Tag: cakewalk


Abe Holzmann – Blaze-away / Smoky-Mokes / Hunky Dory…

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.

From Wikipedia:

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.”[3]

Abe married Isabelle Fishblatt around 1908, and he became the manager of the Orchestra Department at Jerome Remick & Company, music publisher in New York.[1] 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


Additional Information

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:


The sheet music of Blaze-Away for mandolin orchestra can be found on my website www.mandoisland.de and on the IMSLP site.

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:


Historical recordings of works by Abe Holzmann in the Internet Archive

favorite tunes

South Car’lina Tickle by Adam Geibel – A nice…

Recently I have discovered a nice piece for the mandolin – the cakewalk South Car’lina Tickle by Adam Geibel.

I found this when I played through  a collection of mandolin pieces that was published as the Majestic Collection at the beginning of the 20th century.

Adam Geibel lived from  1855 until 1933, so the copyright for his works has expired.

Some of his compositions can be found in the IMSLP library, but not the South Car’lina Tickle.

I have found a scan of the sheet music for piano from a link on the website  Classic Ragtime Piano.

The scan was made by the Duke University and can be found on the following page:


This is the page with the South Car’lina Tickle from the Majestic Collection that I have found on the Nakano website (click image for full size):

A Midi file of the South Car’lina Tickle is available here:


Another famous song composed by Adam Geibel is Kentucky Babe. I have found several versions of this song, one of my favorites is this great performance by the Voices of Liberty in historical costumes. More versions are contained in my playlist below.

Voices of Liberty singing Kentucky Babe

The Lawrence Welk Show: Kentucky Babe

This is a version of Kentucky Babe played on two guitars:

Two Oldtimers – Kentucky Babe

Instruments used: Epiphone Casino,
Gibson ES 135, Custom made Tenor Banjo,
Roland Keyboard, Spider 2 – Line 6 30 watt amp 12″ speaker, Fender FM 210R 65 watt amp two 10″ speakers

Playlist Adam Geibel

Playlist Kentucky Babe – Adam Geibel

Additional Information

Works by Adam Geibel at IMSLP:

Religious compositions by Adam Geibel (midi):

A great blog about ragtime music with more links to sheet music:

Free download of my version of the South Car’lina Tickle for mandolin and guitar:

Sweet Kentucky Babe – Sheet Music in the Levy Collection

Timeline Adam Geibel – Levy Collection