[Ok, so I just speak into this tube and the needle writes it on the wax? Bully, gramps.] Hello, friends out there! My name is Kid Tony and I have hit upon a most Bully idea: a recorded Cabaret Show! 
Yes, I record the music and the drink recipies, and you dear listener, at your leisure, listen to it right at home from your phonograph! And what a first show to present! I'm here at the St. Louis World's Fair [image from wikimedia], seeing first hand all the amazing new things we can come to expect in this new 20th Century, like electric lights, auto-carriages, flying machines and even, one day perhaps, telephones without wires! All of this innovation has made me want to introduce to the world some of the new innovations we are seeing in the world of music.
The way this will work is that I will perform some of those exciting new musical styles, for this debut record we'll hear that new sound they're calling "Ragtime" due to the "ragged" time it keeps, then give you some background. Then I will read off the directions on how to make a Tom Collins cocktail. You can listen, learn, and enjoy as if you were live at a cabaret. You ready? Bully!
Chances are you may have heard some of the Ragtime sound performed in the local piano parlour or even bought the sheet music yourself. Likely, and in this narrator's personal opinion unfortunately, it was probably Mr. Ernest Hogan's [image from wikimedia] top selling hit "All Coons Look Alike to Me". Now, I know this'll get me in trouble, particularly down south where I'm from, and I'm sure Mr. Hogan was being what we call ironic when he wrote that (and yes, I'm calling a Negro "mister"...feel free to smash this record if you do not like it, sir!), but things like that just aren't doing much to heal the woulds of the war even this forty-some years on!
Now, Mr. Hogan may not have invented the Ragtime sound (I hear it's been brewing among Negro musicians for a while now, based on the old "Cakewalk" dance of the slavery days), but he can be thanked for formalizing it and introducing it to the world beyond the back parlours with his "Pas Ma La" and later popularizing it with...that other unfortunate song.
Either way, it's got a type of beat and rhythm that's distinctly of African origin, which despite what those guys in the white hoods down south seem to think, has already permeated the American sound through cultural osmosis, for lack of a better term. Who knows? Perhaps the Negro sound is to be the future of American music! Folks have elected Irishmen to public office now, so why not?
'So, how about a sample of this new sound I'm talking about', you must be asking. And I hear you fine folks; let us look at some of the other great music from the Ragtime writers. Here's a man who's making quite a splash, Mister Scott Joplin. A Saint Louis man, his Maple Leaf Rag has sold quite well. Here, I'll play it for you now:
Now, wasn't that nice? I think that piece captures the essence of Ragtime, though I personally am partial to one of his lesser-known songs called "The Entertainer", which just has, well, a sting to it, you might say:
Another popular Ragtime musician is Joseph Lamb, a white musician who is making a name for himself even in the Negro music circles, which frankly shows how music is the universal constant that pulls our species together [get your hands away from that knob! I paid for this session, I get to record what I want to say, gramps! Hey...I heard that 'punk kid' comment!]. Anyway, without further ado, here's Mr. Lamb's famous, fabulous American Beauty Rag:
And for a finale, we go to yet another St. Louis Ragtime musician, the great Mr. James Scott with his, shall we say "hopping" Frog Legs Rag:
There, wasn't that bully? Brings a little jump to your step as you walk down to the streetcar.
It is looking to be a new and exciting century ahead of us here, folks. Who knows what new crazy scientific inventions will change our lives? Who knows if we'll be flying to work or talking on the radiophone to folks in China? If this new Ragtime music is any indication, then we have a new and exciting century of original American music ahead of us as well, and I will be here to share it with you all!
Oh, and I promised you a recipie for a Tom Collins, didn't I?
Tom Collins Cocktail:
[image from esquire.com]
Fill a Collins Glass (10 oz tall highball glass) with ice. Add gin, lemon juice, and syrup. Top up with soda and stir. Garnish with a lemon slice and maraschino cherry.
1 - A little piece "out of the archives" here, folks! Last set I went Atomic...now I'm delving for a set on the other end of the Diesel Era, exploring the late Steam Era looking for the very origins of the Diesel Era's music and showing how Artists Lead the Way, culturally speaking, and how fluid our culture is beyond our post facto labels.