PODCAST How did one of the greatest composers of the 20th century end up buried in Queens in a pauper’s grave?
Scott Joplin, the “King of Ragtime”, moved to New York in 1907, at the height of his fame. And yet, he died a decade later, forgotten by the public.
He remained nearly forgotten and buried in a communal grave in Queens, until a resurgence of interest in ragtime music in the 1970s. How did this happen?
In today’s music-packed show, we travel to Missouri, stopping by Sedalia and St. Louis, and interview a range of Ragtime experts to help us understand the mystery of Joplin’s forgotten years in New York City.
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We’d like to thank the following guests for participating in this week’s show:
— Kathleen Boswell of the Scott Joplin International Ragtime Festival
— Edward A. Berlin, ragtime scholor and author of King of Ragtime: Scott Joplin and His Era
— Reginald R. Robinson, jazz and ragtime pianist and educator
— Richard Dowling who performed his album The Complete Piano Works of Scott Joplin at Carnegie Hall on the 100th anniversary of Joplin’s birth
Here are Reginald Robinson and Richard Dowling performing Scott Joplin:
Tom’s images from Sedalia and St. Louis, Missouri:
Get a background on the music scene of the early 1900s by listening to these two podcasts on New York’s early music heritage:
And for a look at early African-American neighborhoods in New York, check out this episode (with trips to Seneca Village and Weeksville):