Thomas S. Allen was an early Tin Pan Alley composer whose songs enjoyed their greatest popularity in the first two decades of the 1900s. Allen worked primarily within Vaudeville, and many of his songs, marches, Rags and other dances were written for acts that he managed. He scored his first hit with a schottische, Any Rags in 1903; its success was no doubt fueled by the popularity of a Victor record of the song made by ragtime singer ArthurRead more Collins. Allen's best known and most often played piece is Whip and Spurs, a march still heard in circuses and at rodeos.
Other Thomas S. Allen hits that enjoyed popularity in their time include Scissors to Grind, Dixie Rube, By the Watermelon Vine (Lindy Lou), Mandy Lou, Good-Bye Mister Greenback, Big Chief Battle-Axe, Miss Caroline, On Yo' Way and Let Me Be Your Lemon Coon. His Wonderland Waltz was written for Wonderland Amusement Park in Massachusetts in 1906; at that time Wonderland was the largest amusement park in the world. It is also believed that the old American folk song The Erie Canal is commonly sung to one of Allen's tunes. One of the main hallmarks of Allen's style is to start his tune in the minor and then to place the contrasting strain in the major, a technique that was quite unusual in popular songs of the day. Read less