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date: 15 November 2019

Pratt, Paul (Charles )locked

  • John Edward Hasse
  • , revised by Tim Smolko

Extract

(Charles )

(b New Salem, IN, Nov 1, 1890; d Indianapolis, IN, July 7, 1948). American Ragtime composer and pianist. In 1909 he became the manager for the recently established popular-music publisher J.H. Aufderheide & Co. in Indianapolis. That same year Aufderheide issued Pratt’s first piano rag, “Vanity,” and in 1911 Pratt moved to Chicago to open a short-lived branch office for the firm, and began collaborating on popular songs with the lyricist J. Will Callahan (1874–1946). In 1914 John Stark issued Pratt’s “Hot House Rag,” a virtuoso showpiece and his finest work. From 1917, as a piano-roll artist for the United States Music Company, he recorded several of his own rags which were never published in sheet-music form. He wrote a few novelty songs, such as “Gasoline,” which comments upon the increasing impact of automobiles on American culture. With the demise of ragtime Pratt began traveling as a piano accompanist in vaudeville, playing under the stage name of Paul Parnell. In ...

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