Thomas Million John Turpin (November 18, 1871 – August 13, 1922) was an American composer of ragtime music.
Tom Turpin was born in Savannah, Georgia, a son of John L. Turpin and Lulu Waters Turpin. In his early twenties he opened a saloon in St. Louis, Missouri which became a meeting-place for local pianists and an incubation point for early folk ragtime, such as musician Joe Jordan. Turpin himself is credited with the first published rag by an African-American, his "Harlem Rag" of 1897 (it was composed by 1892, a year before ragtime's introduction to the world at the 1893 Worlds Fair). His other published rags include "Bowery Buck," "Ragtime Nightmare," "St. Louis Rag," and "The Buffalo Rag".
Turpin was a large man, six feet (1.83 m) tall and 300 pounds (136 kg); his piano had to be raised on blocks so that he could play it standing up, otherwise his stomach would get in the way. In addition to his saloon-keeping duties and his ragtime composition, he controlled (with his brother Charles) a theater, gambling houses, dance halls, and sporting houses. He served as a deputy constable and was one of the first politically powerful African-Americans in St. Louis. His influence on local music earned him the title "Father of St. Louis Ragtime."
Turpin's date of birth is uncertain; both 1871 and 1873 appear in published sources. His gravestonesays simply 1871. The 1900 Federal Census for the city of St. Louis (Enumeration District 220, Sheet 9, Line 79) listed his birthdate as "November 1871", but on his draft registration card he wrote November 18, 1874. However, some historians believe he was born in 1873.
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.
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.
James Sylvester Scott was an American ragtime composer and pianist, regarded as one of the three most important composers of classic ragtime, along with Scott Joplin and Joseph Lamb.
Benjamin Robertson "Ben" Harney was an American songwriter, entertainer, and pioneer of ragtime music. His 1895 composition "You've Been a Good Old Wagon but You Done Broke Down" is regarded as among the earliest, if not the earliest, ragtime composition. Though now probably more associated with Scott Joplin, in 1924 the New York Times wrote that Ben Harney "probably did more to popularize ragtime than any other person." Time Magazine termed him "Ragtime's Father" in 1938.
George Botsford was an American composer of ragtime and other forms of music.
Arthur Owen Marshall was an American composer and performer of ragtime music.
Charles Leslie Johnson was an American composer of ragtime and popular music. He was born in Kansas City, Kansas, died in Kansas City, Missouri, and lived his entire life in those two cities. He published over 300 songs in his life, nearly 40 of them ragtime compositions such as "Doc Brown’s Cakewalk", "Dill Pickles", "Apple Jack ", and "Snookums Rag". His best selling piece, a sentimental ballad called "Sweet and Low", sold over a million copies. Experts believe that had Johnson lived and worked in New York, he would be included alongside Scott Joplin, James Scott, and Joseph Lamb as one of the greatest ragtime composers. He wrote more than the other three combined and exemplified a greater range of talent, composing waltzes, tangos, cakewalks, marches, novelty pieces, and other types of music popular at that time.
Percy Wenrich was a United States composer of ragtime and popular music.
Louis Chauvin was an American ragtime musician. He is unrelated to Derek Chauvin.
"The Entertainer" is a 1902 classic piano rag written by Scott Joplin. It was sold first as sheet music, and in the 1910s as piano rolls that would play on player pianos. The first recording was by blues and ragtime musicians the Blue Boys in 1928, played on mandolin and guitar.
Sylvester Louis "Vess" Ossman was a leading five-string banjoist and popular recording artist of the early 20th century.
Charles Hubbard Thompson was a ragtime pianist and composer.
George Linus Cobb composed over 200 pieces of music, including ragtimes, marches, and waltzes. He also wrote columns for music trade publications.
This is a timeline of music in the United States from 1880 to 1919.
Scott Joplin is a 1977 biographical film directed by Jeremy Kagan and based on the life of American composer and pianist Scott Joplin. It stars Billy Dee Williams and Clifton Davis. Its script won an award from the Writers Guild of America in 1979. The only other composers mentioned as worthy equals in the film are John Philip Sousa and Jelly Roll Morton, although Eubie Blake does make an appearance.
Jens Bodewalt Lampe was a Danish-born American composer, arranger, performer and band-leader of ragtime and syncopated dance music.
Lyons and Yosco were an American vaudeville duo consisting of Italian American musicians George Lyons and Bob Yosco. They were called in one account "the finest pair of Italian street musicians playing in the Vaudeville ranks." They toured the United States from 1909 into 1923, doing a musical and comedy act. The News Journal of Wilmington, Delaware described their performance, saying they were "the best vocalists and instrumentalists of the street variety on the stage, proved intensely interesting, while their droll comedy kept the audience laughing much of the time."
Irene Marie Giblin, also known as Irene Giblin O'Brien, was an American pianist and composer of ragtime. She published a total of ten pieces between 1905 and 1911. Her song "Chicken Chowder" of 1905 was her biggest success.
Fleta Jan Brown Spencer was an American songwriter, composer, pianist, and singer.