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 Scott Joplin

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Scott Joplin Famous memorial

Birth
Linden, Cass County, Texas, USA
Death
1 Apr 1917 (aged 48)
New York, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
Burial
East Elmhurst, Queens County, New York, USA
Plot
Plot #5 -
Memorial ID
556 View Source

Pulitzer Prize for Music Recipient, Composer. He is known as the "King of Ragtime," and considered one of the "Big Three" in ragtime music along with Frances Lamb and James Scott. Almost sixty years after his death, he gained notoriety with his tune, "The Entertainer", which was popularized in the 1973 Hollywood film, "The Sting," receiving an Academy Award for Best Film Scoring Adaption for Marvin Hamlish. His 1907 opera, "Treemonisha," received posthumously a Pulitzer Prize for Music in 1976 when performed on a Broadway stage. Born near Linden, Texas, his family moved to Texarkana, Texas when he was age seven. Encouraged by his parents, he learned to play the banjo and piano, and in his late teens, began a career as a dance hall musician. After many years playing in saloons and brothels, he settled in St. Louis, Missouri about 1890, where he studied the music genre know now as "Ragtime", a blend of European classical styles and African American harmonies and rhythm. In 1894, Joplin moved to Sedalia, Missouri, where he played at local social clubs and where he began composing music. In 1898, he tried to publish his first two ragtime tunes, but only the 1898 "Original Rags" was sold. In 1899, he sold "The Maple Leaf Rag" to a publisher, which became his first real success, and earning him a small royalty income, and encouraging him to write other tunes. Shortly after this, he wrote "The Ragtime Dance" which included stage work for dancers and a singing narrator. In 1901, he moved to St. Louis, Missouri, where he became associated with ragtime pioneer, Tom Turpin. During this time, he taught music and wrote more compositions. In 1901, he met Alfred Ernst, conductor of the St. Louis Choral Symphony Society, who thought Joplin was a musical genius as a composer, and helped him succeed. In the next two years, 1901 to 1902, Joplin wrote "Sunflower Slow Drag"; "Peacherine Rag"; "The Easy Winners"; "Cleopha"; "The Strenuous Life"; which was his tribute to United States President Theodore Roosevelt; "A Breeze from Alabama"; "Elite Syncopations"; "The Entertainer"; and "The Ragtime Dance". His first opera, in 1903, was "A Guest of Honor," which was about the black leader, Booker T. Washington's dinner at the White House with President Theodore Roosevelt in 1901. In 1904, he went to St. Louis for the World's Fair, where his ragtime tune, "Cascades" received much favorable attention. In June of 1904, he divorced his first wife and married a woman he met while visiting relatives in Arkansas. He and his first wife had drifted apart after the death of their infant daughter in 1903. Unfortunately, his bride died ten weeks after their marriage of pneumonia, from the complications of a simple cold she developed during their honeymoon. After his bride's death, Joplin left Sedalia, never to return, and his career faltered. He survived by playing for money, but continued to compose, writing a few ragtime tunes. In 1907, he published "Treemonisha" an opera that he had been writing over the previous five years. While he continued to write ragtime tunes, getting some published, and in 1911, Irvin Berlin published "Alexander's Ragtime Band," a tune that Joplin charged that was taken from his "A Real Slow Drag," a tune from the opera "Treemonisha." However, he decided not to sue the wealthy and influential Berlin. By 1916, he was suffering from tertiary or the final stage of syphilis, which he had contracted some twenty years earlier, and he died in New York City, New York in 1917. He fell into obscurity, but jazz musicians revived his work in the 1940s, and the movie, "The Sting" in 1973 brought him critical acclaim and to the attention of the public.

Pulitzer Prize for Music Recipient, Composer. He is known as the "King of Ragtime," and considered one of the "Big Three" in ragtime music along with Frances Lamb and James Scott. Almost sixty years after his death, he gained notoriety with his tune, "The Entertainer", which was popularized in the 1973 Hollywood film, "The Sting," receiving an Academy Award for Best Film Scoring Adaption for Marvin Hamlish. His 1907 opera, "Treemonisha," received posthumously a Pulitzer Prize for Music in 1976 when performed on a Broadway stage. Born near Linden, Texas, his family moved to Texarkana, Texas when he was age seven. Encouraged by his parents, he learned to play the banjo and piano, and in his late teens, began a career as a dance hall musician. After many years playing in saloons and brothels, he settled in St. Louis, Missouri about 1890, where he studied the music genre know now as "Ragtime", a blend of European classical styles and African American harmonies and rhythm. In 1894, Joplin moved to Sedalia, Missouri, where he played at local social clubs and where he began composing music. In 1898, he tried to publish his first two ragtime tunes, but only the 1898 "Original Rags" was sold. In 1899, he sold "The Maple Leaf Rag" to a publisher, which became his first real success, and earning him a small royalty income, and encouraging him to write other tunes. Shortly after this, he wrote "The Ragtime Dance" which included stage work for dancers and a singing narrator. In 1901, he moved to St. Louis, Missouri, where he became associated with ragtime pioneer, Tom Turpin. During this time, he taught music and wrote more compositions. In 1901, he met Alfred Ernst, conductor of the St. Louis Choral Symphony Society, who thought Joplin was a musical genius as a composer, and helped him succeed. In the next two years, 1901 to 1902, Joplin wrote "Sunflower Slow Drag"; "Peacherine Rag"; "The Easy Winners"; "Cleopha"; "The Strenuous Life"; which was his tribute to United States President Theodore Roosevelt; "A Breeze from Alabama"; "Elite Syncopations"; "The Entertainer"; and "The Ragtime Dance". His first opera, in 1903, was "A Guest of Honor," which was about the black leader, Booker T. Washington's dinner at the White House with President Theodore Roosevelt in 1901. In 1904, he went to St. Louis for the World's Fair, where his ragtime tune, "Cascades" received much favorable attention. In June of 1904, he divorced his first wife and married a woman he met while visiting relatives in Arkansas. He and his first wife had drifted apart after the death of their infant daughter in 1903. Unfortunately, his bride died ten weeks after their marriage of pneumonia, from the complications of a simple cold she developed during their honeymoon. After his bride's death, Joplin left Sedalia, never to return, and his career faltered. He survived by playing for money, but continued to compose, writing a few ragtime tunes. In 1907, he published "Treemonisha" an opera that he had been writing over the previous five years. While he continued to write ragtime tunes, getting some published, and in 1911, Irvin Berlin published "Alexander's Ragtime Band," a tune that Joplin charged that was taken from his "A Real Slow Drag," a tune from the opera "Treemonisha." However, he decided not to sue the wealthy and influential Berlin. By 1916, he was suffering from tertiary or the final stage of syphilis, which he had contracted some twenty years earlier, and he died in New York City, New York in 1917. He fell into obscurity, but jazz musicians revived his work in the 1940s, and the movie, "The Sting" in 1973 brought him critical acclaim and to the attention of the public.

Bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson


Inscription

(Grave marker)
American Composer
(Memorial Bench)
"King of Ragtime"

Gravesite Details

There is a memorial bench, which is inscribed "Scott Joplin," located in a corner of Plot 5, a few feet away from the grave


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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 31 Dec 2000
  • Find a Grave Memorial ID: 556
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/556/scott-joplin: accessed ), memorial page for Scott Joplin (24 Nov 1868–1 Apr 1917), Find a Grave Memorial ID 556, citing Saint Michael's Cemetery, East Elmhurst, Queens County, New York, USA; Maintained by Find a Grave .