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Blog for 18 July 2012

George L. Cobb: The Tuneful Yankee

By Frederick Hodges

Originally presented at the West Coast Ragtime Festival, Sacramento, California, Sunday 20 November 2005. Revised 18 July 2012

George L. Cobb
George Linus Cobb was born on 31 August 1886 in Mexico, New York, the son of Linus Cobb and Jeanette Maine. George’s father (born 1847) was a prosperous land owner, real estate agent,[1] business man, and prominent citizen. In 1890, he helped organize and run the Mexico Electric Light, Heat and Power Company.[2] Between 1894 and 1895, he sat on the board of trustees as business manager for the Mexico Military Academy[3]


George may have been named for his Uncle George, his mother’s brother.


The Twelfth Census of the United States, taken in 1900 when George was thirteen years old, reveals that he was an only child. His household comprised himself, his two parents, and his seventy-eight-year-old maternal Grandmother, Charlotte Maine. While George’s mother’s grandparents were born in Connecticut and Scotland, respectively, his father’s side of the family had lived in New York since the 1800s.


George’s maternal grandfather, William Maine was a wealthy farmer, whose property in 1860 was valued at $5,000.00 and whose personal wealth was $1,890.00. This made him the richest man in the town of Seriba (later renamed “Mexico”), Oswego County, New York.[4] In 1870, he was the second richest man in town.[5]


The Cobb family were also wealthy farmers. Various branches of the family lived in and around Mexico, New York. In 1860, George’s paternal grandfather, Ira B. Cobb (born 1813), had a farm worth $4,000.00 and a personal fortune valued at $1,000.00,[6] making him one of the richest man in town.[7]


Starting around 1904, Cobb attended Syracuse University, where he studied music. Syracuse is very close to Mexico, so it made sense that he should attend the nearest university of distinction.


It was during his time as a student that Cobb published his very first compositions. His first piece was a rag entitled “Mr. Yankee: March and Two-Step” which was issued in 1905 when he was nineteen years old. Cobb dedicated this rag to J.H. McGurn.


In the same year, Cobb published a delightful little piece entitled “Dimples — March and Two-Step.” Oddly enough, these two pieces were copyrighted by a certain W. Hutchins and published by The Vinton Music Publishing Company of Boston and New York. The Vinton Music Publishing company, however, gives every appearance of being a vanity press. It published quite a lot, but other than the Cobb pieces, most of Vinton’s pieces were of marginal quality and all composed by unknown nobodies.[8]


In 1906, now aged twenty, Cobb entered into a publishing relationship with the H.C. Weasner & Co. firm of Buffalo, New York. While he did not seem to be under contract with Weasner, Cobb would continue to publish pieces with Weasner until the late 1920s. His first piece for Weasner was an Indian intermezzo entitled: “Fleetfoot: Intermezzo Two-Step.”

If advertising copy is to be believed, by March 1907, Fleetfoot had sold over 100,000 copies, thereby making it a resounding hit by sheet music publishing standards.[9] Weasner was a composer himself, though of marginal ability, and seems originally to have founded his publishing company for the purpose of publishing his own works. Nevertheless, Weasner had a fairly large catalog of music composed by other, legitimate composers.


In 1906, he also entered into a fairly long-term publishing relationship with the Charles I. Davis music publishing firm of Cleveland, Ohio. His first offering with Davis was “Western Life - March - Two-Step.”

Western Life 

After college, Cobb lived in Buffalo, New York for several years before moving to New York City. Around 1909, Cobb moved to Boston where he began working as a clerk for popular music publisher Walter Jacobs. Cobb’s first ragtime piano composition for Jacobs, the "Rubber Plant Rag," was published by Walter Jacobs Publishers that same year and marked the beginning of a long-standing professional relationship between the composer and publisher.

Rubber Plant Rag 

In 1911, Cobb teamed up with nineteen-year-old lyricist Jack Yellen (6 July 1892-17 April 1991).[10]

Jack Yellen
In 1897, the Yellen family immigrated to the US from Poland. After graduating from the University of Michigan, Jack found work as a reporter for the Buffalo Courier. Presumably, the two young men met while Cobb was living in Buffalo. Perhaps it was friendship with Cobb that inspired the young newspaper man to abandon his career in journalism and try his luck as a lyricist. As fate would have it, this was a smart move for Yellen. Although he enjoyed great success with Cobb as his partner, Yellen achieved his greatest fame and fortune in the late 1920s after he teamed up with composer Milton Ager, and again with Lew Pollack as a staff composer at 20th Century-Fox Studios in Hollywood.


In 1913, Cobb began publishing pieces for the Chicago firm of Will Rossiter. His first pieces for Rossiter were the songs “Bring Me Back My Lovin' Honey Boy (Lovin' Honey Boy!)” with lyrics by Yellen, and “Just For To-Night” with words and music by Cobb. Interestingly, a blurb at the top of the cover of this song announces it to be “A Bigger ‘hit’ than ‘Some of These Days’.” Presumably Will Rossiter could support this contention as he had published “Some of These Days” in 1910.[11] Cobb contributed pieces to Rossiter throughout the teens, and indeed published one of his finest rags, “The Mazie King Midnight Trot” with Rossiter, copyrighted 5 April 1916.[12]

Midnight Trot


All Aboard for Dixie Land

In 1913, Cobb and Yellen composed the song “All Aboard for Dixie Land,”

All Aboard For Dixieland

which was very similar in style and subject matter to the 1912 hit “Waiting For The Robert E. Lee.”[13] No doubt, Cobb and Yellen tried to sell the song to the big publishers, like Remick or M. Witmark, but they best they could do was get it published by small-time New York publisher J. Fred Helf, whose publishing company existed largely to publish Helf’s own mediocre compositions.


Despite its initial lackluster presentation, “All Aboard for Dixie Land,” would very shortly change Cobb’s fortunes forever. The question remains, though, why a song that was destined to be a hit would have been turned down by all the major publishers. They reason is that the sheet music publishing industry was in a crisis in 1913. It was being threatened on many fronts. First, the reformist push to censor movies had spilled over into the music world. As a result, the Mayor of New York bowed to political pressure from moralists and ordered all “racy songs” out of public places. Publishers such as Waterson-Berlin-Snyder were hard hit by the ban.[14] According to Variety:


Among songs specified in a majority of the complaints received are those known as “rags.”[15]


In Boston, Mayor John F. Fitzgerald, sided with the moralists and issued a ban on public dancing, especial of ragtime dances and the tango.[16]


Sheet music sales plummeted without public performance. The most serious problem involved the price at which sheet music was sold. Publishers were also battling with the ten-cent stores, who had discounted sheet music to the point that publishers were failing to earn any profits. Many ten-cent stores were selling sheet music for 5 cents, with hits being sold for only 6 cents.[17] Many publishers were reported to be on the verge of failure.[18] F.A. Mills did eventually go out of business in July 1915.[19] By April 1914, no less than half a dozen music publishing business were expected to fail.[20] One publisher noted that even if the price of sheet music could be raised to ten cents on a yearly sale of only one million copies, the result in additional income would be $40,000 annually.[21] For the industry as a whole, this amount was considerably higher. It was estimated that ten million pieces of sheet music had been sold in the first half of 1914 and that sixty percent of this had been sold at a discount at the ten-cent stores.[22]


Of equal concern to the publishers was the practice that had emerged at this time for publishers to pay singers to perform their songs in public. What may have started out as an innocent way of getting songs plugged by popular performers rather than merely by the song plugger in the sheet music store became a major problem for the publishing industry. One publisher complained that it cost $20,000 to exploit a new song with no certainty that it would become a hit.[23] Some singers took the money and never performed the songs.[24] Some publishers even had to buy blocks of seats at the Palace Theatre, filling them with “boosters” whose job it was to applaud vigorously whenever one of the publisher’s songs was performed.[25] Eliminating the practice of paying singers would be estimated to save publishers $400,000 per year.[26]


Another problem was that sheet music publishers believed that they were in direct competition with the phonograph companies. One publisher calculated that a record of a song that sold 200,000 copies resulted in a decrease in the sale of 25,000 copies of the sheet music. Only a few years prior to this, a song was a financial success if it sold only 100,000 copies. Now with the discounting of sheet music and the expenses of paying singers to perform the songs, a song need to sell over a million copies before it earned a return on the publisher’s investment.[27] Many prominent sheet music publishers, led by F.A. Mills, refused to allow any of their songs to be recorded on phonograph records. They acknowledged that phonograph records helped popularize a song in the short term, but that in the long term they hastened the song’s demise and killed sheet music sales.[28]


To help correct these abuses of the industry, Wall Street proposed that all the big publishers should form a huge combine in order to clean up the industry and make it profitable once more.[29] All of the big publishers, with the exception of Leo Feist and F.A. Mills,[30] combined to agree that they would cease the practice of paying singers.[31] Obviously every publisher had to agree in order to keep the playing field even. With the exception of Feist, all of the major publishers signed an agreement that they would cease paying singers or be fined $5,000.[32] On 4 September 1914, the newly formed Music Publishers’ Board of Trade took out a full page ad in Variety announcing to the singers of America that henceforth they would no longer be paid to sing.[33]


Additionally, the Publishers and ASCAP combined to force Cabaret orchestras to pay a $10 to $15 yearly royalty for the right to perform songs in public.[34] Naturally, the cabarets were upset by this idea, but publishers felt that they had to recoup their losses and reverse their downward spiral. These licensing fees were expected to generate an annual income of $12,000,000 for the publishers.[35]


Despite these changes, sheet music sales were still down by a third in October 1914.[36]


In 1913, producer Arthur Hammerstein was working hard on a new show to be called High Jinks.

High Jinks

Operetta composers Rudolf Friml and Otto Hauerbach were contracted to write the songs. The story, by Leo Ditrichstein is as follows: a specialist in nervous affections living in Paris secures from a globe-trotting friend a drug that cures all kinds of spiritual distempers. The drug, however, is administered as a perfume. The plot was thickened by the introduction of an irate Frenchman, a wondering grass widow, her obese husband, and a certain doctor whose “amiable disposition” prevents him from resisting the embraces of his grateful female patients. The starring role of the girl behind the perfume counter went to Elizabeth M. Murray. A 1914 issue of The Theatre Magazine said of Miss Murray that she:


…has an inimitable way of delivering what is known in the expressive vernacular of the stage as a “coon song” without being a “coon shouter,” and is equally at home in vaudeville as in musical comedy with her renditions of down South darky love songs. Here is one single woman entertainer who did not fall in line with the finger-snapping, shoulder-shrugging, suggestive-moving feminine singers when the contortionists became the style. Miss Murray’s songs are always clean and wholesome.[37]


From the very beginning, there were problems with High Jinks. It first opened for a trial run on 30 October 1913 in Syracuse where it played for only three days. Hammerstein was determined to fix the show, so he next moved it to Albany on 5 November 1913, where it played for two days while the producer and directed tried to shape up the book and the comedy elements.[38] Not much hope was expressed for the show,[39] but Hammerstein was determined to repair it and to keep the show out of New York until it had been perfected. On November 26, High Jinks opened up in Chicago. It was here that the music received the most attention from the producers.


Out of town runs, then as now, gave producers the valuable opportunity to run a show before live audiences in order to make all the necessary changes and improvements prior to a show’s official opening on Broadway in New York City. While Friml’s score was quite good, it clearly did not have any obvious popular hits. This problem was solved by the process of interpolation. Hammerstein needed a rousing new song for Elizabeth Murray to sing, and for unknown reasons, the song selected to serve this need was Cobb and Yellen’s obscure little offering “All Aboard for Dixie Land.”


A reviewer in Variety of the Chicago run confirmed the wisdom of Hammerstein’s decision to interpolate Cobb’s little song, for he declared that “All Aboard for Dixie Land” was “the song hit of the show.”[40] High Jinks was now ready for Broadway, and Cobb was going with it.


High Jinks opened in New York at the Lyric Theater[41] on Broadway on 10 December 1913 to critical acclaim. The enthusiastic review in the New York Times noted:


Best of all, it improves as it goes along, gets livelier and funnier from act to act, and with Elizabeth Murray to sing a rattling good “coon song” toward the end of the proceedings…[42]


The “coon song” is clearly “All Aboard for Dixie Land.” The reviewer for Variety stated: “summing “High Jinks” up, the music and Miss Murray will carry it along as far as blasé Broadway is concerned.”[43] Another reviewer, commenting on the Friml score, and mentioning “All Aboard for Dixie Land,” waxed enthusiastic over Miss Murray’s performance, noting: “It is not the songs that are so good – it’s the way Miss Murray sings them.”[44]


High Jinks was by all measures a hit and a financial success, and Cobb’s song played no small part in this triumph. The shows’ first Saturday night performance raked in $2,100,[45] which was a box office fortune in 1913.


J. Fred Helf, the small-time, little league publisher of “All Aboard for Dixie Land,” did not have the business acumen to take advantage of the success of the song and exploit it fully. The song could be the hit song of the show, but the sheet music might be unavailable at music stores. Mercifully for Cobb, this problem was quickly and efficiently solved by Mose Gumble, the business manager for the premier publishing firm of Jerome H. Remick. Remick was notorious for spotting potential hits published by other publishing houses, buying the song from the small publisher, and then republishing the song and propelling it with the marketing and distribution power and expertise that only a publishing giant like Remick could give it.


It is unknown how much Remick paid to acquire “All Aboard for Dixie Land” from J. Fred Helf, but the amount was probably around $2,500, which is what Remick’s paid in 1914 to an obscure little Boston publishing firm of O.E. Story for a ballad entitled “The Rose of the Mountain Trail.”[46] Neither Cobb nor Yellen would have received any of this money, but the advantage to them was that Remick had the ability to print and sell millions of copies of “All Aboard for Dixie Land” which would translate into significantly increased royalties for the pair. By April 1914, “All Aboard for Dixie Land” was the hottest seller in sheet music from a Broadway show.[47]


Unfortunately, High Jinks ran into serious troubles by the end of December. A rupture emerged between Elizabeth Murray and the Arthur Hammerstein. Murray had earned unanimous critical acclaim for her role in High Jinks but felt that Hammerstein was trying to belittle her success by not billing her as agreed upon in her contract. Hammerstein was upset because Murray was refusing to sign a contract for the next season. The powerful newspaper critic Acton Davies published a column in the Evening Sun about the rupture and lent his support to Murray. Acton’s intervention helped resolve the situation for a while.[48]


In mid January, High Jinks moved to the Casino Theatre,[49] which is also on Broadway. At this time, it was clear that the rupture between Miss Murray and the management had not been healed. One evening when Miss Murray was walking along Broadway toward the Casino Theatre, she noticed that her name was not illuminated on the marquee. As she drew closer, she discovered to her horror that her name had never been put up on the sign.[50] Needless, to say, she was furious. Nevertheless, the show continued to do record business. After moving to the Casino Theatre, in its fifth week, it made around $10,000 a week, which made it a resounding smash hit.[51] Murmurings in the trade papers about problems behind the scenes continued to plague the show. Certain minor players were fired and replaced.[52] Lyricist Otto Hauerbach paid $10,000 to acquire half interest in the show and begin earning fifty percent of the profits.[53] This was undoubtedly a smart move on his part, since the sheet music sales of his songs in the show could not have been making him much if any money, acquiring half interest in the show enable him to profit indirectly albeit substantially from the ticket selling powers of Cobb’s tune.


The biggest change in the show occurred in early February when the principal players, including Elizabeth Murray left the show.[54] Stella Mayhew assumed Murray’s role. The reason for Murray leaving the show is unclear, but the new cast immediately began grumbling when the management ordered them to appear in person and perform at various restaurants and dancing emporiums after the regular show at night.[55] Murray, however, did not remain idle. The very next week, she had signed with Arthur Hammerstein’s brother William and was headlining in Vaudeville at the Victoria Theatre.[56][57] By March, already in its twelfth week, business began to drop off for High Jinks and it was announced that it would soon close.[58]


The Management, however, was unwilling to let the show die. In early March 1914, A new marketing gimmick was employed with the hope of reviving business for the show. High Jinks would be filmed and shown in cinemas. The Mutual Film Corporation agreed to film the entire cast performing “the two numbers which have made the piece such a success!” These numbers would undoubtedly have been Cobb and Yellen’s “All Aboard for Dixie Land” and one of Friml’s songs, the most likely candidate being “Jim.” These musical sequences were inserted into a popular serial called Our Mutual Girl, starring Mabel Normand.[59] The filming of Cobb’s number makes him one of the earliest film composers.


As a result of this and perhaps other publicity moves, High Jinks began doing “freak” business, setting numerous box office records. In mid March, it was making $11,500 a week, earning $4,100 alone for the two Saturday performances. The management announced that High Jinks would remain at the Casino indefinitely.[60] In early April, the show was still doing record business. Variety speculated that the “popularity of music in cabarets may have helped business.”[61] In other words, Cobb’s song was bringing the crowds in. At the end of April Arthur Hammerstein was so excited by the enormous profits generated by the show, that he announced that not only would High Jinks remain at the Casino all summer long, two road show versions of the show would be created to tour the Midwest and the Pacific Coast respectively.[62]


Troubles in Sheet Music Publishing

By July 1914, the sheet music industry was experiencing tremendous upheavals. Unfortunately, these problems directly affected Cobb. Lawyers for the management of High Jinks published a notice banning anyone anywhere from performing any song from High Jinks.[63] As a result, the only way for the public to hear Cobb’s tune would be to buy a ticket to the show. Although this was bad news, the touring company version of the show was doing record business even a year later,[64] and Remick continued to market the sheet music.


It’s All A Dream

George L. Cobb was now a successful New York song writer who was determined to be an even greater success, but what sort of world did this young Yankee find himself? The world of the music men was very different from the genteel niceties of Mexico, New York. Song writers did not behalf like any people Cobb had ever encountered. The home of composer Lewis F. Muir was broken into one summer night in 1913. The intruder attacked Muir viciously, striking him in the face, breaking his glasses, stomping on his spine, and otherwise seriously injuring him. His assailant turned out to be his writing partner L. Wolfe Gilbert, with whom he had written “Waiting For The Robert E. Lee,” though Muir is said to have written the song entirely himself, Gilbert only changing a word or two in the lyrics.[65]


Publishers were no better than the average Tin Pan Alley composer. Joseph W. Stern & Co were suing T.B. Harms over the rights to publish the music to The Doll Girl and Queen of the Movies.[66] Remicks was suing Joseph W. Stern over the rights to publish the interpolated numbers in The Midnight Girl.[67] M. Witmarks was suing composer Harold Atteridge for daring to violate his contract and publish the song “The Honeymoon Express” with Jerome Schwartz Co.[68] Shapiro, Bernstein & Co sued the Vaudeville team of George Whiting and Sadie Burt to stop them from singing “The War in Snider’s Grocery Store,” saying that the only performer authorized to sing the song was the act of Cross and Josephine.[69] M. Witmark & Songs sued composer William F. Peters for publishing a song with Harms.[70] Joseph W. Stern sued Sigmund Romberg to prevent him from publishing any of his songs with any other publisher, even though Stern was refusing to publish any of Romberg’s songs.[71] Composer Jimmie Monaco sued Harry Von Tilzer for $5,000 additional royalties on the sale of “Row, Row, Row.”[72] Obviously, the song writing business was dangerous.


Cobb and Yellen did not simply sit back. They wisely attempt to capitalize on the success of “All Aboard for Dixie Land.” In March 1915, Remick published their next big hit, “Alabama Jubilee.”[73]

Alabama Jubilee
It sold nearly one million copies of sheet music. The song was written for Elizabeth Murray and no doubt at her request since Cobb and Yellen clearly had discovered the formula for writing songs that worked so well for her and, most importantly, since she was legally forbidden to sing “All Aboard for Dixie Land” in public. Remick spent a lot of money advertising “Alabama Jubilee” and Murray belted it out in public in Vaudeville along the Orpheum Circuit. On the broiling hot day of 14 September 1915, she garnered critical acclaim for her performance at the Majestic Theatre in Chicago. Critic Ashton Stevens raved that “As the band struck up “The Alabama Jubilee,” Miss Murray made a smile that revived even the musicians. It went through the house like a spring zephyr…When Miss Murray sang, the house rose from its swoon and the heat waves curled up and perished. She dominated. She was magical. She turned hell to heaven. She brought back to baked earth its succulent sense of humor.”[74] The following month (4 October 1915), Murray opened her eastern tour at the Palace Theatre in New York City, bringing “Alabama Jubilee” with her.[75]


Murray and Cobb evidently formed some sort of business partnership at this time, as is clear from the copyright registration for the next Yellen and Cobb hit that she helped make a huge success, “Listen To That Dixie Band.”

Listen To That Dixie Band
Although the piece was published by Remick in 1915, it was copyrighted 1914 by “Elizabeth M. Murray and George L. Cobb, Philadelphia, PA.” Presumably, this means that Murray and Cobb published the piece and then sold it to Remick. This was probably a smart thing to do, for repeated the experience with “All Aboard for Dixie Land,” but instead of the buy out money going to a small-time publisher like J. Fred Helf, it went to Murray and Cobb. By doing this, Cobb and Murray earned for themselves far more money than they would have if they had simply sold it directly to Remick.


In many ways, Cobb had greater success with “Alabama Jubilee” and “Listen To That Dixie Band” than with “All Aboard for Dixie Land” because there were no legal restrictions on their performance. Elizabeth Murray was not the only one to sing these songs. Other vaudeville performers, such as Wilcox, Kline and Neska,[76] were allowed to sing them and thereby sell them to the public.


There were additional outlets for Cobb’s songs that helped to popularize them and sell sheet music. Starting in January 1916, I began a survey of the leading cabaret orchestras in New York to discover the names of the songs most commonly requested and most frequently played.[77] Variety divided the list between orchestras playing in Broadway cabarets, and off-Broadway orchestra that were favored by the “400.” i.e. high society. Among the off-Broadway orchestras, Cobb’s “Listen To That Dixie Band” was list as one of the top eight One-Steps. The On Broadway list was compiled by Earl B. Fuller, the leader of Fuller’s Band de Luxe at Rector’s. “Alabama Jubilee” was listed here as a favorite one-step.[78]


In this same year, Cobb and Yellen’s song “Dancing ‘Round the U.S.A.” was interpolated into the Winter Garden Theater production of Maid In America.
Dancing 'Round The USA


With the star rising in the publishing world, thanks to the large sales for Remick of “All Aboard for Dixie Land” and “Alabama Jubilee,” Witmark was eager to cash in on Cobb and Yellen and published in 1915 “It's All A Dream” and “Are You From Dixie? ('Cause I'm From Dixie, Too!),” which became a tremendous hit, earning the publisher a small fortune.

It's All A Dream

Are You From Dixie 

The details of his personal life at this time are scant, but his military registration card, dating from about 1916 and filled out when he was thirty years old, reveals that he was married to a woman named Claire Bailey. The coupled lived with George’s parents at 135 Pemberton Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts. He is described as being tall, stout, and gray haired with gray eyes.[79] It is unknown at present how long Cobb was married to Claire, but they were divorced by 1920.


Russian Rag

Russian Rag

Cobb is best known today for his novelty ragtime piano compositions. Among them was his 1918 “Russian Rag,” a ragtime version of the main theme from Rachmaninoff’s Prelude in C-Sharp Minor, published by Will Rossiter in Chicago, copyrighted 27 April 1918.[80] This was not the first time that Rachmaninoff’s Prelude had been turned into a rag, the first time being in 1915 with the “Mutilation Rag” by Zema Randale.[81] The “Mutilation Rag” however was difficult and overly faithful to the original. Cobb’s genius was to reduce the Prelude to its essential motifs and build his rag upon these simple structural elements rather than to try to reproduce Rachmaninoff’s virtuoso piano arrangement of those same elements. This composition, which sold well over one million copies and was first recorded on 30 August 1918 in a dance band arrangement by Earl Fuller’s Rector Novelty Orchestra for Columbia (A-2649). James Reese Europe’s Hellfighter’s Band recorded it the following year on 7 March 1919 for the Pathé label (22087).


Despite these recordings, the public was first introduced to the “Russian Rag” on the Vaudeville stage by a dancer named Mlle. Rhea, who premiered the piece at the Majestic Theatre in Chicago on 12 May 1918,[82] staying there a week before moving on to other Vaudeville houses throughout the country. Mlle Rhea’s act consisted of four songs in four different costumes to which she danced to the violin and piano accompaniment of a young pianist named Joseph Mach, Jr. The third dance was to “The Russian Rag,” which she performed as a toe dance.

Mlle Rhea

Given the unfavorable description printed in Variety, it is astonishing that the piece sold any copies of sheet music. The music itself was not criticized, but rather the performance was singled out as amateurish. The reviewer wrote of Mach’s playing:


Mach is apparently useless. He plays the violin no better than any orchestra violinist, and the piano with average ability. He weakens the little lady’s act more than she, in her inexperience, can realize.[83]


Understandably, given the poor piano playing of Mach, the piece did not impress the public or sell very well. It was not until the following year that the Russian Rag gained popularity, and this was due entirely to its performance by the Six Brown Brothers Saxophone sextet on Broadway in Ziegfeld’s Midnight Frolic, which was not a Broadway show, but really a cabaret with Vaudeville acts. Although it was uncharacteristic for Will Rossiter to advertise its songs in Variety, they did in fact take out a large ad for the piece on 27 June 1919, attributing to the Six Brown Brothers the observation that the “Russian Rag” was “the biggest hit we have ever played since we’ve been in the show business.”[84] A year later, in 1920, the Six Brown Brothers were booked to perform in the legitimate Broadway production of Tip-Top, which opened 5 October 1920 at the Globe Theatre.[85][86] While the show had a lackluster score by Ivan Caryll, the Six Brown Brothers interpolated the “Russian Rag.” Thanks to the artistry of the Six Brown Brothers and the comedy of leader Tom Brown, the show was a smash hit, earning a stunning $25,000 in its first five days.[87] The sheet music was now republished in the new small-size format to take advantage of this new exploitation. It was this new edition of the piece that sold over a million copies. Thus it took two years after its initial publication for “Russian Rag” to become a hit, and then only as a saxophone sextet novelty rather than as a piano solo.

Six Brown Brothers 

While the Six Brown Brothers may have popularized the song on Broadway and in Vaudeville, they never recorded it. The Victor record advertised on the 1920s edition of the sheet music for the “Russian Rag” was not the Six Brown Brothers but an accordion solo by Pietro Diero (Victor 18743).


Walter Jacobs

By the mid ‘teens, Cobb had joined the Boston publishing firm of Walter Jacobs permanent staff as a composer and arranger. Cobb wrote hundreds of compositions for Jacob’s four monthly publications, Jacobs’ Band Monthly, Jacobs’ Orchestra Monthly, The Tuneful Yankee (after 1918 called Melody), and Cadenza, each of which contained at least two full arrangements or original compositions by staff composers.

Tuneful Yankee


Nearly half of the compositions that appeared in these publications for a period of nearly two decades were written by Cobb under his own name. Jacobs employed the common publishing industry practice of artificially magnifying the number of composers on his staff by using pseudonyms. The following is a list of names of composers of pieces published by Jacobs that I suspect to be pseudonyms based on the fact that they names do not appear in any edition of the ASCAP directory, any other sort of directory, and based on the fact that current research indicates that these names only appear on Jacobs publications.


Alton A. Adams

Wm. Baines

Gomer Bath

C. Fred'k Clark

H.J. Crosby

P. Hans Flath

Chas. Frank

Gerald Frazee

James L. Fulton

Leo Gordon

P.B. Metcalf

E. Mutchler

Lawrence B. O'Connor

Earnest Smith

Al. Stevens

Elizabeth Strong

Frank Wegman

Oswald B. Wilson

Carl Paige Wood


Stylistically, these pieces all bear Cobb’s stamp, especially those credited to Leo Gordon. Jacobs had only Cobb, Norman Leigh, and R.E. Hildreth on his staff, so it is  likely that some of the pieces published under these names were by either Leigh or Hildreth. Leigh (Arthur Cleveland Morse) even wrote an article in Melody revealing the company-wide ruse and indicating that he too used a great number of pseudonyms when publishing for Jacobs, including pseuydonymous women's names.

Norman Leigh 

While the “Russian Rag” was Cobb’s most famous publication, it was another composition that brought him infamy. In 1918, the same year he published the Russian Rag, Jacob’s published Cobb’s ragtime parody of Grieg’s “Peer Gynt Suite,” entitled, “Peer Gink – One Step,” which was published separately as sheet music as well as in Melody[88] and Jacob’s Band Monthly. “Peer Gink” followed the same formula as the “Russian Rag,” being a distillation of the essential melody and harmony lines of the best known melodies from the “Peer Gynt Suite,” cleverly arranged into standard ragtime structure.

Peter Gink 

On Sunday 21 September 1919, Cobb attended an afternoon concert at Symphony Hall in Boston where he had the pleasure of hearing Sousa’s Band play. Cobb was friend’s with Sousa’s xylophonist, Joseph Green, one of the famous Green Brothers, and so he got to the concert early so that he could see his old friend. Cobb was delighted when Green informed him that he had been featuring “Peter Gink” with the Sousa Band and that very shortly he and his brother George were going to make an Okeh record of the piece. Green then introduced Cobb to John Philip Sousa who complimented Cobb on “Peter Gink.” Cobb was justifiable elated.[89]


While no objections to the “Russian Rag” seem ever to have been voiced or published, the popularization of “Peer Gink” by the Six Brown Brothers, who recorded it for Victor on 13 May 1919 (Victor 18562),[90] led to a storm of protest. A high-brow critic in the Brooklyn Eagle sniffed that Peer Gink “will be resented by millions of the lovers of Grieg’s music in this country only less strongly than by the Norwegians.” The critic advised Cobb and his ilk:


Ragtime is well enough in its place, stirring, amusing, and inspiring to dance by. But there are tunes enough that can be ‘ragged.’ Those ‘composers’ whose long suit is syncopation should at least respect masterpieces in their search for material. There is no need for them to kill the love of better music in order to find their own fun and their own royalties.[91]


This review was slavishly reprinted in full in the popular high-class magazine The Literary Digest.[92] In September 1920, Melody also printed a letter that Walter Jacobs had received from a self-appointed music highbrow who found it “disgraceful…the way beautiful music is being converted into vulgar, impossible jazz.. When Grieg’s immortal “Peer Gynt” is printed on a program “Peter Gink” it is time for all music lovers to rebel against this outrageous profanity.”[93] The editor of the magazine, Gregory M. Mazer, naturally defended Cobb’s piece. These criticisms did not seem to bother Cobb. Indeed, they seem to have encouraged him to do more. For the next few years, Cobb composed a steady stream of witty ragtime versions of the very classical pieces most highly cherished by high-brow haters of popular music, such as “Bohunkus,” a parody of themes by Dvořak,[94] “Shivaree,” a parody and pastiche of Schubert’s “Ave Maria” and themes by Moszkowski,[95] and “Summer Furs,” a novelty piano version of Cecile Chaminade’s “Scarf Dance.”[96]


Starting in February 1918, Cobb began writing a column for Jacob’s music magazine Melody, entitled “Just Between You and Me” in which he answered readers’ questions about composing and marketing popular songs, as well as critiquing their musical submissions.

George L. Cobb

The column is famous for its witty put downs, revealing that Cobb was a gifted writer and a great sense of humor and style. He rarely revealed anything about his personal life in these columns, and once rebuffed a correspondent for asking too many personal questions, stating:


I cannot answer all of your questions – why don’t you buy an Encyclopedia Britannica? Yes, I can do other things besides write songs –I can ride a bicycle and blow smoke rings. I am not bald-headed, but I would be if very many correspondents sent in questions like yours.[97]


Among Cobb’s funniest commentaries are these:


You must be a lover of canned milk or else a stockholder in the “Carnation Milk Co.” when you go to the trouble to write and shoot in a song entitled “Contented Cows.” Your words are idiotic and inane. Your punch in the chorus reaches the height of putrid nonsense. Sorry I can’t repeat it here and let MELODY readers see what nuts there are in this great Sahara. Your music is about on a par with “Mary Had A Little Lamb” as far as strength of melody is concerned. Don’t come back.[98]


He also once wrote:


I hate like thunder to shatter your fond yet wild dreams, but your fox-trot “Melody” written especially for and dedicated to MELODY is as devoid of melody as Jerusalem is of pug-noses. All that you have done or attempted to do is to make a neat manuscript copy of discords. How do you get that way?[99]


According to the Fourteenth Census of the United States, taken in 1920, Cobb, now aged 33, was living in Cambridge City, Massachusetts, with his father and mother.[100] His father at age 72, was an employee in a brokerage firm. George listed his occupation as “musical composer” and employee of a company, this, of course, referring to Walter Jacobs. Cobb continued to publish songs under his own name and for Jacobs publications, but his output steadily dwindled.


In 1930, he was living alone with his eighty-two-year-old mother, Jeanette, in a rented house in Somerville, Massachusetts, for which he paid $75.00 per month in rent.[101] Music might still have been important to him because he owned a radio. On the 1930 Census, he lists his occupation as a “salesman” in the publishing industry. This house is right by the railroad tracks. It seems obvious that the millions that he must have made early in his career were wiped out in the Stock Market Crash.


Cobb was an active Mason and held the position of secretary of the Chamber of Commerce of Brookline and Newton, Massachusetts. He was a securities salesman at the time of his death, of coronary thrombosis and duodenal ulcer, in a convalescent home in Brookline. Cobb died on 27 December 1942. An obituary was published in the Brookline Chronicle on 31 December 1942.

[1] The 1890 Census lists Linus B. Cobb’s occupation as “real estate agent.” Twelfth Census of the United States. Schedule 1. Population. New York State, Oswego County. Mexico Village. Enumerated 6 June 1900. Sheet number 7.

[2] In 1890 the Mexico Electric Light, Heat and Power Company was organized, and early in 1891 an adequate electric light system was placed in operation. It is controlled by Edwin L. Huntington, Linus B. Cobb, and Charles E. Hocknel. 1895 Landmark's of Oswego County, NY Book. The Town Of Mexico. Chapter 25. URL: http://www.rootsweb.com/~nyoswego/towns/mexico/1895landmarks.html

[3] 1895 Landmark's of Oswego County, NY Book. The Town Of Mexico. Chapter 25. URL: http://www.rootsweb.com/~nyoswego/towns/mexico/1895landmarks.html

[4] 1860 Census of the United States. Schedule 1. Free Inhabitants of the town of Seriba, in the County of Oswego, State of New York. Enumerated 23 June 1860. Page 33.

[5] His land was valued at $5,200.00. Only the land of his neighbor Isaac Turney was valued higher, at $6,000.00. 1870 Census of the United States, Schedule 1. Inhabitants of the town of Mexico, in the county of Oswego, in the state of New York. Enumerated on 5 August 1870. Page no. 48.

[6] 1870 Census of the United States, Schedule 1. Inhabitants of the town of Mexico, in the county of Oswego, in the state of New York. Enumerated on 14 July 1870. Page no. 28

[7] 1860 Census of the United States. Schedule 1. Free Inhabitants of the town of Mexico, in the County of Oswego, State of New York. Enumerated 24 July 1860. Page 102.

[8] Witness such pieces as: “Song of the Robin: Reverie.” by J. Henry Ellis. Copyright 1906 by The Vinton Music Co.

“When The Sun Sets In The West: A Rustic Ballad.” Written and Composed by Frederick H. Groves. Copyright 1905 by by The Vinton Music Co.

"Teddy's Nig." Written by Ethelberta Twombly. Copyright 1910 by The Vinton Music Pub. Co, Boston, MA.

"When It's Twilight Neath The Old New England Hills." Lyrics by Arthur E. Bucknam. Music by Jacob Henry Ellis. Copyright 1915 by the Vinton Music Pub. Co.

[9] An advertisement for Fleetwood with this information is found in the following piece. “Idylia: Novelette-Intermezzo.” By George L. Cobb. Copyright 1907 by H. C. Weasner & Co. According to the stamp on the sheet music deposited with the Library of Congress, “Idylia” was entered for copyright on 3 January 1907, but the requisite two copies were not received until 2 March 1907.

[10] “I'd Like To Take A Chance With You”. Lyrics by Jack Yellen. Music by George L. Cobb. Copyright 1911 by Charles I. Davis Music Publisher, Cleveland, Ohio.

[11] “Some of These Days.” Music and Lyrics by Shelton Brooks. Copyright 1910 by Will Rossiter.

[12] David A. Jasen and Trebor Jay Tichenor. Rags and Ragtime: A Musical History. New York: Dover Publications, 1989. p. 175.

[13] “Waiting For The Robert E. Lee.” Lyrics by L. Wolfe Gilbert. Music by Lewis F. Muir. Copyright 1912 by F.A. Mills.

[14] “Snyder’s Songs Hard Hit.” Variety, vol. 31, non. 12 (August 22, ,1913): p. 3.

[15] “Police After ‘Blue’ Songs: Want Risqué Lyrics Censored.” Variety, vol. 32, no. 3 (September 19, 1913): p. 8.

[16]Boston’s Mayor Vetoes Keith’s Ragtime Dances.” Variety, vol. 32, no. 4 (September 26, 1913): p. 6.

[17] “Music Business Serious.” Variety, vol. 32, no. 10 (November 7, 1913): p. 8.

[18] “Publishers Still Compalin.” Variety, vol. 32, no. 2 (September 12, 1913): p. 5.

[19] “Mills In Gloom.” Variety, vol. 39, no. 5 (July 2, 1915): p. 5.

[20] “Song Publishers in Bad: Failures Expected Shortly.” Variety, vol. 34, no. 7 (April 17, 1914): p. 7.

[21] “Precarious Music Publishing May Be Followed By Reforms.” Variety, volo. 33, no. 6 (January 9, 1914): p. 7.

[22] “Music Publishers’ Meeting For Protective Purposes.” Variety, vol.  35, no. 3 (June 19, 1914): p. 6.

[23] “Precarious Music Publishing May Be Followed By Reforms.” Variety, volo. 33, no. 6 (January 9, 1914): p. 7.

[24] “’Paid Singers’ Don’t Sing.” Variety, vol. 32, no. 5 (October 3, 1913): p. 6.

[25] “Where ‘Boosters’ Come From and Some of Their Ways.” Variety, vol. 32, no. 11 (November 14, 1913): p. 8.

[26] “Music Publishers’ Combine Working Out Satisfactorily.” Variety, 35, no. 8 (July 24, 1914): p. 6.

[27] “Music Publishing Combine Proposed By Wall Street.” Variety, vol. 32, no. 13 (November 28, 1913): p. 3.

[28] “Publishers Still Meeting.” Variety, vol. 35, no. 6 (July 10, 1913): p. 7.

[29] “Music Publishing Combine Proposed By Wall Street.” Variety, vol. 32, no. 13 (November 28, 1913): p. 3.

[30] “Singers of Songs.” Variety, vol. 36, no. 1 (September 4, 1914): p. 22.

[31] “Music Publishers’ Meeting For Protective Purposes.” Variety, vol. 35, no. 3 (June 19, 1914): p. 6.

[32] “Music Men All Set.” Variety, vol. 35, no. 5 (July 3, 1914): p. 6.

[33] “Singers of Songs.” Variety, vol. 36, no. 1 (September 4, 1914): p. 22.

[34] “Publishers and Cabarets Bounding Toward A Clinch.” Variety, vol. 36, no. 5 (October 3, 1914): p. 10.

[35] “60,000 Places Affected by ‘Cabaret Royalty’.” Variety, vol. 36, no. 6 (October 10, 1914): p. 5.

[36] “Music Publishers’ Plaint.” Variety, vol. 36, no. 12 (November 21, 1914): p. 5.

[37] Nellie Revell. “The World of Vaudeville.” The Theatre Magazine. vol. 19, no. 159 (May 1914): pp. 237-238, 258-259. [here, p. 238].

[38] “Fixing ‘High Jinks’.” Variety, vol. 32, no. 10 (November 7, 1913): p. 11.

[39] “’High Jinks’ Gets Over.” Variety, vol. 33, no. 3 (December 19, 1913): p. 12.

[40] Wynn. “High Jinks,” Variety, vol. 32, non. 13 (November 28, 1913); p. 19.

[41] 213 W. 42nd St., New York, NY. The Lyric was built in 1903, designed by Victor Hugo Koehler with seating for 1261. The theater had two entrances, the larger facade being on the 43rd Street side, in a mix of Renaissance revival styles, and the smaller facade, resembling a brownstone mansion, on 42nd Street. Both were heavily decorated with sculpture, including figures of goddesses, masks, and of course, lyres. The Adam/Empire style interior of the theater featured an auditorium with two balconies, 18 boxes, and gilded plasterwork. The color scheme was originally light green and rose.

The Lyric was initially to have been leased to composer Reginald DeKoven as home to his American School of Opera, but the school went bankrupt before the theater was completed. It ended up being leased instead to the Shubert brothers as a legitimate stage. The Lyric ended its legitimate days in 1934. In order to survive during the Depression, it joined many other 42nd Street houses in becoming a movie theater.


The Lyric remained a movie house into the 90s (by which time it was in poor shape) until in 1996, after its remaining architectural elements were removed, it joined the neighboring Apollo Theatre in being razed, replaced by the Ford Center for the Performing Arts, which fragments of both the Lyric and Apollo were reused in. Both 42nd and 43rd Street facades of both the Lyric and Apollo were also retained. Former Cineplex Odeon baron Garth Drabinsky envisioned the $36 million Ford Center as a home for his production of "Ragtime", and would be the first new free-standing legitimate house built in Times Square in over 70 years.


Some of the information here was found in the books "Lost Broadway Theatres" by Nicholas Van Hoogstraten and "Broadway Theatres" by William Morrison. http://cinematreasures.org/theater/9930/

[42] “’High Jinks’ Brings Good Cheer to Lyric.” The New York Times, vol. 63, no. 20,410 (Thursday, December 11, 1913): p. 11.

[43] Mark. “High Jinks.” Variety, vol. 33, no. 2 (December 12, 1913): p. 22.

[44] Plain Mary. “All For the Ladies.” Variety, vol. 33, no. 3 (December 19, 1913): p. 15.

[45] “’High Jinks’ Gets Over.” Variety, vol. 33, no. 3 (December 19, 1913): p. 12.

[46] “Remick’s Buys Boston Song.” Variety, vol. 34, no. 7 (April 17, 1914): p. 6.

[47] “The Best Seller.” Variety, vol. 34, no. 6 (April 10, 1914): p. 8.

[48] “Miss Murray Sticks.” Variety, vol. 33, no. 4 (December 26, 1913): p. 10.

[49] 1404 Broadway (W. 39th), New York, NY. Seats (approximate): 875. Kimball & Wisedell, architects. Built in 1882 by producer Rudolph Aronson for light musicals and operetta, but showed mostly "polite vaudeville" starting in 1892. Canary & Lederer managed it from 1894 until 1903, when the Shuberts acquired the lease. A 1905 fire necessitated much reconstruction. In February of 1930, the theatre was demolished to make room for the expanding garment district.

[50] “’Light’ Trouble in ‘Jinks’.” Variety, vol. 33, no. 7 (January 16, 1914): p. 11.

[51] “Shows at the Box Office in New York and Chicago.” Variety, vol. 33, no. 7 (January 16, 1914): p. 10.

[52] “’High Jinks’ Will Stay.” Variety, vol. 33, no. 8 (January 23, 1914): p. 21.

[53] “’Light’ Trouble in ‘Jinks’.” Variety, vol. 33, no. 7 (January 16, 1914): p. 11.

[54] “Changes in ‘High Jinks’.” Variety, vol. 33, no. 10 (February 6, 1914): p. 3.

[55] “Company Must Move Around.” Variety, vol. 33, no. 12 (February 20, 1914): p. 12.

[56] Nellie Revell. “The World of Vaudeville.” The Theatre Magazine. vol. 19, no. 159 (May 1914): pp. 237-238, 258-259. [here, p. 238].

[57] Victoria Theatre, 201 West 42nd Street, New York, NY. Seats (approximate): 950. J. B. McElfatrick, architect. Built in 1899 by Oscar Hammerstein and named the Victoria to celebrate his victory over creditors. In 1904, it offered family variety. This gave way to vaudeville, which proved to be quite successful. Joining the roofs of the Victoria and the adjacent Republic, which he also owned, Hammerstein created the Paradise Roof Garden, an open-air showplace for summer entertainment. In 1915, he

[58] “Shows at the Box Office in New York and Chicago.” Variety, vol. 34, no. 1 (March 6, 1914): p. 10.

[59] “High Jinks!” advertisement. Variety, vol. 34, no. 2 (March 13, 1914): p. 25.

[60] “’High Jinks’ Freak Business.” Variety, vol. 34, no. 3 (March 20, 1914): p. 11.

[61] “Shows at the Box Office in Lent in New York City.” Variety, vol. 34, no. 5 (April 3, 1914): p. 11.

[62] “’High Jinks’ All Summer?” Variety, vol. 34, no. 8 (April 24, 1914): p. 16.

[63] “Warning!” notice. Variety, vol. 35, no. 7 (July 17, 1914): p. 20.

[64] “’High Jinks’ at Cort.” Variety, vol. 38, no. 9 (April 30, 1915): p. 3.

[65] “Gilbert Hits Muir.” Variety, vol. 31, no. 12 (August 22, 1913): p. 6.

[66] “Stern & Co. Suits.” Variety, vol. 33, no. 9 (January 30, 1914): p. 12.

[67] “Stern Can’t Publish.” Variety, vol. 34, no. 6 (april 10, 1914): p. 8.

[68] “Witmarks and Atteridge.” Variety, vol. 35, no. 32 (June 12, 1914): p. 11.

[69] “Song Restriction.” Variety, vol. 36, no. 9 (October 31, 1914): p. 7.

[70] “Music Publishers’ Contracts Declared Invalid by Courts.” Variety, vol. 36, no. 11 (November 14, 1914): p. 5.

[71] “The Publishers Side.” Variety, vol. 36, no. 13 (November 28, 1914): p. 5.

[72] “Composer Wants $5,000.” Variety, vol. 37, no. 12 (February 20, 1915): p. 6.

[73] Advertisement for Jerome H. Remick & Co. Variety, vol. 38, no. 4 (March 26, 1915): p. 31.

[74] Ashton Stevens. “braving the Heat to See Elizabeth.” Chicago Examiner (Wednesday, September 15, 1915). Quoted in advertisement for full page Elizabeth M. Murray. Variety, vol. 40,. No. 5 (October 1, 1915): p. 2.

[75] Wynn. Palace. Variety, vol. 40, no. 6 (October 8 1915): pp. 14-15.

[76] Ad. “Vaudeville Stars with Jerome H. Remick & Co.’s Songs.” Variety, vol. 40, no. 8 (October 22, 1915): p. 35.

[77] “Cabarets.” Variety, vol. 41, no. 6 (January 7,, 1916): p. 13.

[78] “Cabarets.” Variety, vol. 41, no. 12 (February 18, 1916): p. 13.

[79] Registration Card for George Linus Cobb. Registration card number 130. Order no. 1191. Registrar’s report 20-5-8.A

[80] David A. Jasen and Trebor Jay Tichenor. Rags and Ragtime: A Musical History. New York: Dover Publications, 1989. p. 175.

[81] Zema Randale. Mutilation Rag. Copyright 1915 by Cable Company.

[82] Ad for the Majestic. Chicago Tribune, vol. 77, no. 19 (May 12, 1918): part 7, page 2.

[83] Lait. “New Acts: Mlle. Rhea.” Variety, vol. 50, no. 12 (May 17, 1918): p. 23.

[84] Ad for Russian Rag. Variety, vol. 55, no. 5 (June 27, 1919): p. 34.

[85] 205 W. 46th St., New York, NY. Carrere & Hastings, architect. Producer Charles Dillingham built the theatre in 1910 and lost it in 1931. It became a movie house and was bought by the Brandt chain in 1936. City Playhouses Inc. bought it in 1957. It was extensively renovated and reopened as the Lunt-Fontanne in 1958. The Nederlander Organization bought it in 1973.

[86] Sime. “Tip-Top.” Variety, vol. 60, no. 7 (October 8, 1920): p. 17.

[87] “Broadway Shows.” Variety, vol. 60, no. 9 (October 22, 1920): p. 15.

[88] George L. Cobb. “Peter Gink.” Melody, vol. 2, no. 9 (September 1918): pp. 9-11.

[89] George L. Cobb. “Just Between You And Me.” Melody, vol. 3, no. 10 (October 1919): pp. 22-24. [here, p. 22.]

[90] The Six Brown Brothers also recorded it for Emerson (1055) in July 1919.

[91] Brooklyn Eagle. Cited in: “Resenting Grieg in Ragtime.” The Literary Digest, vol. 67, no. 11 (December 11, 1920): p. 37.

[92] “Resenting Grieg in Ragtime.” The Literary Digest, vol. 67, no. 11 (December 11, 1920): p. 37.

[93] Gregory M. Mazer. Editorial. Melody, vol. 4, no. 9 (September 1920): p. ?

[94] George L. Cobb.” Bohunkus: Novelty One-step for Piano.” Melody, vol. 4, no. 3 (March 1920): pp. 9-11.

[95] George L. Cobb. “Shivaree: One-Step.” Melody, vol. 5, no. 10 (October 1921): pp. 18-20.

[96] George L. Cobb. Summer Furs: A Syncopated Classic.” Copyright 1924 by Walter Jacobs, Inc., Boston.

[97] George L. Cobb. “Just Between You And Me.” Melody, vol. 2, no. 5 (May 1918): pp. 22-23, 27. [here, p. 23.]

[98] George L. Cobb. “Criticisms by George L. Cobb.” Melody, vol. 4, no. 1 (January 1920): p. 26.

[99] George L. Cobb. “Criticisms by George L. Cobb.” Melody, vol. 4, no. 1 (January 1920): p. 26.

[100] Fourteenth Census of the United States 1920 – Population. State of Massachusetts, County of Middlesex. Supervisor’s District Number 4. Enumeration District 71. Cambridge City. Ward of City 7. Enumerated 20 January 1920. Sheet 11A

[101] Fifteenth Census of the United States – 1930. Population Schedule. State of Massachusetts, County of Middlesex, Somerville City, Ward of City 6. Enumerated April 11, 1930. Enumeration District 9-453. Supervisor’s district 11. Sheet no. 8-A. Cobb’s mother’s first name is listed as “Janet” in this census.

Frederick Hodges

Copyright 2012 by Frederick Hodges



Frederick Hodges