Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Born in St. Louis, Missouri of a Mexican Spanish-Indian father and an African-American mother, he was widely considered the finest pianist in the St. Louis area at the turn of the century. He was part of the ragtime community that met at Tom Turpin's Rosebud bar, and died in Chicago of syphilis while still in his twenties.
He left only three published compositions and died before the advent of phonograph records, so his ability is hard to judge today, but he was long remembered by his peers as an exceptionally gifted performer and composer. He is primarily remembered today for Heliotrope Bouquet, the rag he wrote with Scott Joplin, in which the first two strains are his and the last two Joplins.
His published works are:
- The Moon is Shining in the Skies (with Sam Patterson, 1903)
- Babe, It's Too Long Off (words by Elmer Bowman, 1906)
- Heliotrope Bouquet (with Scott Joplin, 1907)
- They All Played Ragtime by Rudi Blesh and Harriet Janis. Knopf, 1950.
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