Something Doing

Ragtime Happenings in the Southland

AUGUST, 1998


Rose Leaf Ragtime Club July Meeting (7/27/1998)

Reported by Gus Willmorth

Once again the cool chords of ragtime helped us ignore the 100-degree weather at the July meeting of the joint Maple and Rose Leaf clubs. Eric Marchese opened festivities promptly at 4:00 PM (we are normally behind the times!) with, of course, the "Maple Leaf Rag" followed by "Palm Leaf Rag" and "Pastime No. 4." He finished off his stint with one of his own, "Just Another Rag."

Bill Mitchell took over to continue the Joplin and Matthews combo with "Strenuous Life" and "Pastime No. 5." He also played Charlie Johnsonís "Porcupine Rag" before yielding the keyboard to Susan Erb who picked out "Key Stone Rag" and "Funny Folks". "Key Stone" is by Willie Anderson and named after a St. Louis hotel hot spot, and "Folks" by Will Polla (W.C. Pollack) is one more commentary on the 1904 St Louis Worlds Fair. Amazing how many rags that event generated!

Eric Marchese returned with some more Joplin—"Fig Leaf Rag" and "Pine Apple Rag," after a pair of announcements: the benefit concert at OTMH scheduled for August 8 has been postponed until December partly due to P.J. Schmidtís involvement with his upcoming one-man spectacular.

Bill Mitchell also came up for a second set to play a pair of "Honeymoon Rags," the first, by James Scott and the second by Abe Olman. Scott's "Honeymoon" is romantic and dreamy; Olman's is sprightly and vivacious...take your pick! He continued with Abe Olman's 1910 "Sea Weed Rag" and Morton's "Grandpaís Spells" by popular demand.

Susan Erb slipped back in to do "Bethena" before Gary Rametta arrived to do a very nice "Grace and Beauty" at a sprightly tempo followed by "Something Doing."

Eric Marchese took back over to present "Leola" followed by Charlie Straight's 1914 piano roll opus, "Humpty Dumpty," an early precursor of the Novelty Rag genre. He followed that with a contemporary, "Reverie Rag" by Tom Brier, and Scott Hayden and Scott Joplin's final collaboration, "Kismet Rag."

Bill Mitchell played the only Joe Lamb rag of the day, "Bohemia," and Kerry Mills' Indian Intermezzo, "Red Wing," but with syncopations. Gary Rametta joined Bill on the second piano for a pair of four handed rags, "Easy Winners" and "Paragon Rag." Bill then soloed on Wilcockson's "Pride of the Smoky Row."

Bill, Eric and Gary all crowded about the keys for the final "Maple Leaf Rag." (We did have some interludes with reports and gossip about the Rocky Mountain Ragtime Festival from several returnees and considerable activity around the lending library. A convivial meeting.)

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