Tom Turpin Harlem Rag

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Tom turpin harlem rag

Tom Turpin’s “Harlem Rag,” published in 1897, was the first piano rag written by a black composer. Harlem Rag by Tom Turpin (1897, Ragtime piano). Called the “Harlem Rag” it proved to be successful and was issued in several editions. It gave the youth the money to strike out on his own. It gave the youth the money to strike out on his own. In 1897, drawing on the years of experience working for his father, Tom opened Turpin’s Saloon at Nine Targee Street, apparently living above the. Tom Turpin’s birth in 1873 is celebrated on this date. He was a Black musician and businessman. Turpin was from Savannah, Georgia, the second son of John and Lulu Turpin. His father was politically active during Reconstruction and was often referred to as 'Honest John.' Tom Turpin (1873–1922), 'Harlem Rag' (1897) Fats Waller (1904–1943), 'Valentine Stomp' (1929) Percy Wenrich (1880–1952), 'Peaches and Cream' (1905) Clarence C. Wiley (1883–1908), 'Car-Barlick Acid' (1901).

Tom Turpin was a musician and businessman whose bar in St. Louis became an important gathering place for ragtime musicians, including Scott Joplin. Turpin was born in Savannah, Georgia, and moved with his family to St. Louis in the early 1880s. Turpin’s father ran a saloon and was active in local politics. Together with his brother Charles, Turpin traveled west and invested in a Nevada gold mine. When this venture proved to be unsuccessful, Turpin returned to St. Louis and opened the Rosebud Bar at 2220 Market Street. This saloon became a focal point for the ragtime music scene.

Turpin did not produce much music during his lifetime, his “The Harlem Rag” (1897) is considered the first published rag by an African American. His other compositions include “The Bowery Buck” (1899), “A Ragtime Nightmare” (1900), “St. Louis Rag” (1903), “The Buffalo Rag” (1904), and “Pan-Am Rag” (1914).

In 1916 Turpin opened another establishment at 2333 Market Street in Missouri, which at some point acquired the name The Jazzland Cafe. That year he wrote one last piece, a war song about black soldiers fighting in Europe, When Sambo Goes to France. It is likely that Turpin had written many more during his time at the Washington Theater, but once many of these pieces, some topical comic songs, had run their course in performance, they were probably disposed of leaving us with no lasting record. Turpin died on August 13, 1922, and is buried in St. Peter’s Cemetery in St. Louis, Missouri.

sources:

Turpin

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Turpin

http://ragpiano.com/comps/tturpin.shtml

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Harlem Rag Tom Turpin Sheet Music

Born: 1871?
Missouri Hometown: St. Louis

Tom Turpin Harlem Rag

Categories: African Americans, Entrepreneurs, Musicians

Tom Turpin was a musician and businessman whose bar in St. Louis became an important gathering place for ragtime musicians, including Scott Joplin. Turpin was born in Savannah, Georgia, and moved with his family to St. Louis in the early 1880s. Turpin’s father ran a saloon and was active in local politics. Together with his brother Charles, Turpin traveled west and invested in a Nevada gold mine. When this venture proved to be unsuccessful, Turpin returned to St. Louis and opened the Rosebud Bar at 2220 Market Street. This saloon became a focal point for the music scene.

Tom Turpin Harlem Rag Full

Tom Turpin’s own musical output was small compared to that of other ragtime composers. He did, however, have a strong influence on the development of ragtime. In fact, his composition “The Harlem Rag” (1897) is considered the first published rag by an African American. His other compositions include “The Harlem Rag” (1897), “The Bowery Buck” (1899), “A Ragtime Nightmare” (1900), “St. Louis Rag” (1903), “The Buffalo Rag” (1904), and “Pan-Am Rag” (1914). Turpin died on August 13, 1922, and is buried in St. Peter’s Cemetery in St. Louis, Missouri.

References and Resources

For more information about Tom Turpin’s life and career, see the following resources:

Society Resources

The following is a selected list of books, articles, and manuscripts about Tom Turpin in the research centers of The State Historical Society of Missouri. The Society’s call numbers follow the citations in brackets.

Articles from the Newspaper Collection

  • “Mr. Tom Turpin: A Rosebud Novelty.” Saint Louis Palladium. November 27, 1904, p. 1.
  • “The Rosebud Ball.” Saint Louis Palladium. February 27, 1904, p. 1.

Books and Articles

  • Blesh, Rudi. Classic Piano Rags: Complete Original Music for 81 Rags. New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1973. pp. 322-346. [REF 781.52 B617]
  • Blesh, Rudi, and Harriet Janis. They All Played Ragtime: The True Story of an American Music. New York: Oak Publications, 1971. pp. 6, 23, 40-76, 101-121, 146-169, 231-264. [REF F565.3 B617 1971]
  • Cotter, John Cleophus. The Negro in Music in Saint Louis. St. Louis: Washington University, 1959. pp. 295-304. [REF H235.71 C828]
  • Jasen, David A., and Trebor Jay Tichenor. Rags and Ragtime: A Musical History. New York: Seabury Press, 1978. pp. 19-34, 60, 102-115, 183-186. [REF 781.572 J453]
  • Schafer, William J., and Johannes Riedel. The Art of Ragtime: Form and Meaning of an Original Black American Art. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1973. pp. 8, 14, 29, 47, 52, 90-117, 178, 217. [REF 781.572 Sch14]
  • Southern, Eileen. The Music of Black Americans. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., Inc., 1971. pp. 318-332. [REF 780 So88]
  • Waldo, Terry. This is Ragtime. New York: Hawthorn Books, Inc., 1976. pp. 35-40, 50, 90. [REF 781.572 W147]

Oral History

  • Jazzman Oral History Project
    In this interview transcript from the Jazzman Oral History Project at St. Louis, E. A. McKinney recalls his relationship with Tom Turpin and other St. Louis ragtime players.

Outside Resources

These links, which open in another window, will take you outside the Society’s website. The Society is not responsible for the content of the following websites:
  • “Perfessor” Bill Edwards
    This website is full of information about Tom Turpin and other ragtime musicians.
  • Library of Congress National Jukebox
    Audio files of Turpin’s songs, “The Buffalo Rag” and “St. Louis Rag,” can be found here.