George Linus Cobb (August 31, 1886 – December 25, 1942) was a prolific composer best known for ragtime, including both instrumental compositions and ragtime songs, although he did produce other works including marches and waltzes. Jack Yellen was a frequent lyricist for the songs.
Entering Syracuse University in 1905, his first composition were published shortly after. His most famous work is The Russian Rag based (rather loosely) on Rachmaninoff's Prelude in C-sharp minor, Op.3, No.2. This piece was composed after a friend apparently "dared" Cobb to try to make a rag out of the piece at a restaurant. He took the challenge, went to the piano and began to play the rag. To his surprise, Rachmaninoff was sitting at the same restaurant. He walked up to Cobb after he finished playing his rag and said "Nice rag, but you've got the wrong rhythm." (Wikipedia)
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