[Dixielandjazz] Stolen tunes

Hal Vickery hvickery at svs.com
Sat Dec 3 09:31:18 PST 2005

I've never heard this story, but it sounds like yet another variation on the
stories that circulated back then that Berlin had "a little colored boy"
hidden somewhere who wrote all his material for him.  There was never any
evidence for that either.

Hal Vickery

-----Original Message-----
From: dixielandjazz-bounces at ml.islandnet.com
[mailto:dixielandjazz-bounces at ml.islandnet.com] On Behalf Of Jim O'Briant
Sent: Saturday, December 03, 2005 10:59 AM
To: dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com
Subject: RE: [Dixielandjazz] Stolen tunes

Barrie Walter Marshall wrote:

> ...it would be interesting to compile a 
> list of stolen or re-used tunes or tunes 
> put into another tune....has anybody got any?

There is circumstantial and anecdotal evidence, but nothing more than that,
regarding "Alexander's Ragtime Band."  In his biography of Scott Joplin, Ed
Berlin discusses the possibility that this tune was originally written by
Scott Joplin as the finale to "Treemonisha," but that Irvin Berlin
appropriated it, added his own lyrics, and published it as "Alexander's
Ragtime Band." When Berlin's published version became a hit, Joplin then
wrote a new finale for his ragtime opera, so that he wouldn't be accused of
stealing from Berlin.

For those interested, the book is "King of Ragtime: Scott Joplin and His
Era," by Edward A. Berlin.

Jim O'Briant
Gilroy, CA
* Principal Tuba, South Valley Symphony
* Eb Bass, The Pacific Brass
* Occasional Tuba, Tommy Bro's Hecker Pass
    All-Star Dixieland Jazz Band
* Occasional Tuba, Mission Gold Jazz Band
* Available for almost any style of music

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