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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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An Approach to Musical Theater, 1899–1900

An Approach to Musical Theater, 1899–1900

(p.85) Chapter 6 An Approach to Musical Theater, 1899–1900
King of Ragtime

Edward A. Berlin

Oxford University Press

Joplin was not satisfied with being a composer of piano rags, marches, and songs; he sought success and recognition in musical theater. His first effort in this direction—probably an early version of what would later be published as The Ragtime Dance (1902)—was at Wood’s Opera House in Sedalia on November 24, 1899. Originally performed by Joplin, his brother Will, his student Arthur Marshall, and colleagues at the Black 400 and the Maple Leaf clubs, the show evolved with additional performances at different venues that winter and in the spring and summer of 1900. At least one performance also included Joplin’s brother Robert. Notices of later performances mention Henry Jackson as co-director. It was during this period that Joplin began his marital relationship with Belle Jones and was instrumental in forming a Republican club for black Sedalians and a baseball team.

Keywords:   The Ragtime Dance, Maple Leaf Club, Black 400 Club, Will Joplin, Robert Joplin, Arthur Marshall, Henry Jackson, Belle Jones

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