If there had been a Super Bowl in 1912, “Alexander’s Ragtime Band” probably would have been the biggie in the halftime show.
This old favorite by Irving Berlin was the top tune of 1911, selling many millions of copies of….the sheet music. Most people heard the song when someone in the family sat down at the piano to tickle the ivories. The iconic Victrola phonograph was just starting to get up some steam in the consumer market, and radio didn’t go commercial until 1920.
“Alexander’s Ragtime Band” is a simple version of ragtime—Scott Joplin could have played it with one hand tied behind his back, more or less. So more or less anybody could easily learn it and play it when it was a new release before World War I.
Here’s a link to a 1911 recording made a few months after the song hit the market….and here's a linkto The Andrews Sisters (their career spanned 1925-1967) doing their version.
You can sing along too, you already know some of the words:
“Come on and hear, come on and hear
Alexander’s Ragtime Band…
The best band in the land
They can play a bugle call
Like you never heard before…”
Copyright © Richard Carl Subber 2016 All rights reserved.