Ragtime Enriches Yes, I Mean Money, lots of it! And yes, it’s time to be happy again. Listen to some Scott Joplin, Charles Lamb, Eubie Blake, Tom Turpin, James Jesse Europe or Luckyeth Roberts. Their music is as entertaining as their names. Eubie Blake said in gracious tribute, “Joplin was the father of us all.” Ragtime is a musical style that enjoyed its peak popularity between 1895 and 1918. Its cardinal trait is its syncopated, or “ragged”, rhythm. The style has its origins in African-American communities like St. Louis years before being published as popular sheet music for piano.
Scott Joplin is unquestionably the father of ragtime.
What brought about the return of ragtime after 1918? The movie called The Sting. The film is noted for its anachronistic use of ragtime, particularly the melody “The Entertainer” by Scott Joplin, which was adapted (along with others by Joplin) for the movie by Marvin Hamlisch (and a top-ten chart single for Hamlisch when released as a single from the film’s soundtrack). The film’s success created a resurgence of interest in Joplin’s work.
The Scott family was attracted by the Kissin’ Cuzzins marquee that announced me playing ragtime piano. They own Scott’s Oquaga Lake House in the Catskills. Its been in the family since 1869. The current year was 1983. For my audition I had to play the Pineapple Rag perfectly for the The Scotts. They were so impressed that they invited our entire family up to New York for that summer. That started a long string of about 20 summer seasons in the Catskills. We got to live our lives like as it was in the 1930’s setting of The Sting. It was like we took a time machine to the past. All loved it! It give rise to my book of poetry, The Oquaga Spirit Speaks, available on the product page.
David to play the Steinways at the Gasparilla Inn: David not only loves a piano with beautiful tone; but also music with beautiful melody. Music, he believes, should be all about beauty, enjoyment and relaxation. Thus he plays the music of Cole Porter, George Gershwin, Rodgers and Hart, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Henry Mancini, Michel Legrand, Billy Joel, Barry Manilow, Elton John, the Beatles, Scott Joplin, and any composer(s) who write memorable melodies. He even plays the theme from the King’s Speech (Beethoven’s 7th Symphony), Gustav Holst’s Jupiter, from the Planets, as well as music by Chopin, Rachmaninoff, Beethoven, Debussy, Ravel and J.S. Bach to name a few.The kids are happy when they hear his selections from the movies such as: Star Wars, Batman, Harry Potter, Home Alone, Close Encounters of a Third Kind, and Jurassic Park.
WHAT PIANO MUSIC DO THE PATRONS SEEM TO ENJOY THE MOST AT THE GASPARILLA INN?
Year after year though, everyone’s favorites are still by Henry Mancini including the theme from the Pink Panther (with the magical effect of its opening four note rhythm), the Baby Elephant Walk, Charade, the Days of Wine and Roses, Arabesque and of course Moon River. Enjoy the eloquence of old Florida decor, the beautiful atmosphere, great food by master chefs, and, of course, the vintage Steinway grand pianos from the 1920’s. David’s personal feeling walls of the Inn respond the best to Scott Joplin since they were built while he was actually writing ragtime. Celebrate your most special occasion in a most wonderful way; see you there! Admission to the public is either free or the price of a beverage in the living room; and the cost of dinner in the dining room. Formal dress code required for dinner.