Joseph F. Lamb

A Passion for Ragtime


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SKU: 9780786468119 Categories: ,

About the Book

Joseph F. Lamb (1887–1960) composed with enthusiasm and was influenced by a variety of sources, all kinds of music, cultures, traditions and the everyday. Although he is considered one of classic ragtime’s “big three”—along with Scott Joplin and James Scott—he did not fit the usual profile. He was musically self-taught, held a corporate job, and composed in his spare time, yet wrote piano rags Joplin enthusiastically championed and returned to composing and well-deserved recognition long after the end of the ragtime era. This biography focuses on his music and his world, and is drawn from family and research sources. It includes a foreword by two of Lamb’s children.

About the Author(s)

Carol J. Binkowski is a musician, essayist, book reviewer (Library Journal) and nonfiction writer whose work has appeared in the New York Times and the Washington Post among others. She lives in Bloomfield, New Jersey.

Bibliographic Details

Carol J. Binkowski
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 250
Bibliographic Info: 43 photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2012
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6811-9
eISBN: 978-0-7864-9079-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

able of Contents<BR>

Acknowledgments      ix

Foreword: A Few Words from the Lamb Family by Patricia Lamb Conn and Robert J. Lamb      1

Introduction      3

Prologue      11

1. Setting the Stage (1887–1899)      13

2. From New Jersey to Canada (1900–1904)      31

3. A Montclair Homecoming and California Adventures (1904–1906)      50

4. An Unforgettable Meeting (1906–1908)      66

5. A Real Ragtime Composer (1908–1910)      82

6. Classic Rags and Brooklyn Days (1911–1920)      106

7. A Time of Transition (1920–1922)      129

8. A Happy Family (1922–1948)      136

9. Ragtime Revival (1949–1960)      159

10. Keeping the Music Alive (1960 and Beyond)      179

Epilogue      199


I: The Compositions of Joseph F. Lamb      201

II: Selected Recordings      206

III: Selected Folios of Joseph F. Lamb Compositions      208

IV: Additional Resources      209

Chapter Notes      211

Bibliography      224

Index      231

Book Reviews & Awards

“Binkowski’s book is the definitive biography of Lamb and an important contribution to the literature on ragtime. Recommended”—Library Journal; “the first real hard copy biography of Joe Lamb…excellent…labor of scholarly love offers supreme example of professional expertise and literary virtuosity. The value cannot be underestimated”—ARSC Journal; “completes a gap in ragtime’s history that has long needed to be filled. Binkowski has meticulously researched the events of Lamb’s life…she has written an eminently readable life story that keeps the reader enthralled from beginning to end. Highly recommended”—Ragtime Reviews; “excellent…I heartily recommend Binkowski’s biography as essential to anyone interested in ragtime, not only for the close, personal look at one of the genre’s major composers, but also for the revealing discussions of New York’s bustling music scene in the ragtime era. The book is copiously illustrated with rare photographs. Besides filling a major gap in the ragtime literature, the book is well-written and makes an enjoyable and informative read. My thanks to Carol Binkoswki for bringing the life of this remarkable composer into sharper focus”—VJM’s Jazz & Blues Mart; “Binkowski focuses on Lamb’s life and legacy, discussing specific compositions as they relate to the composer’s life”—Reference & Research Book News.