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Ragtime Detroit

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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • ASIN: B000NJ9WD4
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #799,088 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Catherine M. Childs on March 14, 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This ensemble, like Rick Benjamin's Paragon Ragtime Orchestra (PRO) and the Peacherine Ragtime Ensemble out of Maryland, is a national treasure. Go to the website to order directly from them and make a tax-deductible contribution, and, if you can find yourself in the Detroit area in the future, catch a live performance. Kudos to these fine musicians for introducing this "prehistoric" stuff to new generations and keeping our rich cultural heritage alive.
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Format: Audio CD
I had no idea this recording existed until I was going thru Amazon's inventory of ragtime. Being essentially a lifelong resident of the Detroit area, I am always interested in learning what I can of its history. One thing I was intrigued by was when a man named Harry P. Guy of Old Man Finney's Orchestra--Detroit's premier ragtime band--stated that ragtime started in Detroit. Scholars scoffed at his words but I figured he must have had his reasons. This CD is one of the pieces of the puzzle--a rather essential piece. Not only was Detroiter Fred S. Stone's "Ma Ragtime Baby" a ragtime hit in the 1890s (W.C. Handy made it part of his repertoire after coming to Detroit and hearing it) but the Whitney-Warner Publishing Co. had a huge hand in publishing some of the most famous ragtime pieces of the day as did Jerome H. Remick & Co, another Detroit publishing concern. The great cakewalk writer, Kerry Mills, also spent a great deal of time in Michigan. Charles L. Johnson published famous pieces through both Remick ("DIll Pickles" included on this CD) and Whitney-Warner. Elsie Janis, a very famous rag writer and performer, also published through Remick. In fact, it is impressive to comb through the old ragtime sheet music covers and see how many were published by Detroit-based companies. Detroit was the only city in the US where whites seeking membership in the musicians' union had to petition black bandleaders to do so.

This CD is a joy to listen to. Expertly played by Michigan's own River Raisin Ragtime Revue but it is also expertly produced. This was clearly a work of people who both knew what they wanted and what they were doing in order to get what they wanted. I even have friends who are not big ragtime fans say that they enjoyed this CD very much.
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