Real Ragtime: Disc Recordings From Its Heyday
Various Artists

Real Ragtime
January 2, 2016 hennessey
Various Artists: Real Ragtime: Disc Recordings From Its Heyday


29 songs from 1898-1923, 28-page booklet with historical notes, artist bios, and rare graphics. Includes two extremely rare Berliner discs. Banjos by Ossman and Van Eps, raggy marches by Pryor and Sousa, vocals by Collins, American Quartet, and 'Gene Greene, and much more. These are the ragtime records people heard during the genre's formative years. List price: $16.49


  • Catalogue number: ARCH 1001A
  • UPC: 656605911724
  • Original release date: December 5, 1999
  • Running length: 78:06 / 29 tracks
  • Notes & packaging: Includes a 28-page booklet
  • Tracks recorded: 1898-1919
  • Contains racially derogatory language
  • In Archeophone’s Genres series
  • Newly remastered in 2016
Tracks and Sound SamplesProduct DescriptionReviewsPackage DealsMore by these Artists
 Sample all tracks 
1. Florida Rag Vess L. Ossman 1907
2. When Uncle Joe Plays a Rag on His Old Banjo Arthur Collins 1912
3. Booster Fox Trot Victor Military Band 1915
4. Berkeley March Joseph P. Cullen And William G. Collins 1898
5. Hu-la Hu-la Cake Walk Sousa’s Band 1901
6. Dill Pickles Rag Chris Chapman 1908
7. Cakewalk John J. Kimmel ca. 1907
8. Everybody Rag with Me American Quartet 1915
9. Creole Belles Columbia Orchestra ca. 1902
10. By the Sycamore Tree Medley Vess L. Ossman and William Parke Hunter 1904
11. The International Rag Arthur Collins and Byron Harlan 1913
12. Silver Heels Fred Van Eps 1919
13. Canhanibalmo Rag Arthur Pryor’s Band 1911
14. A Coon Band Contest Vess L. Ossman 1901
15. You’re Talking Rag-Time Arthur Collins 1900
16. Sugar Plum Samuel Siegel and Roy Butin 1909
17. Whipped Cream Fred Van Eps 1913
18. Deiro Rag Guido Deiro 1912
19. Old Folks Rag Van Eps Trio 1914
20. Ragged William Metropolitan Orchestra 1901
21. Ragtime Temple Bells Billy Murray 1914
22. Russian Rag Earl Fuller’s Rector Novelty Orchestra 1918
23. Hungarian Rag Pietro Deiro 1914
24. Wild Cherry Rag Eddie Morton 1909
25. The King of Rags Arthur Pryor’s Band 1907
26. The Darkie’s Awakening Vess L. Ossman 1904
27. Cohan’s “Rag Babe” Arthur Collins 1908
28. Some Baby Van Eps Banjo Orchestra 1914
29. Ruff Johnson’s Harmony Band Gene Greene 1917

Now available: the second edition of Archeophone’s first release, RealRagtime. This new edition features fully remastered tracks, expanded notes, and a bonus selection. The sound of these 100-year old records is better than ever, and our understanding of the historical and musical significance of the songs is enhanced by added commentary from noted musician and scholar David Sager. Also, notice that the new Real Ragtime now features the original version of “Dill Pickles Rag” by Chris Chapman from 1908 and a bonus track, “Sugar Plum,” by mandolin player Samuel Siegel, along with Roy Butin on harp-guitar.

Where are the pianos? Where is Scott Joplin?

If you want to buy a collection of ragtime music these days, you’ll find contemporary pianists and combos performing lively interpretations of classic rags. We’re offering something different: the actual ragtime disc records that common people were buying during the time of the genre’s heyday, spanning roughly 1893-1917. Real Ragtime features 29 tracks recorded between 1898-1922, which show that people at home were not listening to piano ragtime as much as we might have thought!

Wow! There are a lot of banjo numbers here!

While the major labels did record and release piano solos during the pioneer era of the industry (1890s-1920s), they were comparatively rare and not usually ragtime numbers. Instead, ragtime was performed by marching bands, banjoists, popular vocalists, and other unusual instruments such as accordion and xylophone.

Real Ragtime gives you a breathtaking view of the varieties recorded ragtime took. On banjo, you’ll hear “The Banjo King,” Vess L.Ossman performing “Florida Rag” and “By the Sycamore Tree” (with Parke Hunter). We’ve also got Fred Van Eps doing several numbers, notably the spirited “Whipped Cream.”

I didn’t know there were so many vocal rags!

Along with the banjoist Ossman, Arthur Collins is probably the most signicant of early recorded ragtime performers. At a time when “coon songs” were nearly synonymous with ragtime, the songs Collins sang were most popular, such as “When Uncle Joe Plays a Rag on His Old Banjo” (with Ossman) and “You’re Talking Rag-Time”—the latter a rare Berliner record from 1900.

That’s not all: Archeophone presents some of the most famous ragtime singers—’Gene Greene (“The Ragtime King”) performing “Ruff Johnson’s Harmony Band,” Eddie Morton doing “Wild Cherry Rag,” and one of our favorites, “Everybody Rag with Me,” by the American Quartet, led by Billy Murray.

Who would have thought marching bands could cut loose!

Arthur Pryor, chief arranger for Sousa’s Band, led the way. We have Pryor’s “Canhanibalmo Rag” and “The King of Rags,” along with “Booster,” played by the Victor Military Band. Try to sit still! Plus there are several others, including “Hu-la Hu-la Cake Walk” by Sousa’s Band (from 1901).

What? Accordions?

Yes. Just listen to Pietro Deiro’s “Hungarian Rag.” This demonstrates how well-suited the accordion really was for recording ragtime into the acoustic horn. It also witnesses to another ragtime phenomenon: classical motifs “ragged up” by the performers. Deiro’s subject is Franz Liszt’s “Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2.” We’ve also got Pietro’s brother Guido showing off on “Deiro Rag,” from 1912.

But really, all the tracks here on are virtuoso performances. You will understand when you hear Real Ragtime why the listening public was content to stay at home—and not go down to the saloon to hear player pianos.

By the way, Scott Joplin recorded some piano rolls, but he never made a disc or cylinder recording.

Ragtime: No Longer a Novelty in Sepia
David Wonderich, New York Times, January 21, 2001

This release is included in the following packages.

The Roots and Ragtime Collection

Save 10% when you order three of our most popular titles together.

The Genres Series

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All Things Archeophone

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