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This is an original version of the legendary song with music written by Maceo Pinkard, lyrics by Kenneth Casey and popularized by Ben Bernie. Janice Cleary who owns this amazing collection, assures us from her research that Pinkard was a booking…

Patricia Barron created Big Mama's Kitchen to provide traditional African American home-cooking and a comfortable atmosphere in North Omaha. Several dishes are based on family recipes and named after local landmarks. Big Mama's Kitchen is also an…

This post-World War I foxtrot is about a person looking for a “sweetie” who would, “Buzz around me like a Bumble Bee”. The lyrics mention being blue and suffering sleepless nights, “Regretting the day that I was…

The Omaha Colored Commercial Club was formed in 1920 to aid African Americans in finding employment and learning which businesses to support. It was important for the community to know which businesses were black-owned or willing to hire employees…

This World War I song is about a soldier’s faithfulness to his country and his girl. The lyrics use the name Tommy Atkins, a term used to denote a generic British soldier, rather than a specific individual. Tommy, “while down in a trench…

This sheet music is a ragtime instrumental song composed by Dan Desdunes in 1912. Janice Cleary who owns this amazing collection remembers seeing Desdunes leading his band in Omaha parades when she was young. Those memories make this artifact…

A man’s longing for his hometown, the city of Omaha Nebraska, inspires this post World War I blues song, printed as sheet music. The song is about his dreams of returning to Omaha after a life of roaming and his desire to settle down near his…

“Alibi-ing Papa” is about a woman who is fed up with her husband’s nights spent away from the family and the lies he tells to cover up his nocturnal adventures. The narrative takes place in Mobile, Alabama where alibing Sam always…

Janice Cleary discussed a few of the pieces of sheet music she shared with History Harvest. Mrs. Cleary brought in several pieces with connections to Omaha, NE, but her entire collection contains nearly 50,000 pieces of American popular music. In…
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