Scott Joplin

Not in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Eligible since: 1924 (The 1925 Induction Ceremony)

Previously Considered? No  what's this?

Inducted into Rock Hall Projected in 2025 (ranked #44 in the Influences - Pre-Rock Era category) .

Essential Songs (?)WikipediaAmazon MP3YouTube
The Entertainer (1902)
Maple Leaf Rag (1916)

Scott Joplin @ Wikipedia

Scott Joplin Videos

Will Scott Joplin be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame?
"Musical excellence is the essential qualification for induction."


11 comments so far (post your own)


2010 Hank Williams
2008 Bob Dylan
2007 John Coltrane
2006 Thelonious Monk
1999 Duke Ellington
1998 George Gershwin
1982 Milton Babbitt
1976 Scott Joplin
1974 Roger Sessions

Posted by Roy on Monday, 08.29.11 @ 19:34pm

The 1970 Songwriters Hall of Fame Inductee Biography

Scott Joplin (The Father of Ragtime)

Scott Joplin, American composer and pianist, was one of the most important developers of ragtime music.

Born in Texarkana, Texas on November 24, 1868, Joplin taught himself piano as a child, learning classical music from a German neighbor, Louis Chauvin. In his teens he became an itinerant pianist in the low-life districts that provided the chief employment for black musicians.

He settled in St. Louis in 1885. In 1893 he played at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, and in 1894 he moved to Sedalia, Missouri. While in Missouri, he published “Original Rags” and “Maple Leaf Rag” (both in 1899) and opened a teaching studio. He moved to New York City in 1907. In 1911, at his own expense, he published his opera Treemonisha, a work intended to go beyond ragtime to create an indigenous black American opera. Staged in concert version in 1911, it failed with the audience, leaving the composer's spirit permanently broken.

Joplin's music underwent a great revival after his rag “The Entertainer” was used in the 1973 film The Sting, after which Treemonisha was staged with great success in 1975 by the Houston Grand Opera. Other Joplin compositions include “Peacherine Rag” (1901), “Palm Leaf Rag-A Slow Drag” (1903), and “Euphonic Sounds” (1909) and a work that contains his explanation of ragtime style, “The School of Ragtime: Six Exercises for Piano”(1909).

Scott Joplin, the father of ragtime and one of the most influential composers of American popular song, died in New York City on April 4, 1919.

Posted by Roy on Wednesday, 08.31.11 @ 21:06pm

Scott Joplin


Posted by Roy on Thursday, 09.1.11 @ 05:21am

A giant of North American, nay, Western music. I'd support an Early Influence induction.

Posted by Chalkie on Monday, 11.28.11 @ 00:35am

Sadly, though, he shouldn't technically get an Early Influence induction, since he never recorded any of his songs. No wax cylinders, no magnetic wire spools, no nothing. The closest he came was creating songs to be played on player piano rolls. That and sheet music. Odd predicament. Still, it's hard to say he's not deserving of some sort of induction.

Posted by Philip on Sunday, 05.12.13 @ 00:40am

The father of ragtime (despite Ben Harney billing himself as such) deserves a spot in any credible music hall of fame. Since this is the RNRHOF, which has a recent disturbing track record of pretending nothing happened musically before the Beatles, I doubt Joplin would even cross the narrow minds of the voting committee (In fact, I doubt most of them even know who he is, despite the fact that The Entertainer and Maple Leaf Rag are arguably two of the most recognizable and famous pieces of non-classical music ever written and recorded). Testament to the immortality of Joplin's works is that over 70 years after The Entertainer was originally composed, Marvin Hamlisch revived it for the soundtrack of The Sting and earned a #3 chart hit in 1974 (#1 on Adult Contemporary charts). There are songs half as old that don't have that kind of staying power.

Posted by Zach on Wednesday, 01.28.15 @ 20:44pm

Nearly 6 million views on YouTube - testament to the timelessness and universality of Scott Joplin's work:

Posted by Zach on Monday, 02.23.15 @ 21:11pm

I recently visited the Scott Joplin House/Museum in St. Louis a few months back. I already knew his legacy, but it was quite a thrill to set foot in the only place in the world devoted to 'the king of ragtime'. I'm not sure I'd go as far as putting him in as an early inductee. If so, that should have been a longgg time ago! But in some cases, its not too late. Ragtime was laid out as the beginning of American popular music, and it evolved into rock and roll. I agree, Zach, his name probably won't cross any of the voting committee members minds, but at least there's The Sting. By the way, if you're ever in St. Louis, be sure to check out the museum. You'll be glad you did.

Posted by Jason Voigt on Tuesday, 02.24.15 @ 20:43pm

Thank you very kindly for the recommendation, Jason. I'll certainly bookmark the Scott Joplin House/Museum on my "must-visit" list when I do make it to St. Louis. Such a brilliant composer he was.

Posted by Zach on Saturday, 03.7.15 @ 22:45pm

Philip, you're technically wrong, he recorded a few on piano roll, an analog recording format

Posted by Timothy on Sunday, 03.19.17 @ 00:25am

Piano rolls are more akin to music boxes though. Actually, not even that. More like sheet music, because each performance will sound different based on the piano it's played on, whereas a reproduction format that actually captures the sound of the artist as they perform it will presumably sound (relatively) pretty much the same whether you play it on a cassette, a CD, a record, etc. Or whether you play it on one CD player or another. Not the same at all.

Posted by Philip on Sunday, 03.19.17 @ 21:28pm

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