Recently I have found the sheet music for mandolin of a famous march composed by Abe Holzmann: Blaze-Away. This march has been composed in the year 1901 and has remained popular until today.
Abe Holzmann (19 August 1874 – 16 January 1939) was a German/American composer, who is most famous today for his march Blaze-Away!
A review originally published by the New York Herald on Sunday, 13t January 1901 entitled German Composer who Writes American Cakewalk Music describes “[h]is knowledge of bass and counterpoint is thorough, and his standard compositions bear the stamp of harmonic lore, which makes his proclivity for the writing of the popular style of music the more remarkable.”
Abe married Isabelle Fishblatt around 1908, and he became the manager of the Orchestra Department at Jerome Remick & Company, music publisher in New York. He was an early member (1923) of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP). He earned his livelihood as composer/arranger for Tin Pan Alley publishers, including Leo Feist. He later was advertising manager for the American Federation of Musicians publication, International Musician. He was a member of Freemasonry, the Elks, and Knights of Pythias, all in New York City.
Holzmann died in East Orange, New Jersey at age 64. He was survived by his widow, a daughter Natalie Holzmann, three half-brothers, and four sisters. His music was especially revered by ragtime enthusiasts, although he composed marches, waltzes, and other light music.
I have found a great video with a performance of Blaze-Away by a great banjo band, recorded in the year 1936 – this has been taken from the British Pathe archive:
Blaze Away – Raymonde and his Banjo Band (1936)
The fact that Blaze-Away is popular until today can be seen in the following two videos with violinis André Rieu – and a very enthusiastic audience from Vienna and a complete football stadium in Kerkrade:
Andre Rieu – Blaze away 2011
If you like to add another popular march to your mandolin orchestra’s repertoir you might be interested in the sheet music of Blaze-Away by Abe Holzmann. The sheet music is available on my website.
The title pages of works by Abe Holzmann show the fact that Holzmann’s music has been arranged for mandolin, guitar, zither or banjo in the early days already.
Another popular composition by Abe Holzmann is Smoky Mokes. Ihave selected two videos, the first with banjo-mandolin and guitar:
Smoky Mokes — played by Dennis Pash and Meredith Axelrod
Playliste Smoky Mokes – Abe Holzmann
Wikipedia about Abe Holzmann: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abe_Holzmann
Sheet music by Abe Holzmann can be found in several archives with digitized sheet music. I have collected the best links in the following link collection:
Historical recordings of works by Abe Holzmann in the National Jukebox of the Library of Congress (Playlist), including banjo versions of Blaze-Away and Hunky-Dory: