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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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A Career Before Ragtime, 1891–1896

A Career Before Ragtime, 1891–1896

(p.7) Chapter 2 A Career Before Ragtime, 1891–1896
King of Ragtime

Edward A. Berlin

Oxford University Press

The first sign of Joplin as a professional musician is in 1891, when he was a member of the Texarkana Minstrels. In 1893 and 1894 he toured widely—ranging at least from Omaha to Boston—as leader of the Texas Medley Quartette. The group was also in Chicago at the time of the Chicago World’s Fair at least twice, but there is no evidence that he led a band there, as claimed by his widow. He settled in Sedalia, Missouri, late in 1894, possibly arriving with Otis Saunders, who remained a close friend for a few years. His first two publications were songs, issued in Syracuse, New York, in 1895. In 1896, in Temple, Texas, he published two marches and a waltz.

Keywords:   Texarkana Minstrels, Texas Medley Quartette, Chicago World’s Fair, Otis Saunders, Sedalia

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