Dill Pickles (Charles L. Johnson, 1876 – 1950) 1906
Johnson was the most prolific and most successful of the Kansas City ragtime composers. He published over 260 pieces, three of which were million sellers. Dill Pickles was his first million seller. Although he achieved great success, he never left Kansas City. This piece, like most of his others, adapts well to stringed instruments, which could reflect his first professional job playing the mandolin in the Walton Mandolin Club, a string band. Dill Pickles was the first piece to popularize the “three-over-four” type of syncopation, which would be used later in many other pieces. Johnson was known for his sense of humor as much as for his music. A former neighbor of his claimed that people would go downtown to his office just to tell him a joke! His music reflects his fun-loving nature.
Kevin Sanders, May, 2010