Biographies James Scott, 1885-1938

Image: James Scott
James Scott, [n.d.]. Misc. Iconographic Collection, Performing Arts Reading Room, Library of Congress.

Born in Neosho, Missouri, in February 1885, James Scott was the son of former slaves. After taking music lessons as a boy, he was given his first piano at the age of 16. Scott spent the next several years playing in bands and saloons and working as a song-plugger for the Dumars Music Company in Carthage, Missouri. This relationship led to Dumars' publication of the quiet young man's first two rags, "A Summer Breeze" and "The Fascinator," in 1903.

At some point, Scott traveled to St. Louis, where he met Scott Joplin. Joplin introduced his own publisher, John Stark, who then took on the promotion of Scott's works as well. Scott's last work, "Broadway Rag," was published in 1922.

In the early 1920s, Scott moved to Kansas City, where he became a music teacher. He also enjoyed a brief career as a silent film accompanist. With the advent of the "talkies," however, Scott was forced to search for other employment in the active music scene in Kansas City. For a time, for instance, he worked as an accompanist for dances. He died there in August 1938.

Scott, Joplin, and Joseph Lamb form the acknowledged triumvirate of ragtime greats. In many ways, Scott's pieces were more virtuosic than those of his two colleagues'--except for some of Lamb's "heavy" rags.

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About this Item

Title
James Scott, 1885-1938
Subject Headings
-  Scott, James -- 1885-1938 -- -- composer
-  Popular Songs of the Day
-  Songs and Music
-  Progressive Era to New Era (1900-1929)
-  Biographies
Genre
biography
Online Format
online text
Description
Biography. Biography. Scott, Joplin, and Joseph Lamb form the acknowledged triumvirate of ragtime greats. In many ways, Scott's pieces were more virtuosic than those of his two colleagues'--except for some of Lamb's "heavy" rags.
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Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of an item and securing any necessary permission ultimately rests with persons desiring to use the item. Users should consult the bibliographic information that accompanies each item for specific information. This catalog data provides the details known to the Library of Congress regarding the corresponding items and may assist users in making independent assessments of the legal status of these items as related to their desired uses.

Items included here with the permission of the rights holders are indicated as such in the bibliographic record for each item.

In some cases, the Library was unable to identify a possible rights holder and has elected to place some of those items online as an exercise of fair use for strictly non-commercial educational uses. The Library of Congress would like to learn more about these materials and would like to hear from individuals or institutions that have any additional information or know of their history. Please contact:  Performing Arts Reading Room.

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Chicago citation style:

James Scott, 1885 to 1938. Online Text. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/ihas.200035819/. (Accessed October 22, 2017.)

APA citation style:

James Scott, 1885 to 1938. [Online Text] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/ihas.200035819/.

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James Scott, 1885 to 1938. Online Text. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <https://www.loc.gov/item/ihas.200035819/>.