Real Ragtime: Disc Recordings from Its Heyday [Explicit Lyrics]

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Uncle Dave Lewis
Archeophone's Real Ragtime is a collection of recordings of historic performances of 29 ragtime numbers dating from 1898-1918, originally issued in 1998 with one track less when Archeophone was a CDR-only label. This revision is a standard mass-produced version of Real Ragtime with a greatly improved booklet and better sound quality. Yet the basic thrust of the package is still the same -- collecting ragtime music as it was represented by the early phonograph, which had a much broader context in terms of repertoire and performance styles than the scholars behind the piano-centered "ragtime revival" of the 1970s would acknowledge, or allow. There is not a single piano ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Uncle Dave Lewis
Archeophone's Real Ragtime is a collection of recordings of historic performances of 29 ragtime numbers dating from 1898-1918, originally issued in 1998 with one track less when Archeophone was a CDR-only label. This revision is a standard mass-produced version of Real Ragtime with a greatly improved booklet and better sound quality. Yet the basic thrust of the package is still the same -- collecting ragtime music as it was represented by the early phonograph, which had a much broader context in terms of repertoire and performance styles than the scholars behind the piano-centered "ragtime revival" of the 1970s would acknowledge, or allow. There is not a single piano solo to be found in this volume -- although a few such recordings were made in this era, they are not common, and some, such as pianist C.H.H. Booth's 1901 recording of J. Bodewalt Lampe's rag "Creole Belles," seem not to have come down to today's listeners. Banjo players, particularly Vess L. Ossman and Fred Van Eps, dominate this collection, but it also features ragtime material recorded by brass bands, singers, guitarists, xylophonists, and accordionists. Most CD compilations of vintage ragtime music, particularly those produced overseas, are derived from LP reissues and tend to focus on the same tracks from disc to disc with small variations. Nevertheless, nothing on Real Ragtime has been issued on CD before. The sheer variety of approaches to ragtime exemplified on early phonograph recordings is staggering, and does tend to dilute the notion of ragtime as a "classic" kind of music -- perhaps that is why the ragtime revivalists limited their focus a bit more strictly than would be considered historically responsible among 21st century scholars. However, it expands listeners' understanding greatly about just how popular ragtime music was in the first two decades of the 20th century. Here are vaudevillians Arthur Collins, Eddie Morton, and Gene Greene singing ragtime songs that have functional, even catchy, lyrics. Some of the content of these words may seem racially derogatory in today's politically correct era, and if you would find such material objectionable, then Real Ragtime is not for you, although in this case the collection is mainly an instrumental one. The sound quality is variable, ranging from excellent, such as in "Some Baby" recorded in 1914 by the Van Eps Banjo Orchestra, to weakly audible, such as "Ragged William" recorded by a house band at Victor in March of 1901. In most cases, such tracks of the latter kind are in the minority -- in the main, Real Ragtime sounds terrific considering the age and variability of the material. Ragtime fanciers who want to get a grip on this uniquely American style of music in all of its variety will not want to miss Real Ragtime, and if this repackaged, sonically picked-up version of the 1998 release is a success, hopefully listeners can look forward to a follow-up volume -- there is certainly well more out there.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 12/27/2005
  • Label: Archeophone Records
  • UPC: 656605911724
  • Catalog Number: 1001
  • Sales rank: 202,362

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Fred Van Eps Banjo, Piano
American Quartet Ensemble
Arthur Collins Banjo, Vocals
Guido Pietro Deiro Accordion
Pietro Deiro Accordion
Vess L. Ossman Banjo
Chris Chapman Xylophone
Billy Murray Tenor (Vocal)
Victor Military Band Band
Gene Greene Vocals
Earl Fuller's Rector Novelty Orchestra Ensemble
Eddie Morton Baritone Saxophone
Arthur Pryor's Band Band
John J. Kimmel Accordion
Metropolitan Opera Orchestra Performing Ensemble
R.H. Butin Guitar, Harp
American Horn Quartet Ensemble
William G. Collins Banjo
William Parke Hunter Banjo
Joseph P. Cullen Banjo
Van Eps Banjo Orchestra Ensemble
Fred Van Eps Trio Ensemble
Sousa Band Band
Ed Morton Baritone (Vocal)
John J. Kimmel Accordion
Samuel Siegel Guitar, Mandolin, Harp
Guido Deiro Accordion
Parke Hunter Banjo
Van Eps Trio Banjo, Piano, Drums
Technical Credits
Irving Berlin Composer, Text
George M. Cohan Composer
Shelton Brooks Composer
Gus Kahn Text
David Sager Liner Notes
Guido Pietro Deiro Composer
Arthur Pryor Composer
Wilbur Sweatman Composer
J. Bodewalt Lampe Composer
Neil Moret (Chas. N. Daniels) Composer
Julius Lenzberg Composer
Maurice Abrahams Composer
George L. Cobb Composer
Percy Wenrich Composer
Unspecified Enemies Composer
Grace LeBoy Composer
The Jones Composer
Meagan Hennessey Producer, Audio Production
Theodore Morse Composer
John J. Kimmel Composer
Richard Martin Producer, Liner Notes, Remastering
James O'Dea Text
Richard Martin Audio Production
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