Something Doing

Ragtime Happenings in the Southland



Rose Leaf Ragtime Club November Meeting (11/28/1999)

Reported by Lee Roan

We had a great session back at the IHOP--one of the best I've seen and heard. Gary Rametta had made a very nice greeting sign to be used at the meetings. The restaurant has been remodeled and I think the air conditioning is working now. A much-needed piano tuner arrived shortly before the meeting and got the instruments back in playing shape. (I think the remodelers must have dragged them around the parking lot for a couple of laps!)

Gary Rametta and Nancy Kleier opened the 2:30 p.m. meeting with a duet version of "Swipesy Cakewalk." Gary then played solo on "Weeping Willow," "Scott Joplin"s New Rag," and "Grace and Beauty." We can tell Gary's been practicing; his playing has really improved. Several folks commented on how well he played.

Bob Pinsker came up from San Diego with his parents (Allan and Frances Pinsker) who are visiting from Pittsburg, PA. Bob did some Joseph Lamb pieces and told an interesting story of How J. Lamb stopped composing for many years. He was later searched for and found. Then, in the 1940s he wrote the "Alaskan Rag." Bob played this and two other Lamb items,: "Ethiopia" and "Cleopatra Rag." He played them beautifully.

Then a talented trio from Long Beach performed. Christine Higa sang, Ann Ford played the piano accompaniment, and Stephen Higa sang and played the guitar. Their set included "After You've Gone," "At the Moving Picture Ball," "Oh, You Beautiful Doll," and "Long Lost Moment."Very nicely performed. We hope they return.

George MccClellan and Lee Roan played duets on the two pianos: "I'm Looking Over a Four Leaf Clover" and a medley of choruses from "Melancholy Baby," "Whispering," and "Mama's Gone, Goodbye."

Ron Ross played "Sensation," "Retro Rag," and "How Sweet the Sound."

Nancy Kleier's theme was "Thanksgiving and Women Composers." The numbers were "The Flyer," "Fried Chicken," and "Chicken Chowder." It just seems that Nancy's playing gets better every month.

A new guest pianist showed up and played beautifully. Peggy Teagarden is a cousin to the famous trombonist-singer-bandleader Jack Teagarden. She says her whole family and relatives are musical. We sure hope she comes back! She played "Who's Sorry Now," "Has Anybody Seen My Gal," and "Five Foot Two."

We asked Bob Pinsker to do another number. He said he wasn't prepared, but he borrowed one of Nancy Kleier's music books and sight read "Bohemia Rag" as if he'd been practicing it for weeks. I sure envy folks who can play like that. Bob also plays the violin for an orchestra in San Diego. Such talent!

Gary Rametta returned to play "Sugar Cane" and "Heliotrope Bouquet."

George McClellan was talked into an encore and gave us "Bye, Bye Blues," "A Shanty in Old Shanty Town," and "Five Foot Two."

Ron Ross encored with "Rickety Rag," another of his originals.

Nancy Kleier then played "When the Work Is Done, I'll Dance," and "The Turkey Trot."

Peggy Teagarden returned with "Tea for Two," "Charleston," "Hello Dolly," and "Yankee Doodle Boy."

Little nine-year-old Ruby Fradkin returned to play "When the Saints Go Marching In," "Sunrise, Sunset," "When You're Smiling," "Tom Dooley," and "Take Me Out to the Ball Game." She did a great job!!

Gary Rametta closed the meeting with "Maple Leaf Rag." After the meeting, I overheard Gary's wife Yuko at the piano. She's good! Hope we can talk her into playing at the next meeting.

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