Remarkable Ohio


Below is a complete listing of all Ohio Historical Markers. To find a detailed marker listing including text, photographs, and locations, click on a county below. Our listing is updated by the markers program as new markers are installed and older markers are reported damaged or missing.

30-9 Johnny S. Black, Songwriter

Side A: John Stewart Black (1891-1936) was a Vaudeville performer and songwriter who penned the classic “Paper Doll.” He is also remembered for “Dardanella,” which he called his “gift to the musical world.” “Dardanella”, recorded by the Ben Selvin Novelty Orchestra, debuted in 1919 and is believed to have sold more than five million copies. In 1942, the Piqua-born Mills Brothers recorded Black’s tune “Paper Doll.” It sold over 6 million records, was number one on the Billboard charts for twelve weeks in 1943 and became one of the most memorable records of the World War II era. Many artists, including Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby, recorded “Paper Doll” and the song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1998.
Side B: I’m gonna buy a Paper Doll that I can call my own A doll that other fellows cannot steal And then the flirty, flirty guys with their flirty, flirty eyes Will have to flirt with dollies that are real. When I come home at night she will be waiting She’ll be the truest doll in all this world I’d rather have a Paper Doll to call my own Then have a fickle-minded real live girl… Written by Johnny S. Black, 1915 Recorded by the Mills Brother, 1942 Lyrics used by permission of Edward B. Marks Music Company
Sponsors: Hamilton Community Foundation Cincinnati Musicians’ Association No. 1 Private Donations to the Johnny S. Black Memorial Fund Ohio Historical Society
Address: RiversEdge Park, 116 Dayton Street, 
Location: Near the pavilion S of the intersection of Riverfront Plaza and Buckeye Street
Latitude: 39.4030760
Longitude: -84.5620580