Various Artists

Cakewalks, Rags & Blues - Military Style

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This is one of the best collections of ragtime-oriented military and orchestral music of the pre-jazz era released on CD. Although there is no jazz on this disc, there is ragtime and popular music that hints at times at blues and jazz. In fact, among the selections are what are probably the earliest recordings of W.C. Handy's "Memphis Blues" (1914) and "St. Louis Blues" (1915) yet discovered. Other hits of the era include "At a Georgia Camp Meeting," "Creole Bells," "Maple Leaf Rag" (the U.S. Marine Band in 1909), "Porcupine Rag," Wilbur Sweatman's "Down Home Rag," and a number by James Reese Europe's Society Orchestra, "The Castle in Europe One-Step." Other bands featured include John Philip Sousa, Arthur Pryor, the Peerless Orchestra, Prince's Orchestra, and the Victor Military Band.

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