York. The fourth of these was “The Umpire”, which opened at the La Salle Theater in Chicago on December 2, 1905. After Hough and Adams split with Howard in 1910, Hough did some further writing for the musical theater with others in the ‘teens and also became a film scenario writer. Adams had a career as a journalist, author and novelist and also wrote screenplays for early Hollywood films. We have already encountered Howard (1867?-1961) as co-writer, with his onetime wife Ida Emerson, of the song “Hello— Ma Baby” on cob #1112 (see the notes to that cob). Reference: EM

#1168 - Tammany, Scarcity: S
Tammany Hall was, for many decades including the entire roller organ era, the name of the Democratic Party’s political machine in New York City, known for its tight organization of local wards, its making loyal voters of immigrants, its dispensing political patronage and, at various times during its long existence, its graft and corruption. It was named for a Native American chief named Tammany who met with William Penn and pledged amity at the time of Penn’s settlement of Pennsylvania and there was a statue of the chief high on the façade of the old Tammany Hall building on East 14th Street in Manhattan. The 1905 song on this cob is a parody of the Native American-themed popular songs of a few years earlier and its lyrics begin “Hiawatha was an Indian, so was Navajo, Paleface organ grinders killed them many moons ago”, referring to the 1901 song “Hiawatha” (on cob #1139) and the 1903 song “Navajo”, the first successful piece by Egbert Van Alstyne and Harry Williams (see the notes to cob #1145). This song, by contrast, is subtitled “A Pale Face Pow-Wow”, and the satirical Native American references are to the denizens of Tammany Hall, where the “Big Chief” sits in his “teepee” cheering braves to victory with the cry “Swamp ‘em, Swamp ‘em, get the “wampum”” (wampum being Native American beads used as currency and also slang for money). The second verse includes the lyrics “Stick together at the poll[s], You’ll have long green wampum rolls” and “Politicians get positions” and on the inside back cover of the sheet music, a copy of which is in DU, there are lyrics to six more verses, each with its own chorus, one about getting “dagos” (Italian immigrants) jobs so that they will become Tammany voters, one about putting “Irish Indians” on the police force even though they don’t know the difference between a platoon and a spittoon and sleep on the job, and others referring to political figures and topical issues of the time relating to Tammany Hall. The pounding accompaniment to the verses replicates the sound of a Native American tom-tom. The lyrics were by Vincent Bryan (1877-1937) and the music was by Gus Edwards (1878-1945), and FS tells how the duo spontaneously wrote the piece, starting with the chorus, right before a 1905 Tammany Hall smoker for which Edwards had been engaged to provide the entertainment, and performed it for the first time there to great acclaim; in the sheet music the piece is “Respectfully Dedicated to the Hon. Timothy D. Sullivan”, known as “Big Tim”, a Tammany Hall political leader who was at the time a U.S. Congressman. We have previously encountered Gus Edwards as the composer of the tune to “If a Girl Like You Loved a Boy Like Me” on cob #1158 (see the notes to that cob). Vincent Bryan was a reasonably prolific Tin Pan Alley lyricist who, like some other songwriters of the first decade of the twentieth century discussed here, subsequently relocated to California and became involved in the making of motion pictures there. A paragraph about him in the 1907 edition of Who’s Who in New York City and State (New York, L.R. Hamersly & Company) described him as a songwriter and playwright, gave his birth date as June 22, 1877 and said that he was educated at two of New York City’s numbered public schools, P.S. 58 and 86, had originally intended to study law but when he found that he could write acceptable stage material began writing acts for vaudeville, toured in 1902-1903 as press agent to Primrose and Dockstader’s Minstrels, and since then was engaged in writing songs and musical comedies. A copy of a different edition of the sheet music for “Tammany” containing just Edwards’ tune as a “march and two-step” and no lyrics is in NP. Additional references: 1880 U.S. Census record showing Vincent Bryan, age 3, living on West 54th Street, Manhattan, with his father, a printer born in Newfoundland, and his mother, born in Ireland; 1900 U.S. Census record showing Vincent P. Bryan, age 22, born in June, 1877, again living in Manhattan, “Clerk—City Office”; 1910 U.S. Census record showing Vincent P. Bryan, still living in Manhattan, age 32, “Author—Fiction”; 1918 World War I draft registration card for Vincent Patrick Bryan, born June 22, 1877, still with a Manhattan address, “Author and Moving Picture Director”; 1920 U.S. Census record showing Vincent P. Bryan, age 42, living in Los Angeles, “Secretary and Press Agent—Moving Pictures”; 1930 U.S. Census record showing Vincent Bryan, age 53, living in Los Angeles, “Song Writer—Motion Picture Studio”; brief piece in the April 30, 1937 edition of the Los Angeles Times reporting that Bryan, who had died three days earlier, had been associated with Florenz Ziegfeld and Charlie Chaplin and that a number of Tin Pan Alley figures would be pallbearers at his funeral, including Gus Edwards and others whose songs were on the roller organ (Percy Wenrich (cobs #1183, 1207, 1227 and 1228), Neal Moret (cobs #1139 and 1152) and Ted Snyder (cob #1174)), and the eulogy would be delivered by J. Keirn Brennan (cobs #1240 and 1250)

#1169 - Napoleon's March, Scarcity: LC
The inclusion of this piece at this point in the list of cobs raises once again the question of how music was chosen to be included on the roller organ and why an obscure, then decades-old march tune appears following a large group of popular songs almost all dating from 1905 and 1906. There is a digitized copy of undated sheet music for the piece on the hathitrust.org website giving the title as “Napoleon March” by A. Parlow, his opus 104. From the simple, unadorned style of the cover, this sheet music is clearly from a much earlier era than the sheet music for the early twentieth century Tin Pan Alley songs, which typically have colorful covers with artwork designed to be appealing and attractive to potential buyers and sometimes with a photograph of the songwriter(s) and/or a performer who popularized the piece. According to HE, Albert Parlow (1824-1888) was a German composer and bandmaster and his band serenaded Napoleon III when on a tour through France.

#1170 - Dearie, Scarcity: S
The piece on this cob is once again a popular song from 1905. It was both written and composed by songwriter and later playwright Clare (nee Beecher) Kummer (1873-1958) and the sheet music for it, a copy of which is in UM, was published by Joseph W. Stern & Co. (see the notes to cobs #2128 and 1064) and indicates on the cover that, like “My Irish Molly O” on cob #1163, it was sung in the American production of the English musical farce “Sergeant Brue”. The lyrics are an expression of love: although the world is growing older and colder and is no place for a dreamer, the singer dreams constantly of her “Dearie” and would be joyful if only her feelings were reciprocated. As noted in the paragraph on cob #1145, a 1907 magazine article titled “Princely Profits from Single Songs” ranked “Dearie” as the second most successful song in sheet music sales over the previous seven years, bested only by “In the Shade of the Old Apple Tree”. The article included a photograph of Kummer (a tiny version of which also appeared in a heart on the cover of the sheet music), a grandniece of the famous nineteenth-century clergyman and abolitionist Henry Ward Beecher and a well-educated, cultured young woman who, according to the article, when she first approached a Tin Pan Alley music publisher to try to sell some of her songs, was told that they were too highbrow and she should “get off…[her] pedestal and write some stuff that the common people can understand”. She returned with a “c—n song” based on the love story of Antony and Cleopatra titled “Egypt”, it was accepted for publication and, on the basis of its success, she was contacted by comedienne Sallie Fisher who asked whether she might have a song for her to sing as an interpolated number in the American production of “Sergeant Brue”. Kummer hesitatingly told her that she had “Dearie”, which she considered “only a trifle” and described as “one of my relaxations—just a little thing to send to my friends as a valentine”. Fisher sang it in the show and it brought down the house, with repeated requests for encores, and when the song was published sheet music sales quickly rose into the six figures. Additional references: EM; OA; 1900 U.S. Census record showing Clare Kummer, age 27, born in Jan 1873, living in Catskill, New York with her then-husband Frederic Kummer; 1920 U.S. Passport Application signed by “Clare Beecher Kummer Henry” stating that she then lived at Narragansett Pier, Rhode Island and was born in Brooklyn, New York on January 9, 1873 (A number of sources incorrectly give her birth year as 1886)

Cobs #1171-1180

#1171 - Merry Widow Waltz, Scarcity: LC
The familiar and pretty waltz tune on this cob (“Lippen schweigen”) came from the musical comedy “Die lustige Witwe” (“The Merry Widow”) with music by Hungarian-born Viennese composer Franz Lehar (1870-1948) and book by Victor Leon [Viktor Hershfeld] (1858-1940) and Leo Stein [Rosenstein] (1861-1921). It was first performed at the Theater an der Wien in Vienna in December, 1905 and first performed in New York, in an English language version, in October, 1907, and its quick spread in popularity throughout the world gave rise to a craze for all things Viennese, during which women even wore “Merry Widow” hats and clothing. The fact that the waltz tune was at one time heard everywhere and everyone was waltzing to it even led a couple of Tin Pan Alley wags, Edgar Selden and Seymour Furth, to write a 1907 comic song titled “I’m Looking For The Man That Wrote ‘The Merry Widow Waltz’”, sung to the tune of the waltz and with a rhyming next line in the second verse chorus of “And if I chance to find him, he’ll need more than smelling salts”. A copy of the sheet music for this song is in AZ. References: OC; EM

#1172 - Turkey in the Straw, Scarcity: LC
[With regard to this cob, see the WARNING AND HISTORICAL CONTENT DISCLAIMER about songs containing offensive language or negative stereotypes at the end of the General Introduction to this Handbook.] According to BW, this well-known American country fiddle tune was originally known as “Zip C—n”, which was also the name of a blackface minstrel character, and was published in five different editions in about 1834 under that title. Two blackface minstrel entertainers who sang and danced it in that year, George Washington Dixon and Bob Farrell, and a blackface clown, George Nichols, all claimed to have written it, but there are a number of melodies in Irish, Scottish and English traditional music similar to the tune, which probably also had its roots in the British Isles folk tradition. Additional references: OC

#1173 - Red Wing, Scarcity: C
The 1907 song on this cob is still another with a tune by Kerry Mills (1869-1948) (see the notes to cobs #1107 and 1116), whose firm also published the sheet music for it, a copy of which is in DU. The piece is subtitled “an Indian intermezzo” (on the cover) and “an Indian fable” (inside) and the lyrics, by Thurland Chattaway, tell of an “Indian maid” named “Red Wing” who pines each night for her love, a brave warrior who has gone off to battle, and when the warriors return he is not among them, having been killed (a variant, this time in a Native American setting, of the theme of two songs of just a few years earlier, “Good-Bye Dolly Gray” (on cob #1130) and “Starlight” (on cob #1159)). Mills clearly adapted the tune for the verse from classical composer Robert Schumann’s “Happy Farmer” (“Frohlicher Landmann”) from his “Album fur die Jugend” (“Album for the Young”), opus 68, no. 10 (1848). Chattaway (1872-1947) was born in Springfield, Massachusetts, began his career as a boy soprano, moved to New York at the age of 24 to work for a musical magazine edited by Paul Dresser (see the notes to cob #2137) and later devoted himself primarily to songwriting. Although he was a talented performer and pianist as well as a composer and lyricist, he is remembered today mostly for writing the lyrics to this song. Reference: OC

#1174 - My Wife's Gone to the Country, Scarcity: LC
There is a copy in MN of the sheet music for this 1909 song, the full title of which is “My Wife’s Gone to the Country Hurrah! Hurrah!”, with words co-written by George Whiting and Irving Berlin and music by Ted Snyder, published by Snyder’s New York music publishing firm. It is the first of three pieces on the cob roller organ by the beloved and extremely prolific American songwriter Berlin (1888-1989) and dates from the earliest years of his very long career. A man named Brown’s wife and children leave on a train to the country and he is so elated that they are gone that he calls all his friends and invites them to come downtown to visit him, and a reporter friend of his even places an advertisement in the newspaper about it. Extra verses at the end of the sheet music include one in which Brown, while his wife is away, looks up a “pretty girl he used to know” and leaves a note for her that includes the words “I love my wife but oh you kid”, a line from, as well as the title of, another 1909 song (on cob #1178); this prompted then-popular fire-and-brimstone evangelist Billy Sunday to condemn both songs by name in his sermons as encouraging marital infidelity and leading to divorce (and, according to TP, Whiting’s own wife divorced him because of the song). In a lengthy interview with Berlin that appeared in the July, 1915 edition of The Green Book Magazine including several photographs of him at age 26, Berlin explained how his song came to be written: he and Whiting (1884-1943), a vaudeville actor, were both patrons in a New York City barber shop and Berlin asked Whiting what time he had to go home, hoping to have a chat with him, and Whiting replied “I don’t have to go home. My wife’s gone to the country”. This last sentence kept going through Berlin’s mind as the possible basis for a song and he first added to it the words “Hurrah! Hurrah!”, quickly wrote the lyrics to the rest of the chorus, added the lyrics of the verses and came up with the rudiments of the tune all within a couple of hours (As the introduction to the interview explains, Berlin could not read a note of music). Snyder (1881-1965) was a former café pianist who worked on the staffs of music publishers in Chicago and New York before starting his own music publishing firm in 1908. Shortly afterwards, he hired Berlin as staff lyricist at the firm, which published the sheet music for not only “My Wife’s Gone to the Country” but also Berlin’s two colossal hits in 1911, “Alexander’s Ragtime Band” (on cob #1187) and “Everybody’s Doing It” (on cob #1180). Additional references: OC; Burning Truths from Billy’s Bat (a lengthy compilation of Billy Sunday “anecdotes, terse sayings, etc.”; the “bat” reference is to the fact that Sunday was a former baseball player) (Philadelphia, Diamond Publishing Co., 1914)

#1175 - Original Rags, Scarcity: S
The tunes on this cob are the only ones on the roller organ by Scott Joplin (1868-1917), who is remembered today for his almost universally known “Maple Leaf Rag” and “The Entertainer” and is widely regarded as the greatest composer of what are called by purists “true” piano rags, as opposed to the much wider class of pieces, some with lyrics, that over time came to be lumped together under the name “ragtime music”. Joplin was born in the vicinity of Texarkana, Texas, the son of a former slave, and from an early age exhibited a natural talent on the piano, which he learned to play in homes where his mother worked as a domestic. He left home while he was in his mid-teens and made his way to St. Louis, supporting himself as a piano player in saloons, clubs and brothels, later lived in Sedalia, Missouri and still later moved to New York City. “Original Rags” was his first rag to appear in print, published by Kansas City music publisher Carl Hoffman in early 1899. Interestingly, Joplin offered his “Maple Leaf Rag” to Hoffman at the same time but Hoffman turned it down, and it instead became an enormous success later in the year, far surpassing “Original Rags” in popularity, when it was published in Sedalia by music publisher John Stark, who thereafter became a major publisher of piano rags both by Joplin and other composers. The cover of the sheet music for “Original Rags”, a copy of which is in DU, once again played upon the two meanings of the word “rag” (a piece of music containing what were then new and different “ragged” syncopated rhythms vs. a piece of old cloth): it depicted a caricatured African-American tramp in patched clothes in front of a shack—that is, a ragpicker, someone a collects and sells rags—and acknowledged Joplin’s composition of the “rags” with the words “picked by Scott Joplin” (see also the notes to cob #1143, “Any Rags?”). Charles N. Daniels (see the notes to cob #1139) was credited as arranger. References: OC, RA, TP, RR, RH (which reprinted a very detailed biographical article about Joplin by Addison W. Reed)

#1176 - Don't Take Me Home, Scarcity: S
This is a 1908 “comic novelty” Tin Pan Alley song with lyrics by Vincent Bryan (1877-1937) (see the notes to cob #1168) and music by Harry Von Tilzer (1872-1946) (see the notes to cobs #1134 and 1144). There is a copy of the sheet music for it in CC, published by Von Tilzer’s music publishing firm. The lyrics tell of one Augustus J. McCann, a “henpecked married man”, who dislikes the idea of returning to his wife at their strife-filled home so much that when he is hit by a car at 3:30 in the morning while on a spree he protests so vigorously against being taken home that he is put in jail, and when he is released after six months of peace there he protests again, and finally in the third verse he enlists as a soldier and finds being in battle like “vacation time” until he is wounded and is to be sent home and protests still again, each time imploring “Don’t take me home!”

#1177 - I Wish I Had a Girl, Scarcity: LC
There is a copy in CC of the sheet music for this 1907 song, in which the singer laments the fact that he has been unsuccessful with the “girlies” and longs to have a sweetheart like the other fellows. The lyrics were by Gus Kahn (1886-1941) and the music was by Grace LeBoy (1890-1983); eight years later, the two became husband and wife. Kahn was born in Germany, was brought to the U.S. as a small boy and grew up in Chicago. He initially worked for a downtown Chicago firm that sold crockery and bar supplies and this was his first published song, and LeBoy, who was born in Brooklyn but also grew up in the Chicago area, was only 17 when the song was published. Kahn subsequently became a very prolific Tin Pan Alley lyricist (although he never moved to New York, preferring to remain in Chicago) and wrote the words to many well-known songs, primarily during the period from the mid-‘teens through the late ‘twenties, some of which appeared in Broadway shows. In the last decade of his life he and LeBoy moved to California and he became a motion picture songwriter. Other songs of his that appeared on the roller organ were “Memories” (1915; on cob #1236), “Pretty Baby” (also 1915; on cob #1239) and “Ain’t We Got Fun?” (1921; on cob #1258). References: OC; TP; article in the March 4, 1909 edition of the Detroit Free Press reporting that Jerome H. Remick & Co., the Detroit music publishing firm, had bought the copyright to the song from the original publisher, Thompson Music Co. of Chicago, for $10,000, the highest price paid for any song except for “Hiawatha”, which was also sold for $10,000 back in 1902 (see the notes to cob #1139); 1910 U.S. Census record showing Kahn as age 23, born in Germany, living in Chicago with his mother and sister, immigrated in 1892, occupation “commercial traveler—liquors”; 1910 U.S. Census record showing LeBoy, age 20, born in New York, living in Chicago with her French-born father, Samuel, a tailor, her German-born mother, Celia, and four siblings (Albert, David, Bertha and Rudolph), occupation “songwriter/musician” (by contrast, the 1900 U.S. Census record for what was clearly the same family had shown them living in Elgin, Illinois, about 35 miles from Chicago, gave the family name as “Lombard” instead of “LeBoy”, listed Samuel as a tailor but gave his birthplace as Russia rather than France, listed his wife Celia and the same five children, including Grace, as well as two older children, and gave Grace’s age as 10, but mistakenly gave her birth date as July 1889 and her birthplace as Illinois); Cook County, Illinois marriage index entry showing the marriage of Kahn, age 28, and LeBoy, age 25, on August 18, 1915; World War I draft registration card signed by Kahn in which he gave his home address in Chicago, date of birth as November 6, 1886, profession as song writer and employer as Jerome H. Remick & Co.; U.S. Custom Service/Immigration and Naturalization Service List of In-Bound Passengers form dated October 19, 1949 listing Grace Kahn of Beverly Hills, age 59, returning to the U.S. from LeHavre, giving her place of birth as Brooklyn, New York; article in the December 27, 1951 edition of the Chicago Tribune about Kahn and LeBoy, including their Chicago connections, at the time of the release of a movie about their lives, “I’ll See You in my Dreams”, starring Danny Thomas and Doris Day as the couple; obituary article about LeBoy in the May 30, 1983 edition of the Los Angeles Times; U.S. Social Security death index and California death index entries giving LeBoy’s date of birth as September 22, 1890 and place of birth as New York

#1178 - I Love My Wife, but O You Kid, Scarcity: LC
The year 1909 saw the appearance of two similar songs, “I Love my Wife; But, Oh, You Kid” by vaudeville performers Harry Armstrong and Billy Clark, described on the cover of the sheet music, a copy of which is in UM, as “The Original Song”, and “I Love, I Love, I Love, my Wife But Oh You Kid”, with words by Jimmy Lucas and music by Harry Von Tilzer, a copy of the sheet music for which is held by the Indiana Historical Society (accessible on the website indianahistory.org), published by Von Tilzer’s music publishing firm with an incorrect copyright date of 1908 (Library of Congress records show the copyright was registered on May 12, 1909). The tune to the Lucas/Von Tilzer song is the one on this cob. The lyrics tell of a man named Jonesy who stops to speak to a “sweet girlie” and tells her he is married “BUT” and that he loves his wife and would give his life for her “but Oh you kid”; in the second verse, Jonesy’s wife carries on with the butcher in a similar way and he sings the same chorus to her. As was mentioned in the paragraph about “My Wife’s Gone to the Country” (see the notes to cob #1174), this song was condemned by name by evangelist Billy Sunday in his sermons as encouraging marital infidelity and leading to divorce. We have previously encountered prominent Tin Pan Alley composer and music publisher Von Tilzer (1872-1946) (see the notes to cobs #1134, 1144, 1153 and 1176); Jimmy (sometimes spelled “Jimmie”; birth name Jacob) Lucas (1883?-1949) was a vaudeville performer whose name appeared in countless newspaper notices, advertisements and reviews from 1905 through 1931, although I have not located anything else written about him. He was a comedian, singer and dancer, apparently of diminutive size, and was described in the early years as an impersonator and called “The Boy With the Dozen Dialects” (One figure he impersonated was George M. Cohan, which led to his also being called “the George M. Cohan of vaudeville” and “George M. Cohan Jr.”). He later appeared in a musical comedy titled “The Golden Girl” in which he portrayed a West Point cadet from the South, and for over a decade beginning in 1920 his comic act was called “Vampires and Fools”. Although originally from New York, he was based in Chicago when he was not on the road until, in his later years, like so many figures described here, he moved to California and became involved in the motion picture industry. He was sometimes listed in newspaper notices and advertisements as “Jimmy Lucas & Company”, but reviews of his act indicate that the “company” generally consisted of only a female assistant. In 1925 he took on a new such assistant named Geraldine Herbert, at age 17 twenty-five years younger than him, and they were married and had their first child, also named Geraldine, in the same year. From then until 1931 Geraldine Herbert was billed as his assistant but no mention was made in notices, advertisements or reviews that the two were married. Their second daughter was born in 1933 while they were still living in Illinois, but shortly after that they moved to California and were living there by 1935. Newspaper reviews indicate that Lucas was a well-liked performer who was familiar to his audiences after his many years of returning to the same theaters and that his act consisted of high-energy, zany fun; he was sometimes referred to as a “nut” comedian. Advertisements for his performances often referred to his having written the lyrics to this song. My having located all of this information about Lucas may be irrelevant, however, if it is true, as Von Tilzer claimed in a 1943 copyright case involving this song and the similarly-titled song by Armstrong and Clark, that Von Tilzer wrote the lyrics to this song as well as the music and that he had agreed to give Lucas credit as the writer of the song and pay him royalties because Lucas had suggested the title of the song and had agreed to “plug” the song. Lucas, on the other hand, in a much earlier interview (accompanied by a photograph of him) in the December 3, 1910 edition of the Decatur [Illinois] Herald and Review, had said that he had written the lyrics to the song and had carried them around with him for about a year, showing them freely to everyone, and a music publisher (whom Lucas did not name) had published the lyrics as his own without Lucas’ permission and Lucas had to sue him to collect royalties. In any event, regardless of which (if either) of these claims about the origin of the words of the song is true, the court in the 1943 copyright decision noted that in July, 1909 Lucas had assigned all of the rights and interest he had in the song to Von Tilzer’s publishing firm. Additional references: 1900 U.S. Census record listing James Lukas (with a “k”), age 17, born in April, 1883 in Illinois (apparently a mistake as his younger sister is listed as having been born in New York), living in Chicago with his parents, Herman, a shoemaker, and Rose, both German-born, and two sisters, with the occupation “clerk—shoe sales”; 1910 U.S. Census record listing James Lucas, age 26, born in New York, living in Chicago with his mother and younger sister, occupation “Actor—Theatre”; 1940 U.S. Census record giving his name as “Jimmie Lucas”, age 57, born in New York, occupation “Actor—Motion Picture Studio”, living in Beverly Hills with his wife Geraldine, age 32, also born in New York, and two daughters, 14 and 7, both born in Illinois, listing all of them as having lived in the same place in 1935; World War II draft registration card dated April 25, 1942 completed in the handwriting of a registrar giving his name as “Jacob Lucas”, his age as 58 and his date of birth as April 18, 1884 and signed by him as ““Jimmie” Jacob Lucas”; U.S. Social Security Death Index entry giving his date of birth as April 18, 1883 (although the California Death Index gave the year as 1887 and brief obituary articles in newspapers all over the country following his death on February 21, 1949 gave his age at the time of his death as 61, which would be consistent with a birth year of 1887; the birth year of 1883 given in the 1900 census record and Social Security index and corroborated by his age as given in the 1940 census record, however, appears to be correct because it is unlikely that his age would have been given as 17 and his occupation as “clerk—shoe sales” in the 1900 record if he really was only 13 at the time and it is similarly unlikely that his age would have been given as 17 in that record if he had in fact been born in 1884 rather than 1883, because someone born in 1884 would not have turned 17 at any time during 1900)

#1179 - Shine on, Harvest Moon, Scarcity: S
The very popular and long-remembered song on this cob was introduced in producer Florenz Ziegfeld’s show “Follies of 1908” by a husband and wife duo of vaudeville performers, Jack Norworth (born John Knauff in Philadelphia, 1879-1959) and Nora Bayes (born Dora (?) Goldberg, 1880-1928). Bayes was the bigger star and Norworth was ultimately the second of her five husbands during her relatively short life, but different sources give conflicting information about her place of birth and even her real first name. A copy of the original 1908 sheet music for the song is in NP and credits the words to Norworth and the music to Bayes, although it has been claimed that others actually wrote the song. In the sheet music we once again find an unfamiliar-sounding verse that has been essentially forgotten followed by a chorus that remains widely known even today, and the tune on the cob is only the more familiar chorus played through twice at a rather quick pace. In the verse, a couple is sitting under a willow tree on a moonless night at harvest time and the “little maid”, who is “kind afraid [kinda ‘fraid?] of darkness”, says she is going to leave; then, in the chorus, the boy laments to the moon that he “ain’t had no lovin’” for months and since “snow time ain’t no time to stay outdoors and spoon” asks it to “shine on…for me and my gal”. The second verse says all the boy has to do is ask the girl to be his bride and the moon will smile, and shine on all the while, if she answers “Yes”. It is interesting to note that, despite the great and lasting popularity of the song, this cob has a scarcity rating of only “S” (“scarce”). Reference: OC

#1180 - Everybody's Doing It, Scarcity: LC
This 1911 song with words and music by Irving Berlin (1888-1989) was the second enormous hit of his long songwriting career, following “Alexander’s Ragtime Band” (see the notes to cob #1187), which came out earlier in the same year. The actual title was “Everybody’s Doin’ It Now” and there is a copy of the sheet music for it in UM. The lyrics are just an invitation to join a “ragtime couple” who “throw their shoulders in the air” and “snap their fingers” and others “swaying up the hall” who are all dancing to “funny, funny music”. Edward A. Berlin, in RA, mentions the piece as an example of a “deracialized” ragtime song from the later part of the ragtime era when lyrics were no longer in dialect and made no reference to African-Americans, and he notes that James Weldon Johnson (see the notes to cob #1164) viewed this change as a “theft from the black man”. Additional reference: OC

Cobs #1181-1190

#1181 - Honey Man, Scarcity: S
This Tin Pan Alley ragtime song again dates from 1911 and was subtitled “My Little Lovin’ Honey Man”. The tune was written by Al Piantadosi (1884?-1955), the words were by Joe McCarthy (1885-1943) and there is a copy of the sheet music for the song in UM. Piantadosi was a New York native who was a piano player in a Bowery saloon in 1906 when he wrote the tune to “My Mariuccia Take a Steamboat”, an Italian-themed novelty song that motivated Irving Berlin, then a singing waiter at a rival establishment, to collaborate with one of his fellow waiters in writing what became his earliest published song, the competing “Marie from Sunny Italy”. Piantadosi later toured in vaudeville as an accompanist and worked in the music publishing business before starting his own music publishing firm. He also wrote the tune to “I Didn’t Raise my Boy to Be a Soldier” (on cob #1197). McCarthy (full name Thomas Joseph McCarthy), a Massachusetts native who lived in New York City, was a Tin Pan Alley lyricist who later co-wrote the words to “Ireland Must Be Heaven, for my Mother Came from There” (1916) (reportedly inspired by his mother’s response to a census taker; on cob #1229), as well as the lyrics for a number of Broadway musicals. References: BU; HE; obituary articles about McCarthy in the December 22, 1943 edition of the Boston Globe and the December 25, 1943 edition of The Tablet (a Brooklyn Catholic newspaper) Note: It has been argued that 1884 is not Piantadosi’s correct year of birth based on his month and year of birth having been stated as August 1882 and his age stated as 17 in a 1900 U.S. Census record in which the family’s name was inexplicably and incorrectly spelled as “Pafrafilo” but which clearly referred to Piantadosi and his family, based on a comparison of his parents’ first names and ages and the first names and ages of some of his younger siblings to the corresponding entries for the same family members in the 1910 U.S. Census record. Although this is a minor and arguably insignificant detail it led me to check other sources for his year of birth and I found that all sources I located giving his age—the 1910, 1920, 1930 and 1940 U.S. Census records, the 1915 New York State Census record and the 1916 New York City record of Piantadosi’s marriage—point to an 1884 or perhaps 1883 birth year, depending, as usual, upon whether his age as stated at a given point in time was the age he had already attained at his last birthday or his age as of the date of his birthday in that calendar year. His World War II draft registration card, a U.S. Social Security Applications and Claims Index entry and his tombstone in Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale, California all include a date of August 18, 1884, but his World War I draft registration card and a California Death Index entry give the date as August 18, 1883. In any event, the 1900 U.S. Census record, which misspelled even the family name, should certainly not be used as the sole basis for an assertion that Piantadosi’s correct year of birth was 1882, even if it is the earliest record providing his age or birth year.

#1182 - Glow Worm, Scarcity: LC
The tune on this cob, with the German title “Gluhwurmchen Idyll”, was written by Paul Lincke (1866-1946), a Berlin composer, conductor and music publisher, and appeared with German lyrics in his 1902 operetta “Lysistrata”. Then, in 1907, with lyrics in English written by Lilla Cayley Robinson, it was added into the New York production of an originally English musical comedy, “The Girl Behind the Counter”. Robinson’s name has accordingly been mentioned over and over again in connection with the piece, but I have been unable to locate any other information about her. A United Press article that appeared in a number of newspapers in March, 1954 based on an interview with Herbert Marks, then head of E. B. Marks Music, the successor to the Joseph W. Stern music publishing firm, which had published the sheet music for the English-language version of the piece, a copy of which is in CC, said merely that Robinson was “an English woman, now dead” (and also said that “Glow Worm” was “the most successful song his firm ever published”). She apparently lived in Hamburg, Germany, at least as of 1904: there is an entry in U.S. copyright records for a work titled “Der Meister von Palmyra”, a drama by Adolph Wilbrandt, adapted from the German [apparently under the title “The Love of Life”] by E. Cayley, for which the copyright, registered in 1904, was held by Lilla Cayley Robinson of Hamburg. References: OC, EM, BW (which does not even mention the English-language version of the song)

#1183 - Red Rose Rag, Scarcity: LC
The tune on this cob, which is in the style of a “true” piano rag like those by Scott Joplin (see the notes to cob #1175), was written by Percy Wenrich (1880-1952), another ragtime pianist who played in saloons and night clubs as a young man and, in addition to composing, performed in vaudeville for many years with his wife, singer Dolly Connolly. Born in Joplin, Missouri (and nicknamed “the Joplin Kid” because of this, not because of anything to do with Scott Joplin), he and Connolly lived in New York City and he wrote music for Broadway shows in addition to composing many piano rag tunes and tunes to popular Tin Pan Alley songs such as “Moonlight Bay” (on cob #1227) and “When You Wore a Tulip” (on cob #1228). The 1911 sheet music for “Red Rose Rag”, a copy of which is in UM, depicts Connolly on the cover, smoking a cigarette, in what was considered at the time a risqué pose, and at the top are the words “Dolly Connolly’s Red Rose Song”. The song was written specifically for her and performed by her, with lyrics by Tin Pan Alley lyricist Edward Madden (1878-1952; see the notes to cob #1159) that are more sound than sense: they are an amorous invitation, including phrases with rhymed, alliterative and nonsense words, to meet her in the garden and let her learn the red rose rag. References: OC, RR, TP, 1880 U.S. Census record showing Wenrich, age four months, born in January, 1880, living with his parents in Joplin, Missouri (which shows that the birth years of 1885 and 1887 for him reported in a number of sources are incorrect); 1900 U.S. Census record showing Wenrich, age 20, born in January 1880, again living with his parents in Joplin, occupation “Post office clerk” (his father’s occupation was listed in the same record as “Postmaster”); Cook County, Illinois Marriage Index entry showing Wenrich’s marriage to Connolly in Chicago on July 3, 1906; 1920 U.S. Census record showing Wenrich, “Composer—Music” and wife Dolly, “Actress—Theatricals”, living in Manhattan

#1184 - Casey Jones, Scarcity: C
This song, subtitled “The Brave Engineer”, tells the story of a heroic railroad engineer who crashes his train, losing his own life but saving the lives of others on board. There is a copy of the sheet music for it in DU, showing the lyricist as T. Lawrence Seibert and the composer as Eddie Newton, published by the Southern California Music Co. in Los Angeles and copyrighted by “Newton & Seibert” with a copyright date of 1909. According to WF, there was an actual person named John Luther “Casey” Jones who was an engineer on the Illinois Central Railroad who crashed his train into a stalled freight train in 1900 and was the only person killed because he had told everyone else to jump. A friend of Jones, an African-American engine wiper named Wallace Saunders, reportedly adapted or wrote a song about the incident that was sung by African-American railroad men and was then allegedly adapted by Newton and Seibert, who were white vaudeville performers. FS says that the duo heard two African-American boys in New Orleans singing the song and felt that they could adapt it as a comedy piece, “ragging” the melody, and first introduced their version in 1909 at a café in Venice, California, where it was heard by another vaudeville act, the Three Leightons, who added it to their repertoire and sang it to great applause at the Orpheum Theater in Los Angeles, whereupon Newton and Seibert, who were present, decided to finance the publication of the sheet music for it. Although the cover of the sheet music contains the words “Greatest Comedy Hit in Years” and “The Only Comedy Railroad Song”, the piece seems more like a folk ballad about a hero than a comic song; the only part of the song that sounds as if it may have been intended to be humorous is the conclusion of the final verse in which Jones’ wife, upon being told that he is dying, tells her children to go to bed and stop crying because they “got another papa on the Salt Lake line”. Neither Seibert (1877-1917) nor Newton (1869-1915) lived for more than a few years after their song became popular. References: 1900 U.S. Census record showing “Tallie L. Seibert”, age 22, born in June 1877 in Indiana, a boarder living with his wife and small son in Philadelphia, occupation “Artist—Theatre”; 1908 California Voter Registration index entry showing “Talafaro L. Seibert”, age 31, occupation “Musician”, living in San Francisco; later entry in the same index showing “Tallafaro L. Seibert”, this time age 32, living in Los Angeles County; Monroe County, Indiana obituary index entry showing the death of “T. (Tallie) Lawrence Seibert” on February 24, 1917; 1870 and 1880 U.S. Census records showing “Edwin W. Newton”, age 8 months, and “Eddie Newton”, age 11, respectively, in each case living with his parents in Missouri; 1910 U.S. Census record showing “Eddie W. Newton”, age 40, born in Missouri, living with his wife and three lodgers in San Francisco, occupation “Composer—Music”; obituary article in the September 8, 1915 edition of the St. Joseph [Missouri] Gazette reporting Newton’s death a few days earlier in Los Angeles, identifying him as the writer of the very popular song and noting that he was 45 years old, had been raised in Trenton, Missouri and had lived in California for several years

#1185 - All Alone, Scarcity: LC
The lively song on this cob dates from 1911, its lyrics were by Will Dillon and music was by Harry Von Tilzer and it was once again published by Von Tilzer’s music publishing firm (It should not be confused with the 1924 song with the same title by Irving Berlin). There is a copy of the sheet music for it in UM with a picture on the cover of a young woman talking on the telephone with the words “Harry Von Tilzer’s Great Telphone Song” above the title. The singer, whose name is Marie, calls her boyfriend Georgie and invites him to come over for “lots of kissing” because her parents are out and she is home all alone. This is the fifth song we have encountered with music by Von Tilzer (1872-1946; see the notes to cob #1134). Dillon (William A. Dillon, 1877-1966) was from a large Irish-American family in Cortland, New York that also included his older brothers and fellow vaudevillians John and Harry Dillon, who wrote the music and lyrics, respectively, to the 1893 song “Do, Do My Huckleberry, Do”, on Grand cob #2080. A long article about Dillon in the May, 1953 edition of the Rotary Club magazine The Rotarian explains that he was involved in a terrible accident involving a taxi in which he was riding and a trolley in which he suffered severe head injuries and subsequent nervous strain and as a result he gave up vaudeville and Tin Pan Alley in 1913 and returned to Cortland, where he became involved in house construction. He was later a theatre manager and still later in the business of personal loans, in both cases in Ithaca, New York; at the time the Rotarian article was written he was 75 and “a sedate Ithaca businessman”. A long obituary article about him appeared in the February 11, 1966 edition of The New York Times with the headline “Will Dillon Dies; Lyricist was 89; Wrote ‘I Want a Girl’ with Harry Von Tilzer in ‘ll”, referring to “I Want a Girl Just Like the Girl That Married Dear Old Dad” (not on the roller organ), which Dillon and Von Tilzer also wrote together in the same year as “All Alone” and which became a much more successful and long-remembered hit, with more than five million copies of the sheet music for it sold. The article also mentioned “All Alone” and said that it was eclipsed by the later Irving Berlin song with the same title. As is so often the case, the ages and birth years given for Dillon in census and other records at various points in his life are inconsistent, but the 1880, 1920 and 1940 U.S. Census records, his World War II draft registration card, the U.S. Social Security death index and his tombstone in Cortland all point to a birth date of November 6, 1877. References: 1880 U.S. Census record showing “Willie A. Dillon”, age 2, living in Cortlandville, Cortland County, New York, the youngest of eight children of a peddler and his wife, both born in Ireland; 1900 U.S. Census record showing “William A. Dillon”, age 20, born in November 1879, again living with his parents and many siblings in Cortland, occupation “Travles. Adv’t.”(?) (this time two additional brothers younger than him are listed, and his birth year and age are suspect, as there is obviously a problem with the many siblings’ relative ages because the entries for him and his next oldest brother have obviously been changed and the brother is listed as only six months older than him); review of a performance by Dillon in England in the October 3, 1908 edition of The Billboard describing him as a new comedian called “the man with one thousand songs written and composed by himself”; 1910 U.S. Census record showing “William A. Dillon”, age 30, again living with his parents and several siblings in Cortland, NY, occupation “Comedian”; 1915 N.Y. State Census record listing “William Dillon”, age 31, living with his father and siblings in Cortland, occupation “Real Estate”; World War I draft registration card dated September 9, 1918 for “William Austin Dillon” giving his age as 40 and his date of birth as November 6, 1878, occupation “Theatre Manager, Strand Theatre, Ithaca, New York” and stating that he was obviously disqualified from military service because of a “General breakdown from accident & operations”; 1920 U.S. Census and 1925 N.Y. State Census records listing “William A. Dillon”, ages 42 and 46, respectively, living in Ithaca with his wife and two young children, occupation “Theatre Manager”; 1930 U.S. Census record listing “Wm. A. Dillon”, age 48, again living in Ithaca with his wife and two children, occupation “President, Cayuga Finance Co.”; 1940 U.S. Census record showing “William A. Dillin” [sic], age 62, again living in Ithaca with his wife and one of his children, occupation “Part Owner—Finance Business” (with his wife’s occupation listed as “Secretary—Finance Business”); World War II draft registration card dated April 25, 1942 for “William Austin Dillon” giving his age as 64 ½, his date of birth as November 6, 1877 and his occupation as “Business for self—Ithaca Personal Loan”; Social Security Death Index entry giving his birth date as November 6, 1877; tombstone in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Cortland, New York with the name “William A. Dillon” and the years 1877-1966

#1186 - Oceana Roll, Scarcity: LC
The tune on this cob is again in the style of “true” piano rags by Scott Joplin and others (see the notes to cob #1175) and is a particularly good one that shows off the roller organ well. It was composed by Lucien Denni (1886-1947), who was born in France and brought to New York as a small boy, became a skilled piano player at an early age and began composing show tunes, relocated from New York to Kansas City, Missouri, composed the tune to “Oceana Roll” shortly afterwards, reportedly sold his rights to the piece to Jerome H. Remick & Co. for an outright payment of $500 and when it became a great hit immediately and the sheet music sold over 1 ¼ million copies, was motivated to start his own music publishing business. He also wrote numerous scores for musical comedies and vaudeville acts and later moved back to New York and became chief music director for producer A. L. Erlanger, and still later relocated to California, where the wrote film scores. “Oceana Roll” was his best-known composition and a copy of the sheet music for it is in CC with a copyright date of 1911. The lyrics were by Illinois native Roger Lewis (real name Louis I. Rosenblum, also known as Roger Lewis Rosenblum, 1885-1948) and tell of “Billy McCoy, a musical boy” who plays the “piana” day and night on the cruiser Alabama; every night he “would get that raggy notion” and “[s]tart that syncopated motion lovin’ly” until the sailors, the furniture and hammocks on the ship, the ship itself and even the fish in the sea would sway in time. At the time Lewis wrote the lyrics he aspired to become a Tin Pan Alley songwriter and he did write the words to several successful songs, but ultimately did not make music his career and instead operated a drug store on the south side of Chicago for many years. References: 1905 New York Census record showing Denni, age 18, born in France, in the United States for 16 years, occupation “musician”, living in Manhattan with his father, Martin, a “comedian”, mother, and two brothers, the older of which, age 20, is also listed as a “musician”; 1900 U.S. Naturalization record for Denni’s father showing that his original name was “Martin Denilauler”, that he arrived in the U.S. in 1888, and again that he was a “comedian” (although he was listed in the 1889 and 1891 New York City directories as a “tailor”); 1910 U.S. Census record showing Denni living in a hotel in Kansas City, age 23, occupation “composer—music”; World War I draft registration card for Denni dated June 5, 1917 in which his date of birth was stated as December 23, 1886 and his occupation as self-employed music composer; 1920 U.S. Census record again showing Denni as living in Kansas City, age 34, occupation “musical director”; 1930 U.S. Census record showing him living in Los Angeles, age 43, occupation “Musician—Orchestra”; Peter A. Munstedt, “Kansas City Music Publishing: The First Fifty Years”, in the Winter, 1991 edition of American Music (information about Denni); obituary article about Denni in the August 23, 1947 edition of the New York Herald Tribune; 1900 U.S. Census record showing “Louis Rosenblum”, age 15, born in April, 1885, living with his parents and nine siblings in Chicago, occupation “Gold Smith Trade”; 1910 U.S. Census record for “Louis I. Rosenblum”, age 25, again living with his parents and siblings in Chicago, occupation “Song Writer of Music”; World War I draft registration completed in the name of “Louis I. Rosenblum” giving his date of birth as April 3, 1885 and his occupation as “traveling salesman”; 1920 U.S. Census record for “Louis Rosenblum”, age 32, living with his mother and siblings in Chicago, occupation “Salesman—Clothing”; 1930 U.S. Census record for “Roger L. Rosenblum” showing him as age 45, living alone in Chicago, occupation “Proprietor—Drug Store”; 1940 U.S. Census record for “Roger L. Rosenblum” showing him as age 55, again living alone in Chicago, occupation “Druggist—Drugs”; U.S. Social Security Applications and Claims index entry for “Roger Lewis Rosenblum” giving his date of birth as April 3, 1885 and place of birth as Colfax, Illinois (about 135 miles from Chicago); article about Lewis in the June 7, 1942 edition of the Chicago Tribune; obituary article about Lewis in the January 3, 1948 edition of the Chicago Tribune

#1187 - Alexander's Rag Time Band, Scarcity: C
This cob is considered one of the most desirable ones in this numerical range, along with the two Kerry Mills cakewalks on cob #1107, “Georgia Campmeeting”, and cob #1116, “Whistling Rufus”, because all three contain appealing and full arrangements of lively tunes that show off the roller organ well and all have a scarcity rating of C (“common”) and are thus relatively easy to obtain. Although the 1911 piece on this cob has the words “Rag Time” in its title and its lyrics refer to the band leader Alexander as a “ragged meter man” whose repertoire includes “Swanee River” (“Old Folks at Home”, the Stephen Foster song on cob #121) “played in ragtime”, ragtime music expert Edward A. Berlin, in RA and RH, has observed that it was not a true ragtime piece when it appeared because of its lack of syncopation but became so popular and came to be regarded as such an archetype for ragtime music that it affected what was regarded as “ragtime” in the years that followed it so that rhythmic but not necessarily syncopated popular songs were included in the genre. Both the words and the music of the piece were written by the great Irving Berlin (1888-1989; see also the notes to cobs #1174 and 1180), and there is a copy of the sheet music for it in CC, five pages long because the lengthy tune consists of a 16-bar verse (the section beginning “Oh, ma honey”) followed by a chorus that is twice as long (the section beginning “Come on and hear”). Only the chorus is on the cob.

#1188 - Oh, You Beautiful Doll, Scarcity: LC
In the well-known song on this cob, which again dates from 1911, the singer expresses to a woman how attractive he thinks she is and asks her to come over to him, close her eyes, and kiss and hug him. The music was by Boston-born Nat D. Ayer (Nathaniel Davis Ayer, 1887-1952) and the lyrics were by Philadelphia native A. Seymour Brown (1885-1947), a duo who performed together in vaudeville as well as collaborating as songwriters. Ayer was a singer and pianist as well as a composer and spent much of his subsequent career in England writing scores for musical comedies. The lesser-known Brown was a comic actor and librettist as well as a singer and song lyricist and later headed a vaudeville troupe bearing his name (“A. Seymour Brown and Company”). He was also involved, at least briefly, in music publishing and in his later years became a Philadelphia real estate broker. References: OC; WF; EM; 1900 U.S. Census record showing “Albert S. Brown”, age 15, born in May 1885, living with his mother, siblings and a niece in Philadelphia; listings in Philadelphia city directories for “A. Seymour Brown” or “Albert S. Brown” with the occupation “actor” (1905, 1906, 1911) and “music” (1907) and for “Duquesne & Brown, Music Publishers” (1908-1912, also listing Brown separately as one of the proprietors as “Bert S. Brown” in 1908 and “Albert S. Brown” in 1909); 1910 U.S. Census record showing “Albert S. Brown”, age 24, born in Pennsylvania, living as a lodger in Manhattan, occupation “actor”, with his Austrian-born wife Pauline, age 23, “actress”; World War I draft registration card for “Albert Seymour Brown”, age 33, born May 28, 1885, occupation “Theatrical Manager and Actor”; numerous notices and advertisements in many newspapers from 1912 through 1922 for vaudeville performances by Brown (without Ayer) and by Brown’s troupe; 1930 U.S. Census record showing “Semour Brown”, age 43, born in Pennsylvania, occupation “author—freelance”, living in Queens, New York, with “Nellie DeGrass”, also age 43, occupation “housekeeper”, substantiating that this was the same Brown who previously and subsequently lived in Philadelphia, because an actress named Nellie DeGrasse was listed in newspaper advertisements and reviews a decade earlier as having appeared in stage productions with him; Pennsylvania death certificate for “Albert Seymour Brown”, born May 28, 1885, died December 22, 1947, usual occupation “Real Estate Broker”; brief obituary articles in newspapers all over the country following Brown’s death at his home in Philadelphia identifying him as a “real estate broker and song writer” and mentioning that he wrote the lyrics to this song

#1189 - Hearts and Flowers, Scarcity: S
With this cob we move from popular songs dating from the year 1911 to a mix of different kinds of pieces of an earlier date. Like the “Flower Song” on cob #1110, the tune on this cob is familiar to many even today because it has often been used as background music to accompany both heart-rending scenes in melodramas and parodies of such scenes. Dictionaries now even include the plural noun “hearts-and-flowers”, derived from the title of the piece, and define it as excessive, extreme, cloying and even tearful sentimentality. The tune was composed by Theodore Moses Tobani (1855-1933), who was born in Hamburg, Germany and was a child prodigy on the violin who was brought to Philadelphia in his mid-teens and immediately became a violinist in theatre orchestras there. He moved to New York at age 20 and became a violin soloist and music teacher, and later was an orchestra conductor as well as a very prolific composer and arranger. “Hearts and Flowers”, his Op. 245, is his most famous work and was an adaptation and elaboration of the 45-second-long introduction to a group of waltzes (Wintermarchen, Op. 366) by the Hungarian-born composer and bandmaster Alphons Czibulka (1842-1894), who also wrote “Love’s Dream After the Ball” on Grand cob #2035. Sheet music for an instrumental version of Tobani’s piece appeared first, with a copyright date of 1893, and was followed by sheet music for a song version, a copy of which is in UM, with a copyright date of 1899 and with lyrics by Mary D. Brine in which the singer addresses pretty, gentle and shy Marguerite, who is standing in a flower garden sowing seeds, and offers her his heart, asking her to turn it, too, into a fair garden. Mary Dow Brine (1836?-1925) was a New York-born poet and author of children’s books and the lyrics were adapted from the first three stanzas of a four-stanza poem she wrote titled “Marguerite” that appeared in two of the books of poetry she wrote, From Gold To Grey (1886) and Memories of Home (1890) (both New York, Cassell Publishing Co.). An obscure figure, she is probably most remembered for her “tear jerker” poem “Somebody’s Mother”. References: HE (very detailed biography of Tobani as well as a listing of nearly two hundred of his works); 1874 Philadelphia city directory entry for “Theodore Moses”, “musician”, at the same address as “Joseph Moses”, “segarmaker”; U.S. Passport Application dated December 29, 1904 for “Theodore Moses”, a naturalized U.S. citizen born in Hamburg, Germany on May 2, 1855, stating that he then resided in Long Island City in Queens, New York and was a “Composer of Music”; New York court records showing the legal change of name of “Theodore Moses” to “Theodore Moses Tobani” in 1907; 1910 U.S. Census record showing “Theodore M. Tobani”, age 54, occupation “Broker—Real Estate”, residing in Long Island City with his wife and six children; obituary article about Tobani in the December 13, 1933 edition of The New York Times reporting that he composed the tune to “Hearts and Flowers” in half an hour in 1893, that more than 100,000 copies of the sheet music for the piece continued to be sold each year for many years, and that he had written more than 5,000 other compositions, none as popular; record of the marriage of Mary D. Northam and William Brine at St. Peter’s Church, Brooklyn on June 19, 1862; 1865 and 1875 New York State census records showing “Mary D. Brine” and “Mary D. Bryan” [sic], age 25 (in 1865) and 28 (in 1875), respectively, living in the Brooklyn home of her father, William Northam, a coal merchant, and mother, Caroline Northam; U.S. Passport Application completed and signed by “Mary Dow Brine”, occupation “writer”, on September 27, 1921 in which her typewritten birth year was crossed out and is illegible and was replaced by the handwritten year “1858”, which would have made her only four years old at the time of her 1862 marriage; brief obituary article about Mary Dow Brine in the July 21, 1925 edition of The New York Times reporting her death at her home in Manhattan in her 89th year (which shows that the dates sometimes given for her of 1816-1913 are incorrect; if she was indeed in her 89th year—that is, had attained the age of 88 at the time of her death—she would have been born in 1836 or 1837 but if she was 25 in 1865 as stated in the census record from that year she would have been born in 1839 or 1840)

#1190 - Mendelssohn's Wedding March, Scarcity: LC
The tune on this cob has remained familiar right down to the present day because of its widespread use as a recessional at weddings. It is from the incidental music composed by French classical composer Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (1809-1847) for William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and was first performed in 1843. A longer and fuller version of the piece appeared on Grand cob #2059. Reference: GD

Cobs #1191-1200

#1191 - Where the River Shannon Flows, Scarcity: LC
Both the words and music of the 1906 song on this cob were written by James Russell (1859-1914) who, with his brother John (1854-1925), were minstrel and later vaudeville entertainers who appeared together as the Russell Brothers. For many years they performed in a comic act dressed up as “the Irish servant girls” which involved slapstick shenanigans as well as dancing and singing and when James wrote this song, they incorporated it into the act and John, who had a fine tenor voice, sang it. Some Irish-Americans, however, felt that their crude portrayal of the servant girls was offensive and insulting to real Irish womanhood and on January 31, 1907, at one of their performances at the Orpheum Theatre in Brooklyn, reportedly at least 100 men in the audience rose up on cue and pelted the Russells with rotten eggs and lemons, driving them off the stage. The local police had been tipped off that this was planned and had 15 plainclothesmen planted in the audience and 22 men were arrested. In response, the Russells subsequently revised their already decades-old act so that it included impersonations of not only the Irish servant girls but also women of various nationalities. There is a copy of the sheet music for the song in CC with a photograph of the Russell Brothers on the cover in their Irish servant girl costumes. The song itself is a typical “stage Irish” piece of the time with a pretty Irish-sounding tune and lyrics in which the singer says he is going to return to his birthplace, the “old sod”, home of the fairies, blarney, the shillelagh and the shamrock, “where the River Shannon flows”, and marry his sweetheart whom he left behind there. The Russells were both born in New York City and lived in Manhattan and later in Elmhurst, Queens, although John moved to California in the final years of his life. References: MM; article in the February 1, 1907 edition of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle about the Orpheum Theatre incident; review in the May 5, 1907 edition of the Washington Post of a new performance by the Russell Brothers in which they impersonated Yankee, German, Scottish, French and Italian women before settling into what was apparently a somewhat toned down version of their familiar “Irish servant girls” routine; obituary article about James Russell in the February 1, 1914 edition of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle which reported that he had died at his home in Elmhurst, Queens, and had retired from the stage a couple of years earlier after suffering a nervous breakdown and which also recounted the details of the Orpheum Theatre incident and incorrectly gave his age as 51; obituary article about John Russell in the May 4, 1925 edition of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reporting that he died in Glendale, California at the age of 70, had first appeared on the stage at age 19 and had begun singing this song, composed by his brother, in the Russell Brothers act two years before it was published; 1870 U.S. Census record showing John Russell, age 15, occupation “Clerk in warehouse” and James Russell, age 10, living with their Irish-born mother, occupation “Washing & Ironing”, and two sisters in Manhattan; 1880 U.S. Census records showing John, age 25, occupation “Actor”, living with his wife and two young sons in Manhattan, and showing James, age 20, occupation “Theatre Actor”, living with his mother, also in Manhattan; 1900 U.S. Census record showing John, age 45, born in Aug. 1854, occupation “Actor”, living with his wife and three children in Elmhurst, Queens, and showing James, age 40, born in Oct. 1859, occupation “Actor”, living with a niece and nephew in Manhattan; 1910 U.S. Census record showing John, age 55, occupation “Actor—Theater”, again living in Queens with his wife and family, and showing James, age 48 [sic], occupation “Actor—Theatre”, still living in Manhattan with his niece; 1923 Glendale, California city directory listing John and his wife at an address there; California death certificate for John reciting that at the time of his death he had resided in California for three years

#1192 - Lilly Dale, Scarcity: VS
The piece on this cob is again a popular song but one of a much earlier date. There is sheet music for it in CC with a copyright date of 1852 and both the lyrics and music were by H. (Henry) S. Thompson (1825?-1889), whom we have previously encountered as the lyricist and composer of two comic songs dating from 1863, the “Yankee” song “Cousin Jedediah” on cob #296 and the song “Down by the River Lived a Maiden”, which was a predecessor of “O my Darling Clementine” on cob #443. Thompson was a Massachusetts native who was a music teacher as well as a minstrel performer and all three of these Thompson songs were published by Oliver Ditson in Boston. Although it has been said that very little else is known about him, it is possible to piece together a reasonably detailed picture of his life from census and marriage records, city directories and scraps of information about him in newspapers. He was married to his first wife in Boston at age 20 in 1845; he was a music teacher in Georgetown, Massachusetts (1850), Newburyport, Massachusetts (1851-1860) and Boston (1860-1864); he joined Morris and Wilson’s Minstrels and appeared in Buffalo, Cleveland, Chicago and St. Louis with them as a tenor soloist in 1865-1866; he formed his own minstrel company, the Thompson and Parkhurst Concert Troupe, with two brothers named Parkhurst, and performed in Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota in 1867-1869; after the troupe disbanded in 1869 he moved to Marquette on the northern peninsula of Michigan, became a music teacher there, married his second wife and remained there during the 1870s; by 1880, he had relocated to Crawfordsville, Indiana, where both he and his wife were both “professors of music”; and he relocated still again by 1881 to Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he continued teaching music and died in 1889. His place of birth and age as stated in the 1870 and 1880 U.S. Census records are inconsistent with the information in earlier sources; in both cases he perhaps fancifully gave his place of birth as “Circassia”, on the north coast of the Black Sea, although it is consistently given as Massachusetts elsewhere (including in the record of his 1870 marriage), and he understated his age by 8 or 9 years, which may have had something to do with the fact that he married a much younger woman in 1870, when he was actually 45 and she was 20. “Lilly Dale”, by contrast with the other two Thompson songs on the roller organ, is an especially lugubrious “tear jerker” about “poor lost Lilly Dale”, who, on her deathbed from disease, tells her “friends mute with grief”, who are standing by her bedside, where she wants to be buried and the chorus (arranged to be sung by a quartet) ends with the words “Now the wild rose blossoms o’er her little green grave, Neath the trees in the flow’ry vale”. It is interesting to note that at the beginning of James Joyce’s 1916 novel A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man the main character, Stephen Dedalus, as a small child sings “O, the wild rose blossoms/On the little green place” (“He sang that song. That was his song.”); as the novel is historically accurate and largely biographical, this shows that “Lilly Dale” was well-known even in Ireland at the time Joyce, like his character Stephen, was growing up in Dublin in the 1880s. References: Letter to the editor published in the August 21, 1886 edition of the Boston Globe by “G. W. G.” of Newburyport, Massachusetts responding to an inquiry and stating that the words and music of “Lilly Dale” were written by Henry S. Thompson at Newburyport in 1850 and published by Ditson soon after, and that G. W. G. was a member of a quartet who sang the song at a “serenade” before it was published; Boston Marriage Records listing the marriage of Henry S. Thompson and Sarah E. Oliver on August 4, 1845; 1850 U.S. Census record showing “Henry S. Thompson”, age 25, born in Massachusetts, living with his wife Sarah and two small children in Georgetown, Essex County, Massachusetts, 11 miles from Newburyport, occupation “Teacher of Music”; 1851, 1852, 1853, 1854, 1855, 1856, 1858 and 1860 Newburyport city directories listing “H. S. Thompson” or “Henry S. Thompson” as a music teacher; 1855 Massachusetts State Census record showing “Henry S. Thompson”, age 30, born in Massachusetts, living with his wife Sarah and four small children in Newburyport, occupation “M. Teacher”; 1860 U.S. Census record showing “Henry S. Thompson”, age 35, living with his wife Sarah and three children in Boston, occupation “Music Teacher”; 1861 Boston city directory listing “H. S. Thompson” as a music teacher in East Boston; 1864 Boston city directory listing “H. S. Thompson” as a music teacher in Boston; notices and reviews in newspapers in Buffalo, Cleveland and Chicago in March, 1865 about appearances by Morris and Wilson’s Minstrels including the “well known composer and vocalist” Henry S. Thompson, “tenor balladist” and “author of ‘Lilly Dale’”, who “has a voice of great range, and uses its falsetto quality to better advantage than any other singer in the country”; 1866 St. Louis, Missouri city directory listing “Henry S. Thompson” at “Morris & Wilson’s Opera House, bds. St. Clair Hotel”; notices and reviews in many newspapers of performances by the Thompson & Parkhurst Concert Troupe of minstrel performers (which included Thompson and two brothers, John and George Parkhurst) in Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin in 1867-1869; notice in the February 11, 1870 edition of the Muscatine [Iowa] Weekly Journal that “H. S. Thompson, late of the Thompson and Parkhurst troupe, has relocated to Marquette, Michigan as a teacher of music”; 1870 U.S. Census record for “Henry S. Thompson”, age 37 (which would have made him 12 at the time of his 1845 marriage), “Music Teacher”, living in Marquette, presumably the correct person, although the entry for his place of birth clearly reads “Circassia”, a place along the north coast of the Black Sea, not Massachusetts; Michigan marriage record of the marriage on June 26, 1870 in Marquette of “Henry S. Thompson”, a resident of Marquette, age 35 (which would have made him only 10 at the time of his first marriage), born in Massachusetts, occupation “Professor of Music”, and Frances C. Finney, also a resident of Marquette, age 20; note in the November 27, 1871 edition of the Green Bay [Wisconsin] Press-Gazette about the location of “H. S. Thompson’s Academy of Music” in Marquette; note in the June 30, 1879 edition of the South Bend [Indiana] Tribune that “The author of “Lilly Dale”…H. S. Thompson, is teaching music in the upper peninsula of Michigan” (which is where Marquette is located); 1880 U.S. Census record for “H. S. Thompson”, age 46 (again an understatement of his age, this time by 9 years), “Professor of Music”, born in Circassia, living in Crawfordsville, Indiana, with his wife, “F. C.”, age 30, also “Professor of Music”, and son, “H. S.”, age 6; 1881 Grand Rapids, Michigan city directory listing “Henry S. Thompson”, “Professor of Music”; record of burial of Thompson at Oakhill Cemetery in Grand Rapids following his death on September 4, 1889

#1193 - It's a Long way to Tipperary, Scarcity: C
This English music hall song dates from 1912 and in the sheet music for it, a copy of which is in CC, the title given is “It’s a Long, Long Way to Tipperary” and the words and music are credited to Jack Judge (1872-1938) and Harry Williams (1873-1924; not to be confused with the American lyricist Harry Williams, who wrote the words to “In the Shade of the Old Apple Tree” (see the notes to cobs #1145 and 1162)). Judge was a fishmonger as well as a music hall performer and was the first to sing the song on stage, thereby winning a bet that he could write a new song and perform it at a local music hall all within one day. He later claimed that he alone wrote it and added his friend and neighbor Williams’ name as co-author and co-composer of the song and many other songs attributed to both of them in order to repay Williams for financial assistance. In the lyrics the singer, who is in London, longs to return to Tipperary, Ireland, where his love is waiting for him. The song became popular among British military troops during the First World War because of its march tempo and its theme of longing for home. The London music publisher, B. Feldman & Co., estimated in February, 1915 that more than five million copies of the sheet music for the piece had been sold by that point, and at the time of Judge’s death in 1938 Chappell & Co., Ltd., the American agents for the British copyright owners, estimated that sales in the United States had run into the millions as well. References: OC; SU; BW; England & Wales Civil Registration Birth Index for John Thomas Judge listing his birth in the fourth quarter of 1872 in the West Bromwich District (West Bromwich being less than two miles from his home town of Oldbury); 1901 England Census record listing John T. Judge, age 28, living in Low Town, Oldbury, occupation “Fish Dealer”; 1911 England and Wales Census Record listing John Thomas Judge, age 38, living in Low Town, Oldbury, occupation “Comedian”; letter from Judge published in the April 30, 1933 edition of the Observer [London] in which he said that Williams and his brother had been proprietors of the pub next door to where he lived in Oldbury and Williams had provided him with financial assistance when he (Judge) was in the fish business and Judge had promised that if he ever wrote and published a song he would add Williams’ name as co-writer and share the proceeds with him, but that he (Judge) was the sole author and composer of “Tipperary” and every other published song bearing the names of Judge and Williams; obituary article about Judge in the July 29, 1938 edition of The New York Times erroneously giving his age at death as 60; 1891 England Census Record listing Henry James Williams, age 17, living with his parents and siblings in Aston, Warwickshire, which is also listed as his place of birth, occupation “Diamond Setter”; 1901 England Census Record listing Henry James Williams, age 27, living with his parents in Balsall, Warwickshire; 1911 England & Wales Census Record listing Henry James Williams, age 37, again living with his parents at Meer End-Kenilworth, near Balsall; tombstone of Henry James Williams at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Temple Balsall, which is also the tombstone of his parents and which identifies him as co-writer of the song and gives his date of death as February 21, 1924 and his age at death as 50 (Note: The website of the Local History Group of Oldbury, where Judge was born and had his fish business and where Williams also at one time lived, includes very detailed and apparently authoritative biographical information about Judge and gives his birth year as 1872, which is consistent with the Birth Index entry and his age as given in the 1901 and 1911 census records, rather than 1878, the date which is given in OC, SU, BW and a number of other sources and is consistent with Judge’s incorrect age at death of 60 given in the Times obituary article. Similarly, Williams’ year of death is given incorrectly as 1930 in a number of places and OC and SU also give his year of birth incorrectly as 1858; his correct years of 1873-1924, which are consistent with the Birth Index entry, all three census records and the death date and age on his tombstone, would make him much closer in age to Judge at the time the song was written)

#1194 - Rule Britannia, Scarcity: S
The British patriotic song on this cob came from a 1740 masque, “Alfred”, with music by English composer Thomas Augustine Arne (1710-1778) and libretto by two Scottish-born poets, James Thomson (1700-1748) and David Mallet (1705-1765). There has been some difference of opinion as to which of the two wrote the lyrics to this particular song, which became essentially a second national anthem in England after “God Save the Queen”. The inclusion of the song on a cob at this point, along with British songs of a later date associated with World War I (“It’s a Long Way to Tipperary” on the preceding cob, “The Lads in Navy Blue” on the next cob and “The Soldiers of the King” on the cob after that) suggests that this group of cobs was made for sale in England at about the time it became involved in the War in 1914. References: OC, WF, GD, OF (which includes sheet music for the piece)

#1195 - The Lads in Navy Blue, Scarcity: S
“The lads in navy blue” refers to the sailors in the British Navy, and this song in praise of them was both written and composed by Harry Dacre (real name Frank Dean, 1857-1922), the English-born songwriter and music publisher who also wrote “Daisy Bell” (see the notes to cobs #1010 and 2042) and “Ting-a-ling-ting-tay” on cob #1013. Sheet music for it was published in 1899 by Dacre’s own firm, Frank Dean & Co. in London, but there does not appear to be a copy in any of the American historic sheet music collections usually cited here, which suggests that the song did not become popular in the U.S. and the cob was made for sale in England. There are several copies of sheet music for the song, however, including the version published by Frank Dean & Co., in the National Library of Australia collection which can be viewed online at trove.nla.gov.au. The song dates from the time of the Boer War and the cover of the sheet music announced that the sum of 100 pounds, representing the profits on the first 5,000 copies of the sheet music sold, were sent to the “Daily Telegraph” War Fund. The piece was later revived when Britain became involved in World War I. The chorus includes the line “Our old song “Britannia Rules the Waves” we still can sing today”, referring to “Rule Britannia” on the preceding cob.

#1196 - The Soldiers of the King, Scarcity: S
This song dates from the reign of England’s Queen Victoria, which lasted until 1901, and was accordingly first titled “Soldiers of the Queen”. Both the music and the lyrics were by English composer Leslie Stuart (birth name Thomas Augustine Barrett, 1863-1928), who began his career as a church organist and later wrote minstrel-style music hall songs as well as individual songs and complete scores for musical comedies. While there is some disagreement as to the exact history of “Soldiers of the Queen”, it appears that Stuart first wrote it as a march tune in connection with the opening of the Manchester Ship Canal in 1894 and later added lyrics, and the resulting song was interpolated into an 1895 London show, “An Artist’s Model”. According to an article about Stuart including a number of photographs of him in the May 13, 1903 edition of the London magazine Sketch, the song “was originally written as a satire on that type of Englishman who always means to show the other Powers what we can do by the might of the Empire, but who, whenever there is any fighting to be done, always stays at home and reads about it in the papers”. The article added that the song was Stuart’s most successful, became popular at the time of the Diamond Jubilee (sixtieth anniversary on the throne) of Queen Victoria in 1897 and “has since been played by every military band in the world”. It was sung as a patriotic song during the Boer War and revived as “Soldiers of the King” at the time of the First World War. The lyrics are similar to those of “The Lads in Navy Blue” on cob #1195 but sing the praises of Britain’s soldiers rather than sailors, and in the opening lines we again find a reference to the patriotic anthem “Rule Britannia” on cob #1194: “Britons once did loyally declaim About the way we rul’d the waves”. This suggests that all three of these cobs and probably cob #1193 as well, “It’s a Long Way to Tipperary”, were issued as a group at the same time for sale in Britain at the time of its entry into World War I. References: OC; EM; Andrew Lamb, Leslie Stuart: the Man Who Composed Floradora (New York and London, Routledge, 2002); 1871 England and Wales Census record showing Thomas Barrett, age 8, born in Southport, Lancashire and living in Everton, Liverpool; 1881 England and Wales Census record showing Thomas A. Barrett, age 18, occupation “Musician”, born in Southport and living in Manchester

#1197 - I Didn't Raise My Boy to be a Soldier, Scarcity: LC
The 1915 song in lively march tempo on this cob is another one related to World War I, but unlike the preceding four it is American in origin and is not a patriotic piece that was revived during wartime but rather a Tin Pan Alley anti-war song that achieved great popularity before the United States became involved in the war. The lyrics were by Alfred Bryan (1871-1958), a prolific Tin Pan Alley lyricist who collaborated with a number of different composers during his long career, the music was by Al Piantadosi (1884?-1955), whom we have previously encountered as the composer of the tune to “Honey Man” on cob #1181, and there is once again a copy of the sheet music for the song in CC. The cover includes the words “A Mother’s Plea for Peace” above the title, a drawing of a young man hugging his elderly mother by the fireside with a cloud above them in which lines of troops are marching and a battle is raging, and, oddly, a large photograph to the left of them of a Native American chief in a feather headdress holding what is apparently a peace pipe. The singer is the mother and she objects to her son becoming a soldier and perhaps shooting “some other mother’s darling boy” or dying in vain; she says that nations should arbitrate their future troubles and lay aside the sword and gun, and that there would be no war if all mothers would say “I didn’t raise my boy to be a soldier”. Both the tune and words of the first line of the song are based on the familiar first line of Irish poet Thomas Moore’s song “The Minstrel Boy” on cob #165, but “The minstrel boy to the war is gone” has been changed to “Ten million soldiers to the war have gone”. Although the song became very popular at a time when many Americans were still hesitant about becoming involved in the war in Europe, there were also many who disagreed with its sentiments, and it prompted a number of “response” songs with titles such as “I Didn’t Raise my Boy to Be a Coward” and “I Didn’t Raise my Boy to Be a Slacker” (both 1917, with copies of the sheet music in MN).

#1198 - School Days, Scarcity: S
This is another of the best-known and longest-remembered American popular songs of the first decade of the twentieth century. It dates from 1907, there is a copy of the sheet music for it in CC, published by the Gus Edwards Music Publishing Company, and it was written by the Tin Pan Alley songwriting duo of Edwards (1878-1945) (music) and Will D. Cobb (1876-1930) (lyrics), who together also wrote “If a Girl Like You Loved a Boy Like Me” on cob #1158 (see the notes to that cob) (Edwards also composed the tune to “Tammany” on cob #1168). “School Days”, subtitled “When We Were a Couple of Kids”, is a song in waltz time and, like many similar songs, has verses that are largely forgotten and a chorus that survived in the popular memory for many decades (Only the chorus is on the cob). The singer is a man named Joe who is singing to his Nellie on a day when there is nothing to do and, in the verses, suggests that they “take a trip on memory’s ship, Back to the bygone days” when they were childhood sweethearts in school together at a place where there is now a forty-story building on what was once a hill with a large oak tree at its crest and the meadows that were once fragrant with clover and maize have been divided into city lots. The famous chorus follows, beginning with the familiar “School days, school days, dear old golden rule days”. Edwards was a vaudeville performer and producer of shows as well as a songwriter and he put together revues that centered around the song and featured him as schoolmaster and many talented young performing “pupils”, some of whom later became prominent show business figures, including Eddie Cantor, Groucho Marx and Georgie Jessel. References: BU, TP, TA (all reporting that over 3 million copies were sold of the sheet music for “School Days”)

#1199 - Over the Waves, Scarcity: S
The tune on this cob is the familiar first part of the well-known waltz “Sobre las Olas” (“Over the Waves”) by Mexican violinist and composer Juventino Rosas (1868-1894). A less familiar later part of the waltz appeared on cob #355 under the title “On the Waves” (see also the notes to that cob). According to HE, Rosas was an Otomi Indian who, as a child, played the violin in a family quartet on the streets of Mexico City to earn money, became first violinist in an opera company orchestra at the age of 15, subsequently served in the army as a musician and died in Cuba at the age of only 26 after contracting a fever while he was performing there as a member of a zarzuela company (On the subject of zarzuelas, see the Introduction to the section on cobs #401-500).

#1200 - Tannhauser March, Scarcity: S
The tune on this cob is an abbreviated version of the stately and powerful march tune that also appeared on Grand cob #2040 and is from Act II of the opera “Tannhauser” by German composer Richard Wagner (1813-1883), which was first performed in Dresden in 1845 and first performed in New York in 1859. The opera is set in 13th century Germany and the title character, Tannhauser, is a minstrel who returns to the mortal world after spending a year in the underground realm of Venus, goddess of love. Two other pieces from the opera appeared on the roller organ, the “Song to the Evening Star” on 20-note cob #1224 and the “Pilgrims’ Chorus” on Grand cob #2076. References: GD, VB

Scarcity Ratings

Scarcity ratings are based on hundreds of cob transactions and many years experience.
MC Most Common
VC Very Common
C Common
LC Less Common
S Scarce
VS Very Scarce
N No known copy


References

AS Arizona State University Library Digital Repository (online at repository.asu.edu)
BB Theodore Baker, comp., A Biographical Dictionary of Musicians (New York, G. Schirmer, 1900)
BU Jack Burton, The Blue Book of Tin Pan Alley (Watkins Glen, New York, Century House, 1951)
BW James J. Fuld, The Book of World-Famous Music, Classical, Popular and Folk, 3rd. Ed. (New York, Dover Publications, Inc., 1985)
CC Sheet music in the Connecticut College Sheet Music Collection, accessible online at digitalcommons.conncollege.edu
DU Duke University Sheet Music Collections (online at library.duke.edu)
EM Kurt Ganzl, The Encyclopedia of the Musical Theatre, 2nd Ed. (New York, Schirmer Books, 2001)
FS James J. Geller, Famous Songs and their Stories (New York, Garden City Publishing Co., Inc., 1940)
GD H. C. Colles, Ed., Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 3rd Ed. (New York, MacMillan, 1935)
HE William H. Rehrig (Paul E. Bierley, Ed.), The Heritage Encyclopedia of Band Music: Composers and their Music (Westerville, Ohio, Integrity Press, 1991)
LL Lester S. Levy Sheet Music Collection at Johns Hopkins University (online at levysheetmusic.mse.jhu.edu)
MM Edward LeRoy Rice, Monarchs of Minstrelsy, from “Daddy” Rice to Date (New York, Kenny Publishing Co., 1911)
MN Music for the Nation: American Sheet Music, 1820-1860 and 1870-1885 (and similar online United States Library of Congress collections)
NP The New York Public Library Digital Collections (online at digitalcollections.nypl.org)
OA Gerald Bordman & Thomas S. Hischak, The Oxford Companion to American Theatre, 3rd Ed. (New York, Oxford University Press, 2004)
OC Peter Gammond, The Oxford Companion to Popular Music (New York, Oxford University Press, 1991)
OF Helen Kendrick Johnson, Our Familiar Songs and Those Who Made Them (New York, Henry Holt and Co., 1881)
RA Edward A. Berlin, Ragtime: A Musical and Cultural History (Berkeley, etc., University of California Press, 1980)
RH John Edward Hasse, ed., Ragtime: Its History, Composers and Music (New York, Schirmer Books, 1985)
RR David A. Jasen and Trebor Jay Tichenor, Rags and Ragtime, a Musical History (New York, The Seabury Press, 1978)
SU Michael Kilgarriff, Sing Us One of the Old Songs: A Guide to Popular Song 1860-1920 (New York, Oxford University Press, 1998)
TG Maxwell F. Marcuse, Tin Pan Alley in Gaslight (Watkins Glen, New York, Century House, 1959)
TP David A. Jasen, Tin Pan Alley: The Composers, the Songs, the Performers and their Times (New York, Donald L. Fine, Inc., 1988)
UM Sheet music in the University of Maine Sheet Music Collection, accessible online at digitalcommons.library.umaine.edu
UO Sheet music in the University of Oregon Historic Sheet Music Collection, accessible online at oregondigital.org
VB Victor Talking Machine Company, The Victrola Book of the Opera: Stories of the Operas with Illustrations & Descriptions of Victor Opera Records (Eighth Edition, 1929)
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