Twelfth Street Rag

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"Twelfth Street Rag"
Song
1915 sheet music cover

"Twelfth Street Rag" was composed by Euday L. Bowman in 1914. A friend of Bowman's known only as "Raggedy Ed" declared his intention to open a pawn shop on 12th Street while the two were walking along it. Bowman is rumored to have said "If you get rich on those three balls I'll write a piece on three notes to make myself rich".[1] The result was "The 12th Street Rag", one of the most famous and best-selling rags of the ragtime era. It was more than 15 years before Bowman actually wrote the music down in manuscript form. He returned to Texas briefly and tried to sell the song to a company in Dallas, but only had an offer of ten dollars for it and was told it really wasn't worth publishing. Returning to Kansas City, he sold it to Jenkins Music Company in 1913. The Jenkins company felt Bowman's arrangement was too difficult and hired C. E. Wheeler to simplify it. With a big advertising push, "12th Street Rag" began to sell better. In 1919, James S. Sumner added lyrics. It was popular with the early Kansas City bands and became a huge hit after Bennie Moten recorded it for Victor in 1927. It has since become an enduring standard of jazz.[citation needed]

Euday Bowman, the composer, recorded and published his own recording of the song, on Bowman 11748.

Its structure is: Intro A A1 Intro-2 A2

In the 1919 short "A Day's Pleasure" by Charlie Chaplin, the African American band is heard[dubious ] playing a version of the popular rag while on the ship.

Krazy Kat and his orchestra perform the music in the 1930 cartoon The Bandmaster.

The recording by Pee Wee Hunt was the Billboard number-one single for 1948, selling over three million copies. It was released as Capitol Records 15105 in May 1948.

Donald Peers recorded the song in London on March 26, 1949. It was released by EMI on the His Master's Voice label as catalogue number B 9763.

It has been best known as the theme to The Joe Franklin Show;[citation needed] the version most associated with the program was Big Tiny Little's 1959 recording from his album Honky Tonk Piano (Brunswick BL (7)54049).

More recently,[when?] a ukulele version has been featured as background music on the TV series SpongeBob SquarePants.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Laird, Landon (6/5/1949). "About Town". The Kansas City Star.  Check date values in: |date= (help)

Further reading[edit]

Rags and Ragtime, A Musical History, by David A. Jasen and Trebor Jay Tichenor, 1978, Dover Publishing Mineola, NY

Kansas City jazz : from ragtime to bebop--a history / Frank Driggs and Chuck Haddix, New York : Oxford University Press, 2005.

Preceded by
"You Call Everybody Darlin'" by Al Trace
U.S. Billboard Best Sellers in Stores number-one single
August 28–October 2, 1948 (Pee Wee Hunt)
Succeeded by
"A Tree in the Meadow" by Margaret Whiting
Preceded by
"A Tree in the Meadow" by Margaret Whiting
U.S. Billboard Best Sellers in Stores number-one single
October 23–30, 1948 (Pee Wee Hunt)
Succeeded by
"Buttons and Bows" by Dinah Shore