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Thomas William Shea (November 14, 1931 – March 12, 1982) was an American ragtime composer.
Born in Mattoon, Illinois, United States, Shea studied piano briefly as a child, but later became interested in ragtime after hearing the "Maple Leaf Rag." After learning some ragtime by ear, he started composing his own rags. His style has been informally called "Prairie Ragtime." He was active in ragtime circles in the Detroit area and expanded his exposure to ragtime and its proponents by attending ragtime festivals in St. Louis. In 1970 he moved to Raleigh, North Carolina. He is known to have composed over twenty rags, some of which are often performed today ("Brun Campbell Express," "Rosebud Rag," "Corncracker Rag," "Little Wabash Special") and two of which were published ("Brun Campbell Express" in They All Played Ragtime, Oak Publications, New York, 1966; and "Trillium Rag" in Max Morath's Guide to Ragtime, Hollis Music, Inc., New York, 1964). He recorded three albums which contain his compositions: Classic and Modern Rags (Ragtime Society Records RSR-1, 1963), Prairie Ragtime (Ragtime Society Records RSR-2, 1964) and Little Wabash Special (Stomp Off Records, SOS-1022, 1982).
Shea died in Raleigh from a heart attack in March 1982. Asteroid 60614 Tomshea, discovered by astronomers with the Catalina Sky Survey in 2000, was named in his memory. M.P.C. 103026).The official naming citation was published by the Minor Planet Center on January 12, 2017 (
Ragtime – also spelled rag-time or rag time – is a musical style that enjoyed its peak popularity between 1895 and 1919. Its cardinal trait is its syncopated or "ragged" rhythm.
Scott Joplin was an American composer and pianist. Joplin achieved fame for his ragtime compositions and was dubbed the King of Ragtime. During his brief career, he wrote over 100 original ragtime pieces, one ragtime ballet, and two operas. One of his first and most popular pieces, the "Maple Leaf Rag", became ragtime's first and most influential hit, and has been recognized as the archetypal rag.
Events in the year 1897 in music.
Joseph Francis Lamb was an American composer of ragtime music. Lamb, of Irish descent, was the only non-African American of the "Big Three" composers of classical ragtime, the other two being Scott Joplin and James Scott. The ragtime of Joseph Lamb ranges from standard popular fare to complex and highly engaging. His use of long phrases was influenced by classical works he had learned from his sister and others while growing up, but his sense of structure was potentially derived from his study of Joplin's piano rags. By the time he added some polish to his later works in the 1950s, Lamb had mastered the classic rag genre in a way that almost no other composer was able to approach at that time, and continued to play it passably as well, as evidenced by at least two separate recordings done in his home, as well as a few recorded interviews.
Harry Austin Tierney was a successful American composer of musical theatre, best known for long-running hits such as Irene (1919), Broadway's longest-running show of the era, Kid Boots (1923) and Rio Rita (1927), one of the first musicals to be turned into a talking picture.
The "Maple Leaf Rag" is an early ragtime musical composition for piano composed by Scott Joplin. It was one of Joplin's early works, and became the model for ragtime compositions by subsequent composers. It is one of the most famous of all ragtime pieces. As a result, Joplin became dubbed the "King of Ragtime" by his contemporaries. The piece gave Joplin a steady if unspectacular income for the rest of his life.
George Botsford was an American composer of ragtime and other forms of music.
Percy Wenrich was an American composer of ragtime and popular music.
Edward Elzear "Zez" Confrey was an American composer and performer of novelty piano and jazz music. His most noted works were "Kitten on the Keys" and "Dizzy Fingers." Studying at the Chicago Musical College and becoming enthralled by French impressionists played a critical role in how he composed and performed music.
Euday Louis Bowman was an American pianist and composer of ragtime and blues who represented the style of Texas Ragtime. He is chiefly remembered as the composer of the successful Twelfth Street Rag, a rag from 1914 out of a series of ragtimes that Bowman wrote during or after a period in which he worked as a pianist in some of the better bordellos of Kansas City. These tunes -- "Sixth Street Rag", "Tenth Street Rag", "Eleventh Street Rag" and "Twelfth Street Rag"—were named after streets of "Boss" Tom Pendergast's redlight district.
Joshua Rifkin is an American conductor, keyboard player, and musicologist, currently a Professor of Music at Boston University. As a performer he has recorded music by composers from Antoine Busnois to Silvestre Revueltas, and as a scholar has published research on composers from the Renaissance to the 20th century. He is famed among classical musicians and aficionados for his increasingly influential theory that most of Bach's choral works were sung with only one singer per choral line. Rifkin argued: "So long as we define 'chorus' in the conventional modern sense, then Bach's chorus, with few exceptions, simply did not exist." He is best known by the general public, however, for having played a central role in the ragtime revival in the 1970s, with the three albums he recorded of Scott Joplin's works for Nonesuch Records.
George Linus Cobb was an American composer. He composed over 200 pieces of music, including ragtimes, marches, and waltzes. He also wrote columns for music trade publications.
Folk ragtime is a subgenre of ragtime, a distinctly American music. It is thought to have originated with illiterate itinerant African American piano players, who learned the syncopated music not formally, but through their peers. Folk Ragtime as a form stayed active until the early 1920s, when young America shifted its attention to early jazz. It was later revived, starting in 1947 with the 'rediscovery' of Sanford Brunson Campbell who was one of the most noted folk ragtimers as well as a student of Scott Joplin, and then in the early 1960s by the now foremost authority on Folk Ragtime, Trebor Jay Tichenor (1940-2014). Another exponent of folk ragtime was Thomas Shea ; his music is sometimes referred to as "prairie ragtime."
"Magnetic Rag" is a 1914 ragtime piano composition by American composer Scott Joplin. It is significant for being the last rag which Joplin published in his lifetime, three years before his death in 1917. It is also unique in form and in some of the musical techniques employed in the composition.
"Bethena, A Concert Waltz" is a composition by Scott Joplin. It was the first Joplin work since his wife Freddie's death on September 10, 1904 of pneumonia, ten weeks after their wedding. At the time the composer had significant financial problems; the work did not sell successfully at the time of publication and was soon neglected and forgotten. It was rediscovered as a result of the Joplin revival in the 1970s and has received acclaim from Joplin's biographers and other critics. The piece combines two different styles of music, the classical waltz and the rag, and has been seen as demonstrating Joplin's excellence as a classical composer. The work has been described as "an enchantingly beautiful piece that is among the greatest of Ragtime Waltzes", a "masterpiece", and "Joplin's finest waltz".
Brun Campbell was an American composer and pianist.
Leslie C. Copeland was an American composer and pianist. As a boy, he played in Lew Dockstader's minstrel troupe, the Lew Dockstader Minstrels. He later sold ragtime compositions to Jerome H. Remick and others. Some of his performances are preserved on piano rolls. He died in San Francisco, California.
Trebor Jay Tichenor was a recognized authority on Scott Joplin and the ragtime era. He collected and published others' ragtime piano compositions and composed his own. He authored books about ragtime, and both on his own and as a member of The St. Louis Ragtimers, became a widely known ragtime pianist.
Max Morath is an American ragtime pianist, composer, actor, and author. He is best known for his piano playing and is referred to as "Mr. Ragtime". He has been a touring performer as well as being variously a composer, recording artist, actor, playwright, and radio and television presenter. Rudi Blesh billed Morath as a "one-man ragtime army".