Various Artists

Ragtime Piano Roll, Vol. 1

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The first volume of a really, really great idea; one of the best involving the early history of the LP, in fact. Putting the piano roll transcriptions of Scott Joplin, James Scott, Tom Turpin, and Joseph Lamb onto LP was an even bigger favor than bumping 78s over to the new format, and didn't involve one-tenth of the technical problems that bumping up recordings did. Astonishingly, Lamb, whose "American Beauty Rag" closed side one of the LP, was still living at the time Ragtime Piano Roll, Vol. 1 was released. The real obscurity here, incidentally, is "St. Louis Rag" by Tom Turpin (1873-1922), a saloon-keeper/pianist who was father of the St. Louis school of ragtime and was probably best-known as the teacher of Louis Chauvin.

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