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King of RagtimeScott Joplin and His Era$
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Edward A. Berlin

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199740321

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199740321.001.0001

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Legacy, Part 1

Legacy, Part 1

Fading into Obscurity, 1918–1940

(p.308) Chapter 19 Legacy, Part 1
King of Ragtime

Edward A. Berlin

Oxford University Press

Maple Leaf Rag remained in the repertory through the 1920s and 1930s, being recorded far more often than in the previous two decades, and it was used in several movies in the 1930s, but memory of Joplin and his other music quickly faded for most of the public. The blues pioneer W. C. Handy praised Joplin; Jelly Roll Morton performed two versions of Maple Leaf Rag on his Library of Congress recordings. Lottie renewed Joplin’s copyrights as they came due, and contracted with John Stark in 1926 (he died in 1927) to continue publication. Lottie, though having established a marital relationship (probably common-law) with Walter Thomas in the early 1920s, still identified herself “Lottie Joplin” and sought to promote Joplin’s music. She operated a boarding house in Harlem that catered mostly to musicians.

Keywords:   Maple Leaf Rag, Lottie Joplin, John Stark, Jelly Roll Morton, W. C. Handy

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