b. Euday Louis Bowman, 9 November 1887, Fort Worth, Texas, USA, d. 26 May 1949, New York, New York, USA. A composer and arranger who is remembered for the immensely catchy ‘Twelfth Street Rag’, which he wrote in 1914. Three years later it was popularized by Earl Fuller’s Novelty Orchestra, and since then has appeared several times in the US Hit Parade played by artists such as Ted Lewis (1923), Fats Waller (1935), Frankie Carle (1948), and Liberace (1954). However, the version most people remember is the one by Pee Wee Hunt And His Orchestra, which spent eight weeks at number 1 in the USA in 1948, and gave Hunt his first million-seller. The piece was a hit in the UK for guitarist Bert Weedon as recently as 1960. Much earlier than that, with a lyric by Spencer Williams, it was featured in the musical comedy movie, Close Harmony, which starred Charles ‘Buddy’ Rogers. Over the years, other wordsmiths have also given it their attention, and the lyric which begins ‘Down in Kansas City someone wrote a pretty ditty’, which was written by Andy Razaf, is probably the most familiar.
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