The Free-Reed Review
Critiques of Compact Discs, Books and Music Scores

CD Review: Real Ragtime
Disc Recordings from Its Heyday


  • John J. Kimmel: accordion
  • Guido Deiro: accordion
  • Pietro Deiro: accordion

    Plus other ragtime performers:

  • Vess L. Ossman: banjo
  • Arthur Collins: voice, banjo with orchestra
  • Victor Military Band
  • Joseph P. Cullen and William G. Collins: banjo duet
  • Sousa's Band
  • William H. Reitz: xylophone solo with orchestra
  • American Quartet: male quartet with orchestra
  • Fred Van Eps Trio: banjo, piano & drums
  • Arthur Pryor's Military Band
  • Metropolitan Orchestra
  • Billy Murray: tenor with orchestra
  • Earl Fuller's Rector Novelty Orchestra
  • Eddie Morton: baritone solo
  • 'Gene Greene: voice with orchestra


    Florida Rag (1907)-Vess L. Ossman
    When Uncle Joe Plays a Rag on His Old Banjo (1912)-Arthur Collins
    Booster Fox Trot (1915)-Victor Military Band
    Berkeley March (1898)-Cullen and Collins
    Hu-la Hu-la Cake Walk (1901)-Sousa's Band
    Dill Pickles Rag (1922)-William H. Reitz
    Cakewalk (1907)-John Kimmel
    Everybody Rag with Me (1915)-American Quartet
    Creole Belles (1902)-Orchestra
    By the Sycamore Tree (1904)-Ossman and Hunter
    The International Rag (1913)-Collins and Harlan
    Silver Heels (1919) -Fred Van Eps
    Canhanibalmo Rag (1911)-Arthur Pryor's Band
    A Coon Band Contest (1901)-Vess L. Ossman
    You're Talking Rag-Time (1900)-Arthur Collins
    Whipped Cream (1913)-Fred Van Eps
    Deiro Rag (1912)-Guido Deiro
    Old Folks Rag (1914)-Van Eps Trio
    Ragged William (1901) -Metropolitan Orchestra
    Ragtime Temple Bells (1915)-Billy Murray
    Russian Rag (1918)-Earl Fuller's Rector Novelty Orchestra
    Hungarian Rag (1914)-Pietro Deiro
    Wild Cherry Rag (1909)-Eddie Morton
    The King of Rags (1907)-Arthur Pryor's Band
    Darkies Awakening (1904)-Vess L. Ossman
    Cohan's "Rag Babe"(1908)-Arthur Collins
    Some Baby (1914)-Van Eps Banjo Orchestra
    Ruff Johnson's Harmony Band (1917)-'Gene Greene

    total time: 73:58
    released: 1999
    review date: January 2001

    label: Archeophone (1001)

    Review by Henry Doktorski:

    I was pleased to receive this CD in the mail, as it included historic cylinder recordings (not disc records, mind you; wax cylinder recordings) by three great American accordionists whose performances helped form the foundation for the "golden age of the accordion" in the first half of the 20th century: John J. Kimmel, Guido Deiro and Pietro Deiro. I was especially pleased to receive this anthology, as I will be performing two of Guido's compositions at City University of New York in March later this year (see Free-Reed Center Announces Symposium and Concert).

    Real Ragtime elicits the highest praise from a tired and jaded reviewer like myself. The 18-page booklet includes an essay on ragtime, biographies of the performers, descriptions of each track including title of song, composer, time, performer, date and place of recording (including which take was used, if known), cylinder label and number, and comprehensive notes about each piece.

    For instance, let me share with you the booklet notes about Kimmel and the piece he played.

    I'm not going to quote from the notes about Guido and Pietro Deiro (Deiro Rag and Hungarian Rag); you're going to have to buy the CD first. However, I will whet your appetite by revealing that the booklet includes a photo of Pietro from the November 1915 catalog of Victor Records.

    In my opinion, every self-proclaimed lover of the accordion should be embarrassed if this disc is not in his or her collection.

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