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date: 22 September 2019

Matthews, Artielocked

  • Trebor Jay Tichenor

Extract

(b Braidwood, IL, Nov 15, 1888; d Cincinnati, Oct 25, 1958). American ragtime composer and music educator. He grew up in Springfield, Illinois, where he learnt ragtime from two local pianists, Banty Morgan and Art Dillingham, and played professionally in the tenderloin district. After moving to St Louis about 1908 he studied the piano, the organ and theory, and composed and arranged for local theatres. He also transcribed rags by other composers for the music publisher John Stark, who issued Matthews’s five Pastime rags. Jelly Roll Morton, who visited St Louis at this time, recalled Matthews as ‘the best musician in town’. In 1915 Matthews took a position as church organist in Chicago and shortly thereafter one at the Berea Church in Cincinnati, where he settled at the end of World War I. There he earned a degree at the Metropolitan College of Music and Dramatic Arts (...

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