My parents divorced when I was 22; my father gave my mother the baby grand when he left. He gave her a lot of other things too, but I was really surprised about the piano. After all, he was the one who played it. I had an indifferent 2 years worth of lessons and gave up; my sisters both tried it and gave up. My mother, as far as I know, never played. When I visit my dad and stepmom in Tulsa these days, he has a small upright. At least he didn’t give up playing too.

When I was a kid, I had trouble getting to sleep (I still do). I used to lay awake at night for what seemed like loooong hours, staring out at the crack of light coming through the hallway door, listening to my father play piano. He was particularly fond of Joplin rags, and I would listen to the music coming in under the door until I finally fell asleep.

What music came in under your door when you were young and impressionable?

[ed note – tracks removed. contact me for a copy.]

01. Scott Joplin – Weeping Willow Rag
02. Scott Joplin – Elite Syncopations
03. Scott Joplin – Pleasant Moments
04. Scott Joplin – The Easy Winners
05. Scott Joplin – Bethena

(Obviously these are played neither by my father, or by Joplin himself, but Tom Pascale or John Robson. You can find more at The Piano Society.)



  1. John’s avatar

    my folks used to play “kentucky woman” by neil diamond over and over again at night after my brother and i had gone to bed. it still plays in my head when i can’t sleep…or when i’m having nightmares.

  2. James’s avatar

    Thanks! Of course, as a “good Canadian boy”, my favourite Joplin is The Maple Leaf Rag :-) But I’m fond of his other works as well.

  3. zara’s avatar

    Ah, I love the Maple Leaf Rag too! But like Scully said, “I only get five?”

  4. zara’s avatar

    John — Just that one song? They must have really liked it :D

  5. juliette’s avatar

    this is very great, thanks.

  6. juliette’s avatar

    ps i might have a joplin plays joplin hanging around here somewhere if you’d like it.

  7. zara’s avatar

    Hey, we’re postmodern here. We don’t *do* the artists playing themselves. Only covers!!

    Just kidding. I think I have one too in my CD case; it’s just easier to cadge them off of pianosociety.

  8. chad’s avatar

    Billy Joel mostly.

  9. zara’s avatar

    Oh man, I used to love Billy Joel. “Storm Front” was one of my top all time albums of 8th grade.

  10. suzz’s avatar

    Hi Bon Ton, I love the song “Bethena” so much. Could you please kindly send this song to me? :)

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