A Brief History Of Ragtime
By Dr. Mark Birnbaum
One hundred years ago, ragtime was king. Missouri, Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana
were the cradle of ragtime civilization. America bounced and danced to it. It
put a smile on everyone's face.
Overseas, ragtime was better respected than in the USA. Paris, London,
Vienna - they went wild! Here, ragtime could never
quite shake its "whorehouse" association. And yes, it was played in whorehouses,
saloons (as opposed to European salons), and eventually concert halls. Also, a
"rag" was slang for a dance (a jig or a shuffle). And a "ragtime girl" was a
babe (or a whore).