There are biographies throughout for publishers, composers, and musicians, many of which played all three roles at various times. For a more detailed listing of popular songs, invest in the three volume Lissauer's Encyclopedia of Popular Song in American to the Present. An interesting look at the hotbed of early traditional and swing jazz, the author spends less time looking at the music and more at the social lifestyle that went along with it.
An informative book that echoes much of the history and cultural changes our country went through entering the "Roaring Twenties," and a precursor of what was to come. Chicago is particularly interesting because so many jazz musicians from Oliver and Armstrong to Beiderbecke migrated there, largely to soak in the influences of each other.
How it affected the moral and social attitudes of the city explains quite a bit about the character of Chicago as a whole in the s. This was long considered the authoritative book on ragtime and old-time music.
Joseph F. Lamb: A Passion for Ragtime
Although much more accurate and revealing information has been compiled by many authors since its original printing in , this book is still worth reading or re-reading. Much of the story of ragtime is told in just that format; as a story. There are some useful appendices for collectors of ragtime records and piano rolls. The third and fourth editions also contain a few interesting rag transcriptions.
It has been re-released in a paperback version available on Amazon, but there has otherwise been no update since the fourth edition in Original copies of all four original editions are usually available through a title search at Amazon.
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The definitive and most detailed book on Joplin ever presented. Looks not just at the composer, but at some of the previously unsolved mysteries about him, what drove him, and the culture and stigmas surrounding black composers and musicians in general. This is the most scholarly and detailed look at the life of ragtime's most celebrated but sometimes misunderstood black composer. There is an updated version in the works, possibly to be published in A thorough and intimate look at a classic ragtime composer who did not claim music to be his profession, yet created some of the most beautiful and complex instrumental rags ever written, right up until his death.
Compiled with help from his daughter Patricia, this volume is an engaging read, focusing more on the man than the music, but at the same time informing the reader of the passion that went into his compositions. A must-have for your ragtime library. Edward A. A detailed scholarly study of origins, composition, and performance of ragtime, with emphasis on the school of New York ragtime. Most easily found in the library, or by request of the author.
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This is a new release of the original publication, which is not what some may expect to be a simple sterile analytical look at the music and its interaction with American culture, rather delving deeply into influences of and by the music with specific examples. For those who are interested in more than simply the music, this is an essential component of your library.
A wide scoping view of Ragtime and the requisite lifestyle during the era, particularly in the years following the era, with very frank interviews of traditional jazz and ragtime artists. A great resource for Eubie Blake fans. Note that if you click the cover you can by a recently updated version of the text. The Amazon link will guide you to an earlier but less expensive edition.
Both are good reading.
The first comprehensive biography on America's second most popular march composer who commissioned perhaps the most spectacular covers of the s to s, and ended up thriving on only two to three releases a year, such was the allure of his descriptive marches and the artwork wrapped around them. Side looks at the music publishing business, of which Paull was a big part of, a guide to collectors of his music, and comprehensive appendices of music and recordings.
Nearly pages, with many of them full-page representations of colorful cover art. Excellent source for general information, and especially for younger readers. Found in many school libraries. However, given the new information found by Ed Berlin, there are a number of inaccuracies. A nicely detailed look at Scott Joplin's life, including peripheral information on the ragtime life as he encountered it.
Copies are sometimes available through a title search at Amazon.
American Music Review
Jack A. Batterson with Rebecca B. The story of an often overlooked figure of early ragtime that was also a virtuoso classical player who played over 8, concerts during his lifetime, this book also follows the development of ragtime music, and the challenges faced by Negro artists of the late 19th century. Looks at an aspect of ragtime largely glossed over by some other books, and the authoritative story about the "inventory of jazz and stomps.
This updated edition includes some corrections or contradictions to the original, which while not entirely accurate was nonetheless an important document of Morton's life told largely by Morton.
The accompanying voice recordings on Circle records are difficult to locate, but a few cuts are still floating around on CD. Lots of stories about entertainers that date back to Ragtime, including a bit of Jolie joshing. After all, Mr. Burns aka Nathan Birnbaum was around and performing in the s.
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Joseph F. Lamb - A Biography by Russel Cassidy
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Born in New Jersey, where he was taught piano by two older sisters, he began composing and publishing as an adolescent while attending a Catholic prep school and seminary in Canada.
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He finished school at sixteen in and, putting aside his plans to attend college and study engineering, returned home to New Jersey and commuted to Manhattan where he found employment as an office boy. He continued composing, and being in New York afforded him the opportunity of buying sheet music directly from publishers. He frequently visited the office of John Stark, and it was there, in or , that he had his momentous meeting with his favorite composer, Scott Joplin. From through , Stark brought out a dozen rags by Lamb, these forming the basis of his renown.
In , Lamb had his only regular employment as a musician, working for ten months as a song plugger and arranger for a small publisher. He afterwards continued as an arranger on a freelance basis. He married in , moved to Brooklyn, and soon found employment in the dry goods and finance industry, where he remained the rest of his working life. For the next quarter-century, music remained a hobby for Lamb; he entertained his friends and composed for church minstrel shows. In , he was lifted from obscurity by Rudi Blesh and Harriet Janis, who were researching the ragtime era and locating surviving figures from the period.
They were surprised Lamb was not a black Midwesterner, but a white, Irish resident of Brooklyn; Lamb was astonished that anyone was interested in the ragtime he had composed decades earlier. Ragtime aficionados visited and corresponded with him, interviewed and recorded him, featured him at festivals, and urged him to return to composing ragtime. He loved the attention.
More recently, additional rags and non-rags, supplied by his family, were published by Ragtime Press.
Amazingly, three pieces that he had sold to Mills Music in the s have recently been discovered among boxes of discarded manuscripts.
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