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Hot Dog

CD $17

Don Thompson

Plays Ragtime and Blues

 

THE INSTRUMENT

The three manual thirteen rank Wurlitzer pipe organ, installed in Ye Olde Pizza Joynt in Hayward, California, is a successful combination of several instruments. The ornate white and gold console came from the Warfield Theatre, San Francisco. Most of the pipework came from the State Theatre, Fresno. The average date of the instrument is 1927. The ranks are: Tibia, Vox, Flute, Diapason, Violin D'Orchestre, VDO Celeste, Salicional, Salicional Celeste, Post Horn, Brass Saxophone, Kinura, Tuba, Brass Trumpet. Among the effects used on this recording are the Calliope (used in Whistling Rufus), 5'6" Knabe Grand Piano (played from the console at three pitches), Back Beat Cymbal, Bass Drum, Crash Cymbal and Rhythm Cymbal. The instrument was the first to be installed in a pizza parlor, in 1962.

 

THE MUSIC

Not all the music is authentic ragtime and blues. Black and White, Russian, Dill Pickles, Maple Leaf and Twelfth Street rags and Whistling Rufus are original ragtime. Hot Dog is a thirties tune made famous by the British organist Sidney Torch and this is essentially his arrangement. Butterflies in the Rain and Kitten on the Keys are piano novelties arranged for this recording in a more ragtime idiom. Colonial Rag is a Don Thompson original composition. Tiger Rag dates from the big band era. Birth of the Blues, St Louis Blues and Aunt Hagar's blues are traditional. The Alcoholic Blues dates from the beginning of prohibition and contains lines such as "So long whiskey, you used to make me frisky, So long Highball, So Long Gin, tell me when you're coming back agin!" Hard Hearted Hannah and It Had to be You are twenties tunes. The most modern piece is House of the Rising Sun which, since it is set in a "house" in New Orleans seems appropriate to the period. Most ragtime was written for and performed in disreputable establishments and it has always seem wrong to Don Thompson to perform this music in a prissy, almost classical fashion, as has been the trend recently. He feels it should reflect the bawdy, vibrant surroundings in which it was originally played; after all, the pianists of the day were not entirely ignorant of what was going on upstairs!

 

Playlist:

1. Hot Dog!

2. Butterflies in the Rain

3. Black and White Rag

4. The Alcoholic Blues

5. Russian Rag

6. Hard-Hearted Hannah

7. Whistling Rufus

8. Colonial Rag

9. Birth of the Blues

10. Dill Pickles Rag

11. Kitten on the Keys

12. Aunt Hagar's Blues

13. Maple Leaf Rag

14. St Louis Blues

15. Temptation Rag

16. It Had to be You

17. Tiger Rag

18. The Entertainer

19. House of the Rising Sun

20. Twelfth Street Rag

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