I always enjoyed how “The Entertainer” was used in The Sting. Timing and inflections could change per the mood of a scene, but the song was always the same. I remember when that movie came out Marvin Hamlisch made the daytime talk show circuit – Merv Griffin, Mike Douglass, Dinah Shore, et al – probably several times each, playing that song.
Not until recently did I learn that Scott Joplin wrote “The Entertainer” in 1902. He is “The King of Ragtime”. I would have assumed that Hamlisch wrote it. I’m not calling Hamlisch out – it’s possible that they talked about Joplin and I wasn’t paying attention – but I’m setting the record straight for myself.
My meager contribution to Black History Month this year.
(Perhaps next year I can do a whole radio show or a playlist to celebrate the month.)
There are no recordings of Joplin’s playing – he died before any recording technology was in wide use. But there are piano rolls!