Ragtime Music

Timeline created by RagtimeCatt
In Music
  • Ben Harney "Originates" Ragtime

    Ben Harney "Originates" Ragtime
    At Tony Pastor's Vaudeville House in New York the white vaudeville performer Ben Harney sang songs and piano music based on African American music he had heard in the midwest. He called this music "ragtime" and billed himself as the "originator of ragtime" His first "ragtime song" was called "You're A Good Old Wagon But You Done Broke Down"
  • Mississippi Rag published

    Mississippi Rag published
    widely regarded as the first instrumental ragtime work, composed by white bandleader William H Krell and published by Brainard & Co. in New York.
  • Harlem Rag

    Harlem Rag
    First piano rag by an African American Composer, by Tom Turpin, of St. Louis. Turpin went on to become a prominant figure in Midwestern ragtime
  • Hello Ma Baby

    Hello Ma Baby
    This ragtime song has had a long and varied life. Its opening stanza "Hello ma baby, hello ma darlin', hello my ragtime gal" is still widely recognized through its use in Warner Bros. cartoons
  • I'm Certainly Living A Ragtime Life

    I'm Certainly Living A Ragtime Life
    Song by Robert Roberts that captures not only the spirit of the music but the entire "ragtime lifestyle"
  • Give My Regards to Broadway

    Give My Regards to Broadway
    popular song by white vaudeville composer/performer George M Cohan
  • Black and White Rag

    Black and White Rag
    Instrumental ragtime composition by George Botsford, a white composer working in New York City. It became one of the most popular and long-lived works of instrumental ragtime, even being featured in a video game in the 1980s.
  • Alexanders Ragtime Band

    Alexanders Ragtime Band
    composed by Irving Berlin in 1911 and his first big hit, the piece actually features almost no syncopation. As Eubie Blake pointed out, "Its not even a rag"
  • Ragtime Cowboy Joe

    Ragtime Cowboy Joe
    Popular song about "a high-falutin', rootin', shootin', son of a gun from Arizona" has been widely and consistently recorded ever since its appearance, by everyone from early recording artist Bob Roberts to big band singer Jo Stafford, to the animated duo "The Chipmunks". The tune is also the fight song for two different colleges.
  • That International Rag

    That International Rag
    Composed by Irving Berlin, the lyrics comment on ragtime's international popularity. The melody itself is only nominally syncopated.
    "London dropped its dignity
    So has France and Germany
    All hands are dancing to a
    Raggedy melody full of originality"
  • "The Memphis Blues" published

    "The Memphis Blues" published
    W.C. Handy's first published blues, subtitled as "A Southern Rag"
  • Castle House Rag

    Castle House Rag
    Harlem bandleader James Reese Europe partnered with white dance instructors Vernon and Irene Castle to create "Europe's Society Orchestra", providing music for the fashionable "Castle House" dance school
  • "Jelly Roll Blues"

    "Jelly Roll Blues"
    by Ferd "Jelly Roll" Morton
  • Bugle Call Rag

    Bugle Call Rag
    Eubie Blake and Carey Morgan
  • "Tiger Rag"

    "Tiger Rag"
    recorded by the Original Dixieland Jass Band in 1914, with the band members credited as composers.
  • First Jazz Recording

    First Jazz Recording
    The first Jazz recording, by name was "Livery Stable Blues", recorded
  • "When Alexander Takes His Ragtime Band To France

    "When Alexander Takes His Ragtime Band To France
    written by Alfred Bryan, Cliff Hess, and Edgar Leslie, this ragtime song bases its popularity on 1910's "Alexanders Ragtime Band"
  • "Kitten On The Keys"

    "Kitten On The Keys"
    Composed by white pianist Elzear "Zez" Confrey, this piece began a craze for "Novely" piano,a ragtime variant of "highly complex rags with characteristic breaks, consecutive fourths, and advanced harmonies" more common to European musical impressionism than most typical ragtime.
  • New Orleans Rhythm Kings record Maple Leaf Rag

    New Orleans Rhythm Kings record Maple Leaf Rag
    One of the first recordings of Maple Leaf Rag in the new "Jazz" style, by the white jazz band "New Orleans Rhythm Kings" Recorded for Gennett records in Richmond Indiana, and reissued by Decca in 1938
  • Bennie Moten's Kansas City Orchestra records "Twelfth Street Rag"

    Bennie Moten's Kansas City Orchestra records "Twelfth Street Rag"
    Moten's recording of this piece helped establish it as a jazz classic
  • Stark Music Co issues Joplin Rags as "Classics of Jazz"

    Stark Music Co issues Joplin Rags as "Classics of Jazz"
    A year after the death of John Stark, Stark Music Co issued a folio of eight Joplin rags, as "Scott Joplin's World Famous Jazz Classics for piano"
  • Phil Ohman and Victor Arden record "Maple Leaf Rag"

    Phil Ohman and Victor Arden record "Maple Leaf Rag"
    The two-piano team of Ohman and Arden were often featured in Gershwin musicals,and were popular recording artists. Their recording of Joplin's work reflected the "Novelty" style popularized by "Zez" Confrey
  • Fletcher Henderson and His Connies Inn Orchestra record "Twelfth Street Rag"

    Fletcher Henderson and His Connies Inn Orchestra record "Twelfth Street Rag"
    Fletcher Henderson, the bandleader at Connie's Inn in Harlem, recorded Twelfth Street Rag in 1931.
  • Sidney Bechet and his New Orleans Feetwarmers record Maple Leaf Rag

    Sidney Bechet and his New Orleans Feetwarmers record Maple Leaf Rag
    Some disc releases attribute the composition of the song to Joe Jordan. Victor ledgers and the blue history card initially credit Jordan but have been corrected by hand and show Joplin as the composer.
  • Twelfth Street Rag recorded by Harry Roy

    Twelfth Street Rag recorded by Harry Roy
    Euday Bowman's "Twelfth Street Rag" was recorded by British bandleader Harry Roy, and features a piano duet.
  • Earl Hines and His Orchestra record Maple Leaf Rag

    Earl Hines and His Orchestra record Maple Leaf Rag
    African American pianist Earl Hines recorded a version of this with his orchestra in 1934 that presages the coming swing style in Jazz.
  • Tommy Dorsey and His Orchestra record Maple Leaf Rag

    Tommy Dorsey and His Orchestra record Maple Leaf Rag
    white bandleader Tommy Dorsey recorded Maple Leaf Rag for Victor records in 1936, in a style more reminiscent of early 1920s Jazz than the Swing style for which Dorsey was better known.
  • Ozzie Nelson and His Orchestra record "Maple Leaf Rag"

    Ozzie Nelson and His Orchestra record "Maple Leaf Rag"
    White swing bandleader Ozzie Nelson recorded Maple Leaf Rag. Nelson's son and grandsons were also well-known musicians.
  • Pee Wee Hunt records "Twelfth Street Rag"

    Pee Wee Hunt records "Twelfth Street Rag"
    said to have been recorded as a joke to fill time in a recording session, Hunt's recording of "Twelfth Street Rag" was the Billboard magazine's Number One Hit Single for 1948.
  • Lou Busch begins ragtime career

    Lou Busch begins ragtime career
    Busch, a record-industry executive, backed singer Jo Stafford on a recording of "Ragtime Cowboy Joe" Often recording as "Joe 'Fingers' Carr, Busch's "honky tonk" style of playing set a popular standard for ragtime music in the 1950s and 1960s.
  • "They All Played Ragtime

    "They All Played Ragtime
    After 1945, Jazz critics began to examine ragtime music in a series of magazine articles. Rudi Blesh and Harriet Janis expanded on these articles, and interviewed a number of surviving ragtime personalities, to create "They All Played Ragtime, the first and for many years only book about ragtime to be published.
  • Del Wood records "Down Yonder"

    Del Wood records "Down Yonder"
    Country music performer Adelaine Hazlewood (Del Wood) recorded a ragtime version of the 1921 pop song "Down Yonder" in 1951, which sold over a million copies
  • Winifred Atwell records "Black and White Rag"

    Winifred Atwell records "Black and White Rag"
    Trinidadian pianist Winifred Atwell recorded Botsford's "Black and White Rag" to fill the "B" side of a recording contract, not expecting the piece to become her breakway hit.
  • Johnny Maddox "Crazy Otto" Medley

    Johnny Maddox "Crazy Otto" Medley
    Pianist Johnny Maddox recorded a medley of ragtime tunes originally recorded by a German pianist who billed himself as "Crazy Otto". Maddox's recording was on the Billboard pop music charts for 20 weeks, and was the number two pop song for seven weeks
  • Max Morath begins "The Ragtime Era" Television Series

    Max Morath begins "The Ragtime Era" Television Series
    From 1959 to 1961 Morath wrote, performed, and co-produced 26 half-hour television programs for PBS, then NET (National Educational Television). "The Ragtime Era" series showcased the development of ragtime music in the early 1900s
  • St Louis Ragtimers form

    St Louis Ragtimers form
    Trebor Tichenor, Al Stricker, Don Franz and Bill Mason formed the St Louis Ragtimers, to perform Missouri-based ragtime music. The ensemble performed together for over 50 years and issued fifteen long-play albums
  • St Louis Ragtime and Early Jazz Festival

    St Louis Ragtime and Early Jazz Festival
    Festival began on the St Louis Riverfront aboard the Goldenrod Showboat, and featured ragtime and traditional jazz musicians from around the world. The annual event continued into the 1980s.
  • Joshua Rifkin records Joplin as classical music

    Joshua Rifkin records Joplin as classical music
    Julliard trained pianist Joshua Rifkin recorded eight of Joplin's rags for Nonesuch Records, a classical label, the first recording to treat Joplin's works as classical music.In January 1971, Harold C. Schonberg, music critic at The New York Times, having just heard the album, wrote a featured Sunday edition article entitled "Scholars, Get Busy on Scott Joplin!", setting off a wave of scholarship that still continues..
  • New England Conservatory "Red Back Book" recording

    New England Conservatory "Red Back Book" recording
    Jazz arranger Gunter Schuller formed the New England Conservatory Ragtime Ensemble in 1972 to perform works from Stark's stock arrangements of Joplin's rags, popularly called the "Red Back Book". Their recording in 1973 was in the Billboard top 100 for over 80 weeks and won a Grammy award.
  • "The Sting"

    "The Sting"
    Marvin Hamlisch combined Rifkin's approach to Joplin's piano music with Schuller's Red Back Book arrangements to create versions of Joplin's work for this hit film starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford catapulting Joplin into widespread popularity.
  • Ragtime after "The Sting"

    Ragtime after "The Sting"
    in 1974 and 1975, many classical musicians rushed to record albums of Joplin's music. Itzhak Perlman, Andre Previn, James Levinne, and many others issued Joplin albums. Among the most whimsical of the classical albums was E Power Bigg's harpsichord version of Joplin's works.
  • "Scott Joplin" starring Billy Dee Williams

    "Scott Joplin" starring Billy Dee Williams
    Billy Dee Williams, Godfrey Cambridge, Clifton Davis, Margaret Avery and Art Carney star in a film loosely based on Joplin's biography.
  • "Scott Joplin: The Man Who Made Ragtime

    "Scott Joplin: The Man Who Made Ragtime
    the first stand-alone biography of Scott Joplin, by James Haskins and Kathleen Benson, was published in 1978
  • "Rags and Ragtime: A Musical History"

    "Rags and Ragtime: A Musical History"
    Book by Trebor Titchenor and Dave Jasen, provided a broad overview of ragtime history and included numerous short biographies of ragtime composers, as well as lists of sheet music and recordings.
  • "King of Ragtime: Scott Joplin and His Era"

    "King of Ragtime: Scott Joplin and His Era"
    Dr Edward Berlin's biography of Scott Joplin broke important new ground, including details missed by earlier scholars, and set a higher standard for ragtime scholarship
  • Period: to

    Pre-ragtime

    ragtime existed long before it had a name. As long as African-Americans added Afrocentric musical concepts to European music, the basic elements for ragtime were in place. Often existing dance forms as the jig, scottische and polka were given a syncopated treatment in performance, anticipating ragtime in style if not in print
  • Period: to

    Louis Moreau Gottschalk

    America's first native-born piano virtuoso. Born in New Orleans and educated in Paris, his music drew heavily on folk themes, especially the syncopated creole music he heard growing up. Many of his concert works, such as "The Banjo" dramatically anticipate ragtime.
  • Period: to

    Ragtime after "The Sting"

    numerous composers began creating new ragtime works beginning in the 1970s. These include William Bolcolm, David Thomas Roberts, Scott Kirby, and Frank French. A new wave of young composers in the early 2000s including Max Keenlyside, Vincent Michael Johnson, Kylan DeGataldi, and several others continue composing ragtime works.