This is a tune that deviates from the usual ragtime formula with some interesting chords and syncopation. It moves around the fret board quite a bit so in my suggested fingering I've added a few open strings to make it easier. 

I still haven't found anything more about the composer, I've emailed 'Perfessor' Bill Edwards, he has't heard of him either so it looks as though Brown may have been a pseudonym. The score and midi are in the library....Steve.

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I've gotten to where I really like this tune. Well done, Steve. Thanks!!

Thanks Marc..Once you have sorted the fingering out in your head, it's not that hard to play..I've used a mixture of classic and melodic to make the moving around a bit easier....Steve.

I've gotten to where I really like this tune. Well done, Steve. Thanks!!

Steve Harrison said:

This is a reply I've just received from Bill Edwards regarding Clarence Brown. it looks as though he did exist and lived a long and productive life. I'll have to see if I can dig out any more of his music...Steve.

Taking an hour on my first day back from my three weeks abroad to dig a little on Clarence F. Brown. All was found with quick Google searches and the same tools I pointed you to in the prior mail on my research page. So if you want anything beyond this, it is all there for a little bit of digging. I have a rather bulging inbox, so this is all I will be able to do for some time, and I'm not sure if I will be publishing it or not, so may not pursue it further.

Compositions include Yard by Yard with L.S. Potter and Hamilton B. Wood in 1909/1910, published by the Williams College Musical Association in Williamstown, Massachusetts, and Our Mother: Williams College Song, solo work with the same demographics. Armadillo was not initially a banjo piece, published as a piano rag in 1911 by Thomas Goggan in Texas, as multiple Google hits show, including the copyright record. It is also available in the Dick Zimmerman folio Gems of Texas Ragtime. Whether he was actually living in Texas at that time was not determined from copyright records, but he may have been.

Yard by Yard can be found at:

Working off his WWI Draft record and expanding from there, I found that Brown was born in san Antonio, Texas, 11/3/1887.
Parents Clarence F. Brown, Sr. and Emma Earl
Siblings Irene (12/1886) and Ira (8/1885).
Emma was remarried by 1890 to Ernst Kuchner of Germany
1900 census - San Antonio, Bexar, TX, Ernst Kuchner (9/1865) Ger Ger Ger, musician; Emma (11/1864) NY NY NY, none; Harry (12/1892) TX Ger NY; Ira Brown (8/1885) TX WA [incorrect?] TX, musician; Irene (12/1887) [incorrect] TX WA [incorrect?] TX; Clarence (7/1888) [confirmed ID but wrong birth] TX WA [incorrect?] TX, at school.
Attended WIlliams College 1907-1909.
1910 census - not found after considerable effort
1912 approx. Married to Irene (could not find record for last name)
1918 draft - Clarence Franklin Brown, Jr., 737 Beckley, Dallas, TX, musician gaiety theater, wife sole dependent, Caucasian, tall, medium build, blue, brown
1920 census - Dallas, TX, Clarence Brown (32) TX NY TX, musician theater; Irene (30) TX TX OK, none
1924 Dallas Directory, Clarence F. Brown (Irene) musician, 4610 Colonial Avenue.
1927 Dallas Directory, Clarence F. Brown, Irene, agent American National Insurance, 4710 Colonial Ave.
1928 Dallas Directory, Clarence F. Brown, Irene, agent American National Insurance, 4710 Colonial Ave.
1929 Dallas Directory, Clarence F. Brown, Irene, salesman, 4710 Colonial Ave.
1930 census - Dallas, TX, Clorende [poor writing of Clarence] Brown (42) TX NY NY, agent insurance; Irine [misspelling] (40) TX OK TX, none, 4610 Colonial Avenue.
1931 Dallas Directory, Clarence F. Brown (Irene) musician, 4610 Colonial Avenue.
1932 Dallas Directory, Clarence F. Brown (Irene) agent  National Life & accident Insurance, 4610 Colonial Avenue.
1933 Dallas Directory, Clarence F. Brown (Irene) musician, 4610 Colonial Avenue.
1940 census - Dallas, TX, Clarence Brown (52) collector retail store [likely L.B. Price]; Irene B. (50) none, 2 female lodgers, 4610 Colonial Avenue.
1942 draft - Clarence Franklin Brown, 4610 Colonial Ave., Dallas, TX, 11/3/1887 San Antonio, TX, Emp: L.B. Price Mercantile Company, 933 Clark Street, Dallas.
1958 Dallas Directory, Clarence F. Brown (Irene) collector Anderson Studio Furniture, 6051 Revere Place
1960 Dallas Directory, Clarence F. Brown (Irene) collector Anderson Furniture, 6051 Revere Place
Irene Brown died 4/11/1961 in Dallas, born 11/22/1889, age 71, coronary infarction, buried at Restland Cemetery.
Death 11/3/1977, Mineola, wood, TX - on his 90th birthday no less. Retired musician & real estate. Died from interruption of oxygen cycle due to traumatic head injury from automobile accident at intersection of Hwys 37 & 69 in Mineola, Wood County, TX. Buried at Restland Cemetery.

This is often the type of information on which I have to base biographies, in addition to publication places and dates, and the occasional newspaper article for non-newsworthy folks. So in an hour it was the best I could do, given the ardent search for 1920 and the difficult find for the horribly spelled 1930 entr

I ran across this old thread while researching my family. Clarence Brown was my great grandmothers brother. We all called him Uncle Clarence. I remember him well. He was a tall blue-eyed gentle man, and a whiz on the piano. He and his wife had a vaudeville act, before my time of course, I think they called it Brown and Brown, or maybe it was Brownie and Brownie, his nickname for her was Brownie. He also played the piano background music for the silent movies in the theater. He said he wrote the song "Anytime" which was recorded by Eddie Arnold, among others. He said he sold it for $20 in a bar when he was drunk and needed some more money. He lived in Dallas when I knew him. 

He was a wonderful man, thank you all for your interest.


BTW, I'm not a banjo player, I just wanted to tell yall a little about Uncle Clarence. Thanks. I'll leave yall alone now.


Many thanks to Steve Prosser for a fascinating insight to his Uncle Clarence's family history...Steve H.

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