April 11, 1909


Has Sold Nearly 3,000,000 Copies
of His Compositions -- "Iola" Alone
Passed Million Mark -- Several
New Pieces Being Launched.
Charles L. Johnson, Popular Kansas City Music Composer.

Charles L. Johnson, the Kansas City composer, does not pretend to be a Charles K. Harris or a Harry Van Titzer, but he has already achieved a degree of success that places him at the heart of Western music writers. He has written during the past few years fully a score of pieces that have been successful and has at the present time nearly a dozen good sellers on the market. He has just brought out the last song, a charming little ballad, "If I Only Had a Sweetheart," and about May 1 he will publish his latest instrumentalized composition, an exquisite intermezzo, "Sunbeam," also his new song, "Waltzing Around With Mary." Already 80,000 copies of "If I Only Had a Sweetheart" have been printed by Mr. Johnson, who is his own publisher, composer, song writer, manager, etc. This number will of course be multiplied by three or four, thought Mr. Johnson has not yet duplicated his greatest success, "Iola," of which more than 1,200,000 have been sold. He is perhaps better known as the author of "Iola" that that of any other piece, though his fame has reached all parts of the country.

Mr. Johnson was born in Kansas City, Kas., so that his career is a matter of interest to musical circles of the entire West. He is a natural musician and composed several pieces at an early age. He was for several years with the Carl Hoffman music house before embarking in business for himself. Some of his early successes were ragtimes, but he has shown his versatility by producing some very class music. He came into prominence with his rollicking "Doc Brown's Cake Walk," named for an eccentric negro who was for a long time a familiar figure on the streets of Kansas City. Another early piece was "Whispered Thoughts," a pretty novelette, of which 500,000 copies were sold. "Dill Pickles" is a very popular ragtime, while his eloquent high class ballad, "Deep In My Heart, Beloved," the exact opposite artistically, is one of his most successful compositions. Probably 3,000,000 copies of Mr. Johnson's compositions have been sold, and the prolific and indefatigable young composer says he is just getting down to business. There seems to be no reason why he shouldn't write another "After the Ball," which made a fortune for its author. Among the other successes of Mr. Johnson may be mentioned "Powder Rag," two step; "Fairy Kisses," waltz; "Fawn Eyes," two step; and "Barn Dance," schottische.