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Dill Pickles Rag Charles Johnson Sheet Music 1906 onward
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Dill Pickles Rag Charles Johnson Sheet Music 1906 onward


In the early 20th century, ragtime - a style of early jazz music written largely for the piano and characterized by jaunty rhythms – was enormously popular.

Charles L Johnson, a musical prodigy who was born In Kansas City, had the biggest hit of 1906 with his composition Dill Pickles Rag. It was the second “rag” to sell a million copies. The first was Scott Joplin’s Maple Leaf Rag. Dill Pickles was published by the sheet music company Jerome H. Remick and Co, founded by businessman and philanthropist Jerome Hosmer Remnick. Born in Detroit, Remnick was an important figure in the music industry and the songs that he published had a sweeping influence on American culture. His other hits included Oh, You Beautiful Doll, Bye Bye Blackbird and I’m Looking Over A Four - Leafed Clover. The company had offices in Detroit and in New York, where the music-publishing industry was centered on Tin Pan Alley.

People bought sheet music like they would download music today and the front covers of published songs always sold more when they were eye-catching and colorful. This wonderful illustration shows a dill pickle as if it were a zeppelin, the floating airship that was newly invented in Germany.

Courtesy Lou Greenstein.

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