The PRO Listening Room:


Truly “America’s Original Music,” Ragtime was the electrifying marriage of ancient African and European musical traditions, both newly-tranplanted to the great American Midwest. Beginning as an underground, improvised black style in the 1880s, by the mid-1890s Ragtime exploded as the nation’s first coast-to-coast popular music “craze” and was enjoyed by people of all races. The eccentric rhythm is the “thing” – listen:

Orchestral Rags –

“Delirium Tremens Rag” (F. Henri Klickmann, 1913)
Paragon Ragtime Orchestra [excerpt]. From the album More Candy.

“A Breeze From Alabama” (Scott Joplin, 1902) 
Paragon Ragtime Orchestra [excerpt]. From the album PRO (finally) Plays ‘The Entertainer.’

“The Smiler” (Percy Wenrich, 1907)
Paragon Ragtime Orchestra [excerpt]. From the album Minding the Score.


Piano Rags – 

“That Teasin’ Rag” (Joe Jordan, 1909)
Rick Benjamin, piano soloist; Paragon Ragtime Orchestra [excerpt].
From the album Barrelhouse to Broadway.

“The Smiler” (Percy Wenrich, 1907) 
Rick Benjamin, piano [excerpt]. From the album Minding the Score.


Vocal Rags –

“The Wedding Glide” (Louis A. Hirsch, 1912) 
Colte Juilian, baritone; Bernadette Boerckel, soprano; Paragon Ragtime Orchestra [excerpt].
From the album Midnight Frolic.

“Lovie Joe” (Joe Jordan/Will Marion Cook, 1910) 
Bernadette Boerckel, comedienne; Paragon Ragtime Orchestra & Singers; [excerpt]. 
From the album Barrelhouse to Broadway.


Ragtime Solos for Orchestral Instruments –

“Oh You Drummer!” [a.k.a. “The Ragtime Drummer”] (J. Leubrie Hill, 1910)
Joseph Bracchitta, drum set soloist; Paragon Ragtime Orchestra.
From the album The Whistler And His Dog.

“Hallelujah Trombone” (Henry Fillmore, 1920) 
Mike Boschen, trombone soloist; Paragon Ragtime Orchestra
From the album ‘Round The Christmas Tree.


Theater Music
Dance Music
Popular Song
Silent Film Music
The Blues & Early Jazz
Concert Music
Classical Music & Opera

The Root: African-American Music

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Where America's Music Begins
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