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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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Sedalia, Cradle of Classic Ragtime

Sedalia, Cradle of Classic Ragtime

(p.23) Chapter 3 Sedalia, Cradle of Classic Ragtime
King of Ragtime

Edward A. Berlin

Oxford University Press

In Sedalia, Missouri, a railroad center for shipping livestock and produce, Joplin found a town rich in employment possibilities for musicians. Aside from music in the bars, gambling houses, and brothels, there were weekly dances and concerts, including outdoor band concerts by several groups, among them the black Queen City Cornet Band.” Wood’s Opera House had weekly theatrical and music presentations, including performances by black groups. The racial situation was comparatively good for that part of the country, and along with the black George R. Smith College there were black-owned businesses, newspapers, and black political organizations. Two black men’s social clubs, the Black 400 and Maple Leaf, began with high ideals but were disparaged by the town’s black clergy and eventually descended into venues of brawls, which resulted in their closures.

Keywords:   Sedalia, Queen City Cornet Band, Maple Leaf Club, Black 400 Club, Wood’s Opera House

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