George L. Cobb


George Linus Cobb (August 31, 1886 – December 25, 1942) was an American composer. He composed over 200 pieces of music, including ragtimes, marches, and waltzes. He also wrote columns for music trade publications.

George Linus Cobb
George L. Cobb
George L. Cobb
Background information
Born(1886-08-31)August 31, 1886
Mexico, New York
DiedDecember 25, 1942(1942-12-25) (aged 56)
Brookline, Massachusetts
Russian Rag cover, 1918


Cobb attended the School of Harmony and Composition at Syracuse University in 1905, and his compositions began soon thereafter.[1]

Cobb collaborated with lyricist Jack Yellen on many early songs, and in 1950 Billboard described Cobb as a "roving music teacher" during Yellen's sophomore year in college. They sold their first big hit, All Aboard for Dixieland, for $100 in 1913,[2] but the two had been writing songs as early as 1909, beginning with Moonlight Makes Me Lonesome For A Girl Like You.[3]

Cobb's most famous work is Russian Rag, a composition based on the opening chord progression of Rachmaninoff's Prelude in C-sharp minor, Op.3, No.2. The piece was such a hit in 1918 that Cobb wrote The New Russian Rag in 1923 in an attempt to arrange more of the Rachmaninoff prelude for ragtime piano.[1]

By 1917, Cobb began writing a monthly column titled "Just Between You and Me" in The Tuneful Yankee, a ragtime music magazine owned by publisher Walter Jacobs. The magazine also published many of Cobb's musical compositions. Cobb continued writing for the magazine after the name changed to Melody in 1918.[3]

Selected compositionsEdit

  • Cobb, George L., and Jack Yellen. Alabama Jubilee. New York: Jerome H. Remick & Co, 1915. OCLC 9909311
  • Cobb, George L., and Jack Yellen. All Aboard for Dixieland. New York: Jerome H. Remick & Co, 1914. OCLC 9766047
  • Cobb, George L., and Jack Yellen. Are You from Dixie?: 'cause I'm from Dixie Too. New York: M. Witmark & Sons, 1915. OCLC 20120691
  • Cobb, George L., Jack Yellen, and Will Rossiter. Bring Me Back My Lovin' Honey Boy. Chicago: Will Rossiter, 1913. OCLC 424501477
  • Cobb, George L., and Jack Yellen. Moonlight Makes Me Lonesome For A Girl Like You. 1909.
  • The New Russian Rag. 1923.
  • Russian Rag. 1918.
  • Cobb, George L., and Jack Mahoney. See Dixie First. Boston, Mass: Walter Jacobs, 1916. OCLC 30123720
  • Cobb, George L., and Irving Crocker. Send Me a Line When I'm Across the Ocean, Boston: Walter Jacobs, 1917. OCLC 30123716
  • Cobb, George L., and Robert Levenson. When the Lilies Bloom in France Again. Boston: Walter Jacobs, 1918. OCLC 17843262

Death and legacyEdit

Cobb died of coronary thrombosis on December 25, 1942.[4]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Jasen, David A.; Trebor Jay Tichenor (1978). Rags and Ragtime: A Musical History. New York, NY: Dover Publications, Inc. p. 174. ISBN 0-486-25922-6.
  2. ^ Burton, Jack (November 18, 1950), "The Honor Roll of Popular Songwriters No. 78, Milton Ager", The Billboard, pp. 37–38, retrieved July 31, 2014
  3. ^ a b Tjaden, Ted (June 2006). "The Rags of George L. Cobb". Retrieved July 31, 2014.
  4. ^ Edwards, Bill. "George Linus Cobb". Retrieved July 31, 2014.

External linksEdit

  • Free scores by George L. Cobb at the International Music Score Library Project (IMSLP)
  • Audio recording of "Russian Rag" at the Library of Congress jukebox
  • "Alabama jubilee", New York: Remick Music Corp., 1915, from the Alabama Sheet Music Collection
  • The Rags of George L. Cobb An overview of Cobb's life and compositions
  • George Linus Cobb An overview of Cobb's life and compositions