Doc Brown's Cakewalk (1899)
The Original Kansas City Rag
Last updated: 11.04.22
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Composer: C.L. Johnson Suppliers: dbe15.gif
Editor: Geoff Grainger Quintet A/T+D/T/B/GB(B)
Publisher: Ditty Box Enterprises Publication: DBE246
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This is what Johnson had to say about "Doc. Brown" which he set down in the original sheet music in 1889:
There is probably no city or town in the country that does not contain a peculiar character - one who is singled out on account of doing certain things that no one else would think of doing, or using strange language that seems senseless, but nevertheless has a meaning which is readily understood when the listener can see the speaker, or other eccentric traits which make these characters a special object for comment. Of all such that may exist there is probably not one of them that compares with the subject of this sketch for original mirth-provoking characteristics."Doc" Brown is noted in Kansas City and vicinity for the many comical and unusual things he does and says but as the "Champion Cake Walker" of the country is where he shines. He has met all comers in this line and has never failed to "take the cake" with one exception. namely, in St. Louis several years ago. The judges at this contest were conceded to be unfair by everyone present, hence this is not considered a defeat.The rythm [sic]commonly called the "Cake Walk" is departed from in this composition purposely with the hope that this style may find as hearty approval as the old.
As to this recorder adaptation:
Length: approx. 3 ½ mins.
"Doc" Brown's Cake Walk was Johnson's first rag. His comments above clearly show his intention that this cake walk should be a more elaborate affair than traditional versions. "Doc" Brown, a champion cake walker, was thus immortalised as a local Kansas character along with such folksy luminaries as Scandalous Thompson (also by Johnson) and Peaceful Henry by E. Harry Kelly who himself was once a vaudeville performer with a dog act!
"Doc" Brown's Cake Walk was published by J.W. Jenkins' Sons Music Co., Kansas City, Missouri, USA.
A tempo of 86 crotchets/min. is suggested.
  Instruments Performer
  DBE MP3 Sample 
audiodbemp315.gif A/T+D/T/B/GB(B) Midi Ragtime Recorder Ens.
  Midi File(s) 
audiomidi15.gif Midi Colin D. McDonald
     Performer CD Title Supplier
cd15.gif Sue Keller aka Charles Johnson CD(s) & MP3 Album(s) flag15us.gif flag15uk.gif flag15de.gif flag15fr.gif flag15ca.gif flag15es.gif
cd15.gif Reginald R. Robinson Sounds in Silhouette CD(s) & MP3 Album(s) flag15us.gif flag15uk.gif flag15de.gif flag15fr.gif flag15ca.gif flag15it.gif flag15es.gif
cd15.gif Dave Tucker Meadow Lark CD(s) & MP3 Album(s) flag15us.gif flag15de.gif flag15fr.gif flag15es.gif
     Title Attribution Instruments Source Remarks
pdf15.gif Doc Brown's Cakewalk (1899) C.L. Johnson (music) Piano Ragtime Piano wvicon.gif
pdf15.gif Doc Brown's Cakewalk (1899) C.L. Johnson (music) Piano IMSLP Pub.