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 agent and music publisher in Omaha before he moved on to New York. Over the years the lyrics have been sanitized for modern tastes but this 1925 sheet music contains the original story about a black prostitute named Sweet Georgia Brown. The second verse begins with, “Brown skin Gals you’ll get the blues, Brown skin Pals you’ll surely loose” instead of the non-racialized ‘gals’ and ‘pals’ of more recent versions. The song was billed as a “Charleston Swing Song” complete with a ukulele arrangement for the era’s popular instrument.
The cover of this sheet music features an art deco styled illustration of a young woman in a red dress and a photograph of Miss Nora Kelly who introduced the song. On the second page of the sheet music is an ad for “Oh Mah! Oh Pah! Ain’t She the Sweetest Thing” with lyrics by Gus Kahn and music by Walter Donaldson. Jerome H. Remick and Company of New York and Detroit published the sheet music.For interviews and oral histories of this and other items please visit the History Harvest YouTube Channel.