" HOW THE MAPLE LEAF RAG BECAME FAMOUS "
This clip is from the Scott Joplin movie produced in 1977. With the box office success of " The Sting ' which used Joplins
ragtime music played by Marvin Hamlish, it was decided to do a movie about Joplin. In this scene, Joplin had been
practicing most of the night preparing for a contest offering a $ 100 prize and possible publication of his music. Louis
Chauvin had been listening to Joplin play his music. Louis could not read music, but he could hear a song once, and then
be able to play by ear, an exceptional talent that gave him renoun among the ragtime pianists of that time. They hit it off
quite well, and they eventually teamed up to produce some of the world's best loved music, A Heliotrope Bouquet being
the most famous. At the contest, the judge had them as the final two contestants. The judge however, throws a slight
monkey wrench into Joplin's plans, as he requests Joplin to play " The Poet and Peasant Overture " which Joplin politely
says of course. Now watch the clip below and see the outcome. This movie had an all star cast: Billy Dee Williams is
Scott Joplin; Clifton Davis is Louis Chauven; Eubie Blake, another famous ragtime composer and performer, is the judge
and Art Carney is John Stark, the premier music publisher of the day. Note the one armed piano player, also a well known
character actor in several TV comedy shows. The Poet and Peasant, by Von Suppe is a classical piece, but done in the
ragtime style in this clip. To hear some examples of classical and ragtime music, click on the blue buttons below, or
visit my YouTube page, click on the playlist "West Coast Ragtime Festival" and you will find some superb examples of the
flexibility of the ragtime style. The full movie, SCOTT JOPLIN produced by Universal is available for rent or purchase on
YouTube. Historical accuracy unknown.
Click on the YouTube logo in the upper right hand corner to see more video examples of prime ragtime music performed on various player instruments.
The Anderson and Roe Piano Duo, on dual Steinway's
Marvin Hamlisch performing with the orchestra
Ron O'Dell performing his ragtime version of Brahms Hungarian Rhapsody
Tom Brier ( giving the thumbs "up" at the end of the video) enjoying his own composition played on a 110 year old Seeburg"G" Nickelodeon with flute/violin pipes, snare/bass drums, cymbal, triangle, tambourine, wood block and mandolin rail.
Excerpt from the movie "Scott Joplin" The scene is the piano cutting contest. The piano soundtrack was recorded by Eubie Blake; he is the Judge of the contest, and tells Joplin to play the Poet & Peasant, defeating his hopes to play his new composition "The Maple Leaf Rag", but is he defeated ??? The video gives the surprise answer.