Original Rags

Album: The Complete Scott Joplin (1899)
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Songfacts®:

  • "Original Rags" was composed by Scott Joplin in 1897; along with his most famous composition, "Maple Leaf Rag," it was one of three pieces submitted for publication - and rejected - in 1898.

    It was published the following year by Carl Hoffman in Kansas City, and retailed for 14 cents, although Joplin was not listed as the author. Chas N. Daniels was credited as arranger; at the Copyright Office, he was also listed as the composer, but musicologist Edward Berlin says Joplin probably arranged it himself. This sort of thing was common in those days, and indeed was still going strong half a century later, as Chuck Berry found out when his first hit "Maybellene" was published.
  • In spite of its name, "Original Rags" was not the first of its kind; by the time it was published there were already over a hundred rags in print, but Joplin would soon rightly become known as the King of Ragtime. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England, for above 2
  • This plays near the beginning of the Fourth of July scene in Jaws (1975), when Brody and Hooper canvas Amity's crowded beach for signs of the shark. The film was produced by Richard Zanuck and David Brown, whose previous film, The Sting, boasted a hit soundtrack of Joplin tunes that spurred a ragtime revival.

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