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SOMETHING DOING

 

AUGUST 2002 NUMBER 76

 

Rose Leaf Ragtime Club July Meeting (7/28/2002)

Reported by Gary Rametta and Ron Ross

 

The dog days of summer might be upon us, but that never stops die-hard ragtimers from stepping out to enjoy some entertainment from the golden age of American music.

 

Our July meeting opened with about 40 guests in attendance. By the end of the first half of the gathering, the number had grown. Ron Ross assumed the MC duties initially, and kicked off the show with a rendition of Joseph Lamb's dance-like "Cleopatra Rag." As pianist David Buechner noted in his early 1990s recording of this tune, it exhibits true dance hall characteristics, right down to even a wolf whistle at the end of the first section. Ron continued with a new habañera he worked out over the past several months, called "La Rosa." If it sounded familiar to some, that's because Ron has played it before—under the title of "Green River." He told me he changed the name to better match the tune's Latin sound.

 

Bill Mitchell came up next and played a thoroughly enjoyable medley of Shelton Brooks tunes: "Cosey Rag," "Walkin' the Dog," "Darktown Strutters' Ball" and "Some of These Days." Next, he gave Joseph Lamb's "Ragtime Nightingale" a decidedly raggy treatment. Following his solos, Bill made a couple of announcements, one being for a get together of the Orange County Theatre Organ Group at the Plummer Auditorium in Fullerton on Saturday, September 8th. The gathering is a potluck affair with open time for playing.

 

Following Bill was Phil Cannon, who chose two classic rags in the minor keys on which to showcase his talent. First was a revisit of Lamb's "Ragtime Nightingale," followed by James Scott's "Rag Sentimental," one of only a few Scott rags composed in a minor key. Phil did more than justice to both pieces.

 

Ragtime wunderkind Andrew Barrett, that rarest of today's teens with true ragtime chops and a growing knowledge of the extensive literature in the genre, strode to the fore of the stage and delighted the audience with Herbert Ingraham's 1908 "Poison Ivy" rag. He did quite nicely on the numerous trills, running eighths and stop-time effects that give the piece its playful character. Next, he gave Joplin's challenging "Scott Joplin's New Rag" from 1912 a whirl. It goes without saying that Andrew's talent, study and enthusiasm for ragtime are deeply appreciated and enjoyed.

 

Gary Rametta then took to the keys with St. Louis Ragtimer Trebor Tichenor's "Show Me Rag, a Missouri Defiance." This composition has Mr. Tichenor's signature all over it, and captures the feel of numerous influences: country hoe-down, bluegrass, blues, folk and straight-ahead ragtime. Gary then asked Bill Mitchell to join him on duo pianos for Frank French's "Belle of Louisville," Jelly Roll Morton's "The Pearls" and James Scott's "Grace and Beauty."

 

Fred Hoeptner then played solo on two terrific numbers, first, David Guion's exquisite "Texas Fox Trot" from 1915--hardly a "fox-trot" per se, but a marvelous composition nonetheless--and his award-winning "Dalliance (A Ragtime Frolic)," which took top original composition honors at the Sedalia Ragtime Festival in 2000.

 

Next, the members welcomed Les Soper back to the stage. It had been a few months since he played for us and, as his opening chords reminded us, we really missed him. His first solo was on F. Henri Klickmann's "Smiles and Chuckles," a lively one-step from 1917. Les's tempo was bright, and his playing displayed the kind of full, round sound that only comes from years of experience. Les followed up with a solo version of James Scott's "Grace and Beauty," performing it at a relaxed tempo that allowed its romanticism to come through.

 

Stan Long rose to entertain the members on George Botsford's classic "Black and White Rag" from 1908, then added his singular touch with a very nicely conceived trifecta: Old McDonald Had a Farm-The Entertainer-Jeremiah Was a Bullfrog. Very creative and humorous but it all worked well.

 

Bill Coleman entertained the troops during the intermission with a well-played collection of popular and semi-classical tunes.

 

Part II began with Ron Ross serving up Scott Joplin’s 1909 homage to the stock market, “Wall Street Rag.” Ron thought it was doubly appropriate at this time, since the current stock market had been so crazy combined with the fact that he himself is a stockbroker, and is caught in the middle of it. It was Ron’s first public performance of this rag, and by some accounts, he did a pretty good job of it. Next Ron played “Digital Rag” from his CD “Ragtime Renaissance.”

 

Les Soper came back for a second go-round, this time with his little washboard to accompany a Robin Frost tune called “Three Lost Bodies” from Robin Frost's “Hot Kumquats” CD, arranged for MIDI by John Roache. Following that, Les played Joe Lamb’s popular “Bohemia” from 1919.

 

Phil Cannon, on his guitar-banjo, delivered a jaunty and delightful arrangement of James Scott’s “Frog Legs Rag,” followed by “Felicity Rag,” the Joplin/Scott Hayden collaboration.

 

Ruby Fradkin showed up late but made up for her tardiness with a fabulous rendition of her first original composition, “Ruby’s Boogie,” complete with walking bass and marvelous treble work to go with it. A terrific new contribution to boogie. It’s always a pleasant surprise when Ruby gets going. You never know what you’re going to get, but you know you’re going to enjoy it.

 

She mentioned that she will be opening the Whittier College’s Jazz Series on September 28 with a 90-minute concert, and passed out flyers later to those who were interested. (See the ragtime calendar section of this issue for further information.)

 

Then Ruby invited Bill Mitchell to the other piano and they played an inspired duet of “Swipesy,” the Joplin/Arthur Marshall piece, with Ruby playing the basic piece and Bill doing some inspired improvising as counterpoint.

 

Finally, Ruby took over the solo piano with a new, very inventive version of the standard “All of Me.” Her intro alone was worth the price of admission, as they say.

 

Bill Mitchell returned to play “The Smiler,” by Percy Wenrich, with Les Soper accompanying on mini-washboard. The two of them then played the old ragtime song, “Ballin’ the Jack,” by Chris Smith.

 

Andrew Barrett’s next contribution was “Weeping Willow” played very gently at first but with a rousing and well-played fourth strain to end the piece. Then he ended his final set with a “barnburner” (as he put it), “Lion Tamer Rag” by Mark Janza (1913). Andrew told me that Dick Zimmerman’s research indicates that the name Mark Janza might have been a pseudonym for the tune’s publisher, Albert Marzian.

 

Fred Hoeptner did an excellent job on his composition “Idyll of Autumn” and when asked to play another, replied, “I’d better quit while I’m ahead.”

 

Ruby Fradkin returned to close out the formal part of the session with a new version of “Bicycle Built for Two,” following this with the Grand Finale which is fast becoming a tradition at the Rose Leaf Club. This time, the group consisted of Ruby and Bill Mitchell at the pianos, Phil Cannon on the guitar-banjo, and Les Soper on the mini-washboard. As usual (but it’s never usual when Ruby plays) they brought the house down with “St. Louis Blues.” Every now and then Ruby would call out “Bill” or “Phil” and they would take turns doing solos. A great time seemed to be had by all, especially including the audience, which was about 10% smaller than usual but equally as enthusiastic. One attendee remarked to me afterwards that he thought it was “the best session we’ve ever had.”

 

I was certainly impressed with Ruby’s new pieces, Andrew’s inspired playing, and Stan Long’s recovery from last month’s difficulties, by giving us excellent renditions of the classic rags with other influences thrown in, as only he can do.

 

Some of our irrepressible musicians could not let go of an opportunity to play, so after the formal session, Stan Long and Andrew Barrett did a neat duet on “Maple Leaf Rag” and it went on like that for at least another 20 minutes.

 

 

SCOTT JOPLIN FESTIVAL 2002

By Fred Hoeptner

 

I arrived in Sedalia Wednesday evening, June 5, just in time for the pre-festival festivities at the Maple Leaf Park on the former site of the Maple Leaf Club, hosted by festival musical director Scott Kirby. Marty Eggers and Trebor Tichenor opened duetting on Maple Leaf Rag. Soon John DeChiaro, music professor from the University of Mississippi and guitarist extraordinaire, took the stage. Explaining his feeling that he was visiting holy land, he performed Joplin’s The Entertainer, Cleopha, Augustan Club Waltzes, and Magnetic Rag. Flutist Anne Barnhart accompanied her husband Jeff on Hunter’s Back to Life and Hampton’s Agitation Rag. Also previewing their festival offerings were pianists Paul Asaro, Mimi Blais, Sue Keller, John Pedley, Jeff Barnhart, and Scott Kirby.

 

Thursday morning brought out about 30 festival goers in period costume, three flivvers, a high-wheel bicycle, and a burro pulling a cart advocating women’s suffrage for the annual opening parade from Liberty Center auditorium to Joplin Park led by Bob Ault in period dress playing the accordion. After the obligatory speeches by local politicos and the Missouri Arts Council representative, Sue Keller officially started the festival complaining, “It’s way too early!” However, she quickly got down to business with a ragtime song, I Got What It Takes. Soon four venues scattered about town began operation featuring continuous free live ragtime.

 

Titled “A Tribute to Trebor Tichenor,” Thursday morning’s Kickoff Concert began with host Jack Rummel reciting a short bio. Performers included the Tichenor family trio (Trebor, his daughter Virginia, and her husband Marty Eggers, solo and in various combinations), Jack Rummel, Tony Caramia, and Trebor’s quartet the St. Louis Ragtimers, celebrating 40 years performing together. Among them they played 14 of Trebor’s compositions, followed by a standing ovation.

 

Host Scott Kirby dedicated Thursday afternoon’s Cradle of Ragtime concert to Jan Hamilton Douglas, who had been scheduled to play before his death the preceding week. The concert spotlights rags by Missouri composers. Kjell Waltman from Sweden opened with two pieces that he had transcribed from piano rolls, Charlie Thompson’s Delmar Rag and Blind Boone’s Southern Rag Medley featuring Dixie and Battle Hymn of the Republic played simultaneously. Other highlights were Paul Asaro’s performance of Thompson’s Lily Rag; Sue Keller’s performance of Charles L. Johnson’s Starlight from 1918, which she called the first example of Terra Verde; and Dan Grinstead’s set Powder Rag by Charles L. Johnson, Nappy Lee by Joe Jordan, and Coon Hollow Capers by Frank Gillis.

 

Thursday night’s “Ragtime Dance” was held on the State Fairgrounds in the Agriculture Building. The incomparable Pacific Coast Ragtime Orchestra featuring thrush Helen Burns provided the music for dancing and listening.

 

Friday morning the symposium series began at the comfortable United Methodist Church. This year $5 per day was charged for admission. Tony Caramia reviewed the life of British pianist Billy Mayerl, composer par excellence of novelty piano instrumentals, and analyzed his compositions. Ed Berlin had been scheduled to present a session on “The Source of the Maple Leaf Rag”, but, finding that some of his information required further research, substituted “Brahms, Granger, Ives, and the Ragtime Connection”. He began by discrediting the story publicized by Rudi Blesh that Brahms, who died in 1897, was the first classical composer to intentionally incorporate ragtime and intended to compose a rag. He then discussed Debussy’s composing “Golliwog’s Cakewalk” as a tribute to his daughter who owned a black doll. Charles Ives composed a very dissonant syncopated piece in 1897 incorporating Hello Ma Baby in a cacophony of noise surrounding New York’s Central Park. Berlin showed that the classicists’ reaction to ragtime ran the gamut from embrace to rejection. Mimi Blais, dressed in black formal menswear and top hat from the ragtime era, impersonated French-Canadian composer Jean-Baptiste Lafreniere, known as “the Canadian Strauss” for his waltzes. He composed eight rags, which she described as unexceptional. Local journalist Rose Nolen described Sedalia in the 1890s and the many attractions that it held for Joplin, such as a black college, two black newspapers, many musical activities, black social clubs, and uncrowded residential areas open to blacks.

 

The “Legacy of Scott Joplin” concert featured a spectrum of interpretations of Joplin. Alex Sandor from Superior, Wisconsin, new to the festival, added many embellishments, including a key change, to Sugar Cane. Jeff and Anne Barnhart performed a beautiful arrangement of Solace featuring a flute and piano harmony lead. Classical pianist Roy Eaton incorporated considerable rubato in his performances of Binks’ Waltz and Euphonic Sounds. Sedalian Mary Francis Herndon’s whistling Bethena accompanied by guitarist John DeChiaro received a standing ovation.

A “ragtime catfish fry” preceded Friday night’s “Easy Winners” concert. Held at “Joplin Hall”, a converted section of the main exhibit building at the fairgrounds, the concert featured duets and trios. Host and washboardist Mike Schwimmer introduced performers Alex Hassan and Dan Grinstead, Jeff Barnhart and Brian Holland, Mimi Blais and Sue Keller, The Tichenor Family Trio, and the St. Louis Ragtimers. Jeff and Brian played Mike’s Washboard Rag, which David Jasen had composed in honor of Mike’s 75th birthday. Jeannie Wright presented the Scott Joplin award for achievement in the field of ragtime to the Saint Louis Ragtimers quartet led by pianist Trebor Tichenor, who had been playing together for 40 years.

 

Saturday morning the symposia resumed with historian Murray Bishoff profiling the life of “Theron Bennett, Missouri Composer.” Bennett traveled widely as a representative of the publisher Victor Kremer absorbing the unique regional styles that then existed in the days before homogenization. Consensus is that he wrote the popular St. Louis Tickle attributed to Barney and Seymour. Later he had a radio program on Los Angeles’s KFI with his band, The Packard Six. Giovanni DeChiaro explained how he arranged and transcribed all 52 Joplin rags for guitar in a folio published by Mel Bay. In most cases he uses a “dropped D” tuning and finds the most suitable key by trial and error. He studies the piano score for notes that can be eliminated without degrading the harmony. Nora Hulse, retired professor of music, reviewed the lives and works of women ragtime composers, both prominent and obscure. Sue Attala, faculty member at Tulsa Community College, presented “Goofer Dust, Bags of Luck, and Books: A New Look at Treemonisha”, a discussion of the hoodoo belief system among slaves.

 

The Saturday concert series began with “Ragtime Revelations,” which host Jack Rummel explained would focus this year on both new ragtime and novel interpretations of ragtime. This year’s scheduled composition contest, normally a major feature of this concert, had been cancelled because of the Joplin Foundation’s tight financial situation. Terry Parrish began with two of his compositions in the novelty piano style, Yellow Tulips and Harry’s Hello. Jeff and Anne Barnhart, piano and flute, duetted beautifully on Willie “The Lion” Smith’s Echo of Spring and Hal Isbitz’s Opalescence. Peter Lundberg from Sweden played a tune from Ghana that he believed demonstrated the roots of ragtime, followed by Wenrich’s seldom-heard Sunflower Rag. Eighteen-year old Jason Carini, sponsored by the Ragtime for Tulsa Foundation, played David Thomas Roberts’ Kreole. Robert Ault tried something new, improvising a folk rag on the spot. Swiss ragtimers Martin Jäger and Felix Fürher, piano and percussion, performed two of Martin’s compositions. Sue Keller premiered Galen Wilkes’ ragtime waltz Sweet Dreams dedicated to Craig Ventresco and played a take-off on Puccini’s Musetta’s Waltz from La Boheme. Jack Rummel followed with his Waiting for the Zenith, Alex Hassan with the Robin Frost piano novelty What a Relief, and whistler Mary Francis Herndon with Roberto Clemente accompanied by Scott Kirby. Mimi Blais closed the concert with a waltz from Jean-Baptiste Lafreniere and her arrangement of Euday Bowman’s Eleventh Street Rag.

 

Saturday evening Jack Rummel hosted “The Entertainer” concert at Joplin Hall featuring multiple selections each by pianist Scott Kirby, The Small Timers (a group of wind instrumentalists from the Pacific Coast Ragtime Orchestra), guitarist Giovanni DeChiaro, and pianists Tony Caramia, Paul Asaro, and Alex Sandor. Highlights were Caramia’s performance of four Billy Mayerl compositions Sleepy Piano, Ace of Clubs, Autumn Crocus, and Trapeze; Asaro’s Fingerbreaker by Jelly Roll Morton; and Sandor’s Graceful Ghost by Bolcom and Russian Rag by Cobb. Then came the usual hurried drive across Sedalia to the Liberty Center auditorium for the late-night Ragtime Music Hall hosted by Jeff Barnhart. Performers were Grinstead and Hassan, Caramia, Asaro, Sandor, Holland and Barnhart, and the Pacific Coast Orchestra performing both ragtime songs and instrumentals. A reenactment of a cutting contest on the Maple Leaf Rag featured Hassan and Grinstead with “Maple Leaf Hora”, Sandor with a heavily embellished version, and Holland and Barnhart with a version featuring interspersed classical themes (including the Hungarian Rhapsody) and accelerating tempo. The finale featured the entire cast on Cobb’s Alabama Jubilee. The festival officially ended with the usual elaborate Sunday brunch and a free afternoon concert at Liberty Park.

 

Attendance at the paid events was significantly down this year, while attendance at the free events seemed to have risen. According to Jeannie Wright, this, together with decreases in grant funding availability for the arts from state and federal governments because of security needs, has jeopardized the future of the festival.

 

 

RAGTIME RADIO

Sundays, 2:05-3:30 pm PT, “Syncopation Station”, KDHX St. Louis MO 88.l and www.kdhx.org; host, Van Ford. KDHX has resumed streaming on the Internet.

Sundays, 8-10 pm PT, “The Ragtime Show”, KSBR Mission Viejo CA 88.5 and www.ksbr.net; host, Jeff Stone.

Mondays, 9-10 pm PT, “The Ragtime Machine”, KUSF San Francisco CA 90.3 and www.kusf.org; host, David Reffkin. KUSF has resumed streaming. In addition to music, Reffkin features extensive interviews with ragtime personalities and commentary on various aspects of the genre.

Thursdays, 7-8 pm PT, “Ragtime America”, KGNU Boulder CO 88.5 and www.kgnu.org; host, Jack Rummel.

Note: KAZU has dropped the program “Rags to Wishes” with Mike Schmitz.

 

CONTINUING GIGS AND UPCOMING EVENTS

 

Brad Kay         Sunday afternoons, 2-4 p.m. at The Unurban, 3301 W. Pico Boulevard, Santa Monica. Coffee, etc. No cover charge

 

Jerry Rothschild            Fri. and Sat., 7-10 p.m. at Curley’s Restaurant, corner Willow & Cherry, Signal Hill.

 

Sun., Aug. 25, Rose Leaf Ragtime Club meeting: IHOP Restaurant, 3521 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena, CA, 2:30-5:30 p.m. Participating musicians free, small donation for others.

 

Saturday, Sept. 14, Orange County Ragtime Society, 12:30-4:00 p.m., Steamers, 138 W. Commonwealth Avenue, Fullerton. No cover charge. For information contact <emarchesewriter@aol.com.

 

Sun., Sept. 15, Dick Zimmerman, King of Ragtime, with Tracy Doyle. Old Town Music Hall , 140 Richmond St., El Segundo. Admission $20. Phone (310) 322-2592

E-mail oldtownmh@aol.com.

 

Sun., Sept 22, Bob Pinsker and Jeanne Ingram. They will sing, play piano and violin. Old Town Music Hall. (See above for details).

 

Sun., Sept. 28, Ragtime Ruby Fradkin, Shannon Center, Whittier, CA 90601. Come join the fun as Ruby and her ragtime band kick off Whittier College'’ Renowned Jazz Series for 2002. For ticket information please call: (562) 907-4203.

 

Sat.-Sun., Oct. 19-20, RagFest 2002. Orange Country’s third annual ragtime music festival. Headlining this year are Patrick Aranda, Brad Kay, Tom Brier, Neil Blaze, Nan Bostick and Carl “Sonny” Leyland. Doug Haise, Bob Pinsker, Bill Mitchell, Randy Woltz, Jeanne Ingram, Mitch Meador, Eric Marchese, and the Albany Nightboat Ragtimers are featured, and many guest artists will make surprise appearances. For ticket info., call (800) 690-6684, see ragfest.com or contact emarchesewriter@aol.com

 

Sun., Oct. 20, Kathy Craig & Bill Knopf, piano and banjo on rags, blues, marches, and a lot more. Old Town Music Hall (See above for details).

 

Sun., Nov. 3, Sue Keller, Internationally famous ragtime pianist/vocalist in her first performance at Old Town Music Hall (See above for details).

 

Sun., Nov. 10, Coyote Hills Jazz Band with Sheryl Stephens (vocals) in a return engagement at Old Town Music Hall.

(See above for details).

 

Sun., Nov. 17, John Novacek, pianist and composer who has appeared at Lincoln Center, the Hollywood Bowl, and on the Tonight Show. Old Town Music Hall (See above for details).

 

Sunday, Dec. 1, Bob Milne, pianist, in his sixth appearance at Old Town Music Hall, playing ragtime, boogie-woogie, novelty, jazz, and ragtime. (See above for details).

 

BOSTICK AND BRIER AT OLD TOWN MUSIC HALL

Reviewed by Bill Mitchell

 

Making their first appearance at the Old Town Music Hall in El Segundo Sunday evening, July 14, Nan Bostick and Tom Brier (billed as “Granny Nanny” and “Hot Rod Tommy”) headlined a program that provided well-performed ragtime rarities along with hokum and hilarity aplenty. Three surprise guest artists contributed to this intriguing variety show.

 

The music of Nan’s “Uncle Charlie” (Charles N. Daniels/Neil Moret) was featured. According to Nan, her uncle wrote about 400 pieces, including such standards as “Moonlight and Roses” and “Sweet and Lovely,”

but he may be more famous among ragtimers for having his name as arranger on the cover of Scott Joplin’s “Original Rags.”

 

Seated at the Bosendorfer and Steinway grand pianos, Nan and Tom got things off to a syncopated start with “Borneo Rag,” a seldom-heard Moret number from 1911. This was followed by “Margery,” an early Daniels march (1898) played by John Philip Sousa. They were joined on this number by Kitty Wilson on washboard. Her graceful percussion enhanced several of the evening’s numbers. She, like all the program’s participants, was garbed in clothing typical of the ragtime era.

 

“Cotton Time,” perhaps Daniels’ best rag, featured a stop-time chorus which the audience was invited to punctuate with dual hand claps. Played next was “Sugar Plum,” by Jules Lemare (another of Daniels’ pen names).

 

Taking a breather from Daniels’ music, the duo played “My Ragtime Baby,” an 1898 hit by Fred Stone.

John Phillip Sousa and his band used to play this one. Sousa was not averse to including ragtime in his concerts, and in his autobiography the great blues composer, W.C. Handy, mentions that his band once played this number to win over a ragtime-hostile audience.

 

Next on the program was “Louisiana,” an obscure Daniels tune not to be confused with the number recorded by Bix Beiderbecke.

 

Nan and Tom then performed Daniels’ 1902 Indian intermezzo, “Hiawatha.” Ever since Sousa, bands and pianists have been playing this one. Some dixieland bands erroneously call it “Hiawatha Rag,” or “Lizard on a Rail.” It is one of Daniels’ most charming compositions. It kicked off a series of “Indian” numbers by other composers. While on a roll, Daniels wrote “Indian Summer” (not to be confused with the Victor Herbert number of the same name). The Daniels tune begins sounding like “King Chanticleer,” and later borrows a bit from “Old Folks at Home.”

 

At this point Nan called to the stage Eric Marchese, who, with Tom Brier, had written an Indian intermezzo of their own called “Morning Star.” The boys had dedicated it to Nan, who then wrote some lyrics for it. Nan invited Eric join her on the mike for a vocal duet, with Tom on piano.

 

 

Brier and Marchese have written several other collaborations, and with Nan taking a breather, they duetted on a novelty piece, “Crunchin” the Keys,” which was a tribute to the 1920s piano novelties. They followed up with a Charley Straight number of that era called “Humpty Dumpty.”

 

With a nod to the women ragtime composers, Nan, Tom, and Eric gave us a six-hand version of Charlotte Blake’s “That Poker Rag.” Nan mentioned that Ms. Blake eventually worked in the Southern California aircraft industry and died here in 1976. She is buried in Santa Monica.

 

 That brought us to intermission, where we were invited to leave the auditorium marching to something called “Sanitol March,” inspired by a toothpaste!

 

The second half began with Tom Brier soloing on his 1994 stride piece, “Razor Blade.” Tom’s speed and accuracy were amply demonstrated on this rouser.

 

Nan returned to the stage to play her own “Ragtime in Randall Rag,” named for the town of Randall, Iowa (pop. 135), where she was invited to give a ragtime show that the entire town seemingly turned out to attend.

 

Speaking of festivals, she put in a plug for the upcoming ragtime weekend in Sutter Creek, California, up in the Gold Rush country. She then played, with Tom at the other piano again, Gil Lieby’s musical tribute to the festival, “Sutter Creek Strut.”

 

It was now tango time, with the duo playing “Dark Eyes,” Uncle Charley’s contribution to the tango craze. Abandoning her thimbles temporarily, Kitty Wilson added some atmosphere with a pair of castanets.

 

Nan, who has been doing some research on Detroit’s ragtime history, introduced the audience to the work of Harry P. Guy, who wrote the stately but syncopated waltz, “Echoes from the Snowball Club.” The Snowball Club was the nickname of the black musician’s union founded by H.P. Guy in Detroit. Nan and Tom continued with another Guy piece, “Pearl of the Harem.”

 

Another surprise guest was Shirley Case, a Laguna Beach piano teacher, who demonstrated masterful technique on Eubie Blake’s “Eubie’s Classical Rag.” Interestingly enough, the composer had played this number on the very same piano at the OTMH some thirty-odd years ago. He would have been delighted with Shirley’s performance. She followed up with Billy Mayerl’s “Marigolds.” Mayerl was a British piano prodigy of the post-ragtime novelty piano era.

 

Returning to Uncle Charlie’s output, Nan and Tom played “Silver Heels,” a melodic number of the same high quality as “Hiawatha.” Kitty accompanied on her ornate washboard. Again proving that Uncle Charlie was not the only composer in the family, Nan played her own “Bean Whistle Rag.” (Wherever did that title come from?)

The penultimate number was a comic version of Daniels’ “Song of the Swamp,” sometimes called “Chloe.”

Nan belted out the memorable Spike Jones line, “Where are you, you old bat?)

 

The grand finale found the entire ensemble of Nan, Tom, Eric, Kitty, and Shirley delivering a rousing take on “Dill Pickles,” by Charles L. Johnson.

 

 

EDITOR’S REMARKS

 

Our thanks to Gary Rametta and Ron Ross for reporting the July meeting, which was an outstanding one, by the way.

As they say, a good time was had by all. There were some neat performances and the musicians introduced some new material they had been working on. Viva la ragtime!

 

Thanks to Fred Hoeptner for his detailed coverage of this year’s Joplin Festival in Sedalia, Missouri. Next month we will run his report on the Rocky Mountain Ragtime Festival. (Lack of space prevents our running it this month.)

 

As we write, the Sutter Creek Ragtime Festival is winding down up north in the Gold Country. Several of our Rose Leaf pianists are up there, and we trust someone will report on the festivities and how things panned out. Any ragtime nuggets discovered?

 

We hope to see many of you at the August meeting.

 

 

 

Bill Mitchell, Editor Phone (714) 528-1534 Fax (714) 233-3886

E-mail jopscolam@adelphia.net

 

Rose Leaf Club webpage <http//roseleafrag.tripod.com/>