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July Meeting

By Gus Willmorth

 

Once again the cool chords of ragtime helped us ignore the 100o weather at the July meeting of the joint Maple and Rose Leaf clubs. Eric Marchese opened festivities promptly at 4:00 PM (we are normally behind the times!) with, of course, the Maple Leaf Rag followed by Palm Leaf Rag and Pastime No. 4. He finished off his stint with one of his own, Just Another Rag

Bill Mitchell took over to continue the Joplin and Matthews combo with Strenuous Life and Pastime No. 5. He also played Charlie Johnson’s Porcupine Rag before yielding the keyboard to Susan Erb who picked out Key Stone Rag and Funny Folks. Key Stone is by Willie Anderson after a St Louis hotel hot spot and Folks by Will Polla (W.C. Pollack) is one more commentary on the 1904 St Louis Worlds Fair. Amazing how many rags that event generated! Plus Bethena.

Eric Marchese returned with some more Joplin—Fig Leaf Rag and Pine Apple Rag after a pair of announcements—the benefit concert at OTMH scheduled for August 8 has been postponed until December partly due to P.J. Schmidt’s involvement with his upcoming spectacular.

Bill Mitchell also came up for a second set to play a pair of Honeymoon Rags, the first, by James Scott and the second by Abe Olman. Scott’s Honeymoon is a romantic and dreamy; Olman’s sprightly and vivacious—take your pick! He continued with Abe Olman’s 1910 Sea Weed Rag and Morton’s Grandpa’s Spells by popular demand.

Susan Erb slipped back in to do Bethena before Gary Rameda arrived to do a very nice Grace and Beauty at a sprightly tempo followed by Something Doing.

Eric Marchese took back over to present Leola followed by Charlie Straight’s 1914 piano roll opus, Humpty Dumpty, an early precursor of the Novelty Rag genre. He followed that with a contemporary, Reverie Rag by Tom Briar, and Scott Hayden and Scott Joplin’s final collaboration, Kismet Rag.

Bill Mitchell played the only Joe Lamb rag of the day, Bohemia, and Kerry Mills' Indian Intermezzo, Red Wing-- but with syncopations. Gary Rameda joined Bill on the second piano for a pair of four handed rags, Easy Winners and Paragon Rag. Bill then soloed on Wilcoxson’s Pride of the Smoky Row.

Bill, Eric and Gary all crowded about the keys for the final Maple Leaf Rag. (We did have some interludes with reports and gossip about the Rocky Mountain Ragtime Festival from several returnees and considerable activity around the lending library. A convivial meeting.)