Friday, December 28, 2012

Rick Benjamin: 'my new biographical sketch of Will the first full-length account of his life ever written'

Rick Benjamin, Director of The Paragon Ragtime Orchestra, comments on yesterday's post on Will Accooe:


Thanks very much for your comments and also for reprinting my new biographical sketch of Will Accooe. This is the first full-length account of his life ever written, and it is based on references I have found over the years in historic black newspapers. 

An interesting side note on Accooe's "Black Patti Waltzes": he wrote them to solicit work from Black Patti and her managers - a fairly common gambit for Victorian era composer/conductors. When none was forthcoming, two years later Accooe re-titled the work and sold it to a different publisher! In 1902 he repeated that process, again re-titling the work. So three "different" waltzes in the Accooe catalog are indeed musically one and the same. 

Your readings can listen to a clip of my performance of the "Black Patti Waltzes" with the Paragon Ragtime Orchestra by clicking here:


Rick Benjamin

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