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Today in WMH: Ragtime Revival

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4/2 Today in Weird Music History: 1974.  The music of Scott Joplin had passed into obscurity when film director George Roy Hill heard a recording he liked.  Partially thanks to the music, Hill’s next film. The Sting, won seven total Oscars on this date in 1974, including Best Picture and Best Song Score and/or Adaptation.  A seemingly small revival started by musicologist/pianist Joshua Rifkin was now big business.  Marvin Hamlisch’s rescoring of Joplin’s The Entertainer soon hit #3 on the Billboard pop charts; the soundtrack got to #1 spot on the album chart.  Marvin Hamlisch’s work on the movie score also propelled him to win the “Best New Artist” at the following year’s Grammys.  An interesting footnote: After Joplin’s death in 1917, he was buried in an unmarked pauper’s grave. His grave was finally given a marker in 1974, after as his music regained popularity.

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