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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 2

Legacy, Part 2

Revival and Recognition, 1941–1980s

(p.316) Chapter 20 Legacy, Part 2
King of Ragtime

Edward A. Berlin

Oxford University Press

The Yerba Buena Jazz Band’s efforts to recover the roots of jazz in 1941 initiated a ragtime and Scott Joplin revival. The first research article about Joplin appeared in 1944, and in 1948 Fisk University established a Scott Joplin Collection, based on the efforts of Brun Campbell. The book They All Played Ragtime (1950) increased interest, resulting in ragtime fan clubs and recordings. Lottie Joplin died in 1953, leaving properties to a trust, with jazz clarinetist Wilbur Sweatman as trustee. Joplin’s surviving manuscripts were destroyed after Sweatman’s death in 1961. Following a popular recording of Joplin rags in 1970, a two-volume publication of Joplin’s collected works by the New York Public Library in 1971, and the first full performance of Treemonisha in 1972, Joplin’s music served as the film score for The Sting (1973), bringing the composer astonishing popularity. Earnings from his music in the 1970s and ’80s spurred nasty litigations.

Keywords:   Yerba Buena Jazz Band, Brun Campbell, They All Played Ragtime, Wilbur Sweatman, Treemonisha, The Sting

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