Doc Brown (dancer)

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William Henry Joseph Cutter Brown, known as Joseph "Doc" Brown (Marshall, Missouri, 1835-Kansas City, 1905) was an American dancer and champion cakewalker.[1] He is commemorated in the ragtime tune Doc Brown's Cake Walk by Charles L. Johnson.[2]

An 1896 portrait of Doc Brown by the African-American painter M. C. Haywood hangs in Kansas City Museum.[3]


  1. ^ Find a Grave Joseph Doc Brown
  2. ^ King of Ragtime: Scott Joplin and His Era Edward A. Berlin - 1996 p34 "Among the competitors of the cakewalk contest on the 19th was “Doc” Brown of Kansas City, commemorated in 1899 in the music “Doc” Brown's Cake Walk by Charles Johnson"
  3. ^ Portrait of “Doc” Brown, Cakewalker Glenn North 1896 "Joseph “Doc” Brown, also known as Doctor William Henry Joseph Cutter Brown was born circa 1835. He was a slave on the Meredith Miles Marmaduke Estate at Arrow Rock, near Marshall, Missouri. Many years later, in 1868, he moved to Kansas City and began to develop a name for himself as a champion cakewalker. In an interview, one of his closest friends, Wilson Fitzpatrick, stated, “I knew him in Marshal when he carried papers there. He always had a crowd following him. I told him that town was too small for his talents and that he ought to go to Kansas City… [H]e was a ‘nachel-bohn’ cakewalker…” The cakewalk that Fitzpatrick spoke of originated as a slave dance contest in the antebellum South. In his book, From Cakewalks to Concert Halls…, Thomas L. Morgan explains: "