Kansas City Public Library is on the ragtime.

The Central Library has made a Flickr gallery of the ragtime/early-20th-century sheet music covers held in the Missouri Valley Special Collections, and boy is it a hoot!

Locally themed compositions like “The 12th Street Rag,” “Kansas City Blues” and “Somewhere Along the Missouri Tonight” are displayed alongside quirkier offerings, such as “Oh, You U-Boat!” “The Tickler” and the racially specific “It Takes a Long Tall Brown-Skin Gal to Make a Preacher Lay His Bible Down.”

From the text on the Flickr gallery:

Kansas City’s growing music and entertainment scene in the late 19th and early 20th centuries encouraged local music stores to join the ranks of sheet music publishers. Stores like J.W. Jenkins and Sons Music Company, Kansas City Talking Machine Company, and Carl Hoffman Music Company began publishing the work of local composers like Charles Johnson and Scott Joplin and distributing it across the nation.

If you wish to leave your computer and get your history on in person, you can attend a presentation on the history of ragtime in Kansas City at the Central Library on Sunday, November 15, at 2 p.m.

Categories: Music