Ragtime in History

Events in Music

Music History

1899-09-18 Scott Joplin granted copyright for his "Maple Leaf Rag", the most famous ragtime composition, by the US Copyright Office

  • 1979-03-10 Eubie Blake, a 92-year old ragtime piano player and composer, and Gregory Hines are musical guest on Saturday Night Live
  • 1998-01-18 Stephen Flaherty, Lynn Ahrens, and Terrence McNally's musical "Ragtime" opens at Ford Theater, NYC; runs for 834 performances

Birthdays in Music

  • 1864-02-07 Arthur Collins, American baritone vocalist, known as 'King of the Ragtime Singers' (Peerless Quartet), and comedian, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 1933)

Scott JoplinScott Joplin (1868-1917)

1868-11-24 American ragtime entertainer and composer ("Maple Leaf Rag"; "The Entertainer"), born in Texarkana, Texas

  • 1871-03-06 Ben Harney, American composer and "Father of Ragtime Piano" (You've Been a Good Old Wagon, But You Done Broke Down), born on the Mississippi River (d. 1938) [1]
  • 1878-03-04 Egbert Van Alstyne, American popular music songwriter and ragtime pianist ("In the Shade of the Old Apple Tree"; "For Your Boy and My Boy"), born in Marengo, Illinois (d. 1951) [1]
  • 1881-02-08 (William) Crickett Smith, American ragtime, and jazz cornetist and trumpeter (James Reese Europe's Clef Club; Ziegfeld's Midnight Frolics; Louis Mitchell's Jazz Kings), and band leader, born in Emporia, Kansas (d. 1944)
  • 1881-02-22 James Reese Europe, American ragtime and early jazz arranger, composer, and bandleader in New York, and with the military in France during WWI, born in Mobile, Alabama (d. 1919) [1]
  • 1881-11-20 Arthur Marshall, American ragtime piano player and composer ("Swipesy Cakewalk" with Scott Joplin; "The Peach"), born in Saline County, Missouri (d. 1968)
  • 1882-02-07 Wilbur Sweatman, American ragtime and dixieland jazz clarinetist, composer, and bandleader, born in Brunswick, Missouri (d. 1961) [1]
  • 1882-10-25 Tony Jackson, American ragtime pianist and singer-songwriter ("Pretty Baby"), born in New Orleans (d. 1921)
  • 1887-02-07 (James Hubert) "Eubie" Blake, American ragtime composer and pianist ("Memories of You"; "I'm Just Wild About Harry"), born in Baltimore, Maryland (d. 1983) [1]
  • 1887-12-06 Joseph Lamb, American ragtime pianist and composer ("Bohemia Rag"), born in Montclair, New Jersey (d. 1960)
  • 1888-05-21 May Aufderheide, American ragtime composer (Dusty Rag), born in Indianapolis, Indiana (d. 1972)
  • 1901-05-05 Blind Willie McTell, American ragtime singer and guitarist, born in Thomson, Georgia (d. 1959)
  • 1929-12-03 Paul Harris Turok, American composer, educator and music critic (Ragtime Caprice), born in New York (d. 2012)
  • 1944-04-22 Joshua Rifkin, American conductor and musicologist who played a key role in the ragtime revival of the 1970s, born in NYC, New York

Weddings in Music

Scott Joplin

1904-06-14 Ragtime composer Scott Joplin (35) weds Freddie Alexander (19) in Arkansas

Deaths in Music

Scott JoplinScott Joplin (1868-1917)

1917-04-01 American ragtime composer (The Entertainer, Maple Leaf Rag), dies at 48

  • 1919-05-09 James Reese Europe, American ragtime and early jazz arranger, composer, and bandleader in New York, and with the military in France during WWI, dies of a stab wound (received during an argument with one of his drummers), at 38
  • 1921-04-20 Tony Jackson, American ragtime pianist and singer-songwriter ("Pretty Baby"), dies of cirrhosis of the liver at 38
  • 1933-08-02 Arthur Collins, American baritone vocalist, known as 'King of the Ragtime Singers' (Peerless Quartet), and comedian, dies at 69
  • 1938-03-02 Ben Harney, American composer and 'Father of Ragtime Piano' ("You've Been a Good Old Wagon, But You Done Broke Down"), dies of a heart attack at 66 [1]
  • 1944-08-30 (William) Crickett Smith, American ragtime, and jazz cornetist and trumpeter (James Reese Europe's Clef Club; Ziegfeld's Midnight Frolics; Louis Mitchell's Jazz Kings), and band leader, dies at 53
  • 1951-07-09 Egbert Van Alstyne, American popular music songwriter and ragtime pianist ("In the Shade of the Old Apple Tree"; "For Your Boy and My Boy"), dies after a stroke at 73 [1]
  • 1959-08-15 "Blind" Willie McTell [McTier], American blues and ragtime singer and guitarist, dies at 61
  • 1960-09-03 Joseph Lamb, American ragtime composer, dies at 72
  • 1961-03-09 Wilbur Sweatman, American ragtime and dixieland jazz clarinetist, composer, and bandleader, dies at 79
  • 1968-08-18 Arthur Marshall, American ragtime piano player and composer ("Swipesy Cakewalk" with Scott Joplin; "The Peach"), dies at 86
  • 1972-09-01 May Aufderheide, American ragtime composer ("Dusty Rag"), dies at 84
  • 1983-02-12 (James Hubert) "Eubie" Blake, American ragtime composer and pianist ("Memories of You"; "I'm Just Wild About Harry"), dies at 96
  • 2015-07-21 E. L. Doctorow, American author (Ragtime, Billy Bathgate), dies at 84