THAT DEMON RAG!
THAT DEMON RAG!: AMERICAN POPULAR MUSIC FROM THE RAGTIME ERA
Performed by the Paragon Ragtime Orchestra, Rick Benjamin conductor.
- “Muslin Rag” (one step, 1918), Mel B. Kaufman.
- “Melancholy Baby” (two step, 1912), Ernie Burnett.
- “That Hindu Rag” (novelty, 1910), George L. Cobb.
- “A Cakewalk Contest” (1899), Arthur Pryor.
- “The Favorite” (two step, 1904), Scott Joplin.
- “Shadow Time” (reverie, 1913), Charles L. Johnson.
- “Ragtime Travesty on Il Trovatore“ (1914), Carleton L. Colby.
- “Ghost Dance” (descriptive, 1911), Cora Salisbury.
- “The Bullfrog Blues” (fox trot, 1916), Brown & Shrigley.
- “Bombs & Bullets: An Explosion in Ragtime” (1915), Elmer G. Ruth.
- “Smiles and Chuckles: A Trombone Spasm” (1917), F. Henri Klickmann.
- “The Dallas Blues” (1912), Hart A. Wand. [The world’s first published BLUES!]
- “That Demon Rag!” (two step, 1912), Russell Smith.
- “Chevy Chase Foxtrot” (1914), Eubie Blake.
- “Great Scott Rag” (two step, 1909), James Scott.
- “The Booster: An American Absurdity” (1913), M.L. Lake.
- “Palm Leaf Rag” (1903), Scott Joplin.
- “Spirit of Independence” (march, 1912), Abe Holzmann.
- “They Didn’t Believe Me” (fox trot, 1914), Jerome Kern.
- “Muslin Rag” (Reprise)
“Four Stars…The music is incomparably sweet and stirring. And Rick Benjamin, who founded and conducts the PRO, is a musician of wit and sensibility.”
– The Philadelphia Inquirer
This recording was produced to celebrate the Paragon Ragtime Orchestra’s selection as an official representative of the United States of America for the 1992 World’s Fair. At that grand exposition, held in Seville, Spain, the PRO performed dozens of concerts at the U.S. Pavilion for hundreds of thousands of visitors from around the world. Most of these fairgoers had never heard (or even heard of) of ragtime, and many were enchanted by it. That Demon Rag! features the most popular musical selections played by the Orchestra at the World’s Fair, and includes delightful early 1900s music by Scott Joplin, Eubie Blake, and Jerome Kern, as well as terrific numbers by lesser-known but worthy composers. This is a wonderful recorded celebration of America’s Original Music, played by – as the late Tony Randall* put it – “THE WORLD’S GREATEST BAND!”
*Actor Tony Randall (1920-2004) was the PRO’s guest Master of Ceremonies for several of the Orchestra’s 1992 World’s Fair performances.