Ragtime Man

Nice article about Scott Joplin, who pretty much invented ragtime music. Enjoy!

Edited to add: As requested by the author, I am adding the blog name (History Imagined, as linked below) and her name, Linda Bennett Pennell.

History Imagined: For Readers, Writers, & Lovers of Historical Fiction

joplin 2As a life-long amateur musician interested in musicology, I was surprised to see the subject of today’s post listed in the New York Times as being overlooked by history. It is hard to understand how such a seminal figure in the history of American popular music could be considered relatively unknown, but apparently such is the case. So in an effort to correct that error, it must be said that before Louis Armstrong, before Duke Ellington, before Count Basie, before Cab Calloway, before jazz, before rock and roll, before hip hop and rap, there was the King of Ragtime, Scott Joplin.

the stingHe and his music have been featured in a best-selling novel, Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow, and in movies such as The Sting, starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford. Even if his name is unfamiliar, at some point most people have surely heard his wonderful syncopated rhythms featured in…

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Beware! The “Phantom of the Opera Blogathon!”

Hi, everyone. If you enjoyed my Seen Through the Phantom’s Eyes books, you may want to investigate this blogathon. Keep your hand at the level of your eyes!

pure entertainment preservation society

“‘I had, no doubt, to do with a terrible, eccentric person, who, in some mysterious fashion, had succeeded in taking up his abode there, under the Opera house, five stories below the level of the ground. And the voice, the voice which I had recognized under the mask, was on it’s knees before me was a man! And I began to cry … The man, still kneeling, must have understood the cause of my tears, for he said, “It is true, Christine! … I am not an Angel, nor a genius, nor a ghost … I am Erik!”‘”

If these words cause a special feeling inside of you that is only felt by a true Phan, you have come to the right place! What I am about to announce is every Phans’ greatest phantasy, a blogathon dedicated entirely to all things phantasmic! Now, stay away from trapdoors, beware of shadows, and…

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Blogging from A to Z: O is for Opéra Garnier

I’m reblogging this 2017 post about the Opéra Garnier, which includes photographs from my visit. The opera house is the setting for most of In The Eye of The Beholder.

Sharon E. Cathcart

If you read any of my Seen Through the Phantom’s Eyes series, the importance of the Palais Garnier, also known as the Opéra Garnier is obvious.

oConstruction on the Palais Garnier was begun in 1861 and opened in 1875.  The architect, Charles Garnier, was a young man who won a competition, from a field of 170; Napoleon III had a vision for redesigning the city by widening the streets and creating a new “look” for the City of Light, and this was part of it.  Garnier’s opulent design reflected the Second Empire Beaux-Arts style, and presented ample opportunities to see and be seen.  At this time in history, people did not go the the opera to look at the show, but to look at one another; the house lights were not even dimmed during the performance.  Until 1881, when electricity was installed, the theatre used gaslight.

The auditorium itself is…

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Nottoway Plantation: Spirits of the White Castle on the Mississippi

Nottoway Plantation: Spirits of the White Castle on the Mississippi

Nottaway was not one of the plantations I visited while researching “Bayou Fire,” although I did see it from the car. In any event, this is a great historical look at another of Louisiana’s plantation houses. Enjoy!

History Imagined: For Readers, Writers, & Lovers of Historical Fiction

Nottoway_041853,000 sq. ft., 64 rooms, 7 stairways, 22 massive exterior columns, 12 hand-carved marble fireplaces, 15 1/2 foot ceilings, 5 galleries, and double front entry steps with a boot scraper indicating the gentlemen’s side  – these details alone would be sufficient to secure Nottoway Plantation’s place among the most notable American castles. Not only is it the largest antebellum plantation house still standing, it is a fine example of the Greek Revival architecture of the period. In its present incarnation, it is a resort destination that plays host to society weddings and guests seeking that special touch of grandeur only such hotels can provide. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a member of Historic Hotels of America. It is indeed a magnificent structure.

John-Hampden-Randolph-Family-Original-Owner-of-Nottoway-Plantation-in-White-Castle-LouisianaWhen John Hampden Randolph and his family moved into the home in 1859, Nottoway was the crowning achievement of his career…

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On August 29

From Ray Laskowitz’ beautiful Storyteller blog.

All in the wake of Hurricane (now Tropical Storm) Harvey are in my thoughts and prayers.


Healing prayers

August 29, 2005.

That was a day most of us who live in New Orleans will never forget. Hurricane Katrina blew in, and made landfall at Buras, Louisiana. The levees broke and 80 percent of the city was under water.

August 29, 2017.

Hurricane Harvey, now Tropical Storm Harvey, finally makes a turn away from Houston, where most of the city was flooded. Harvey sat over the gulf and refueled, headed northeast and then northwest. Towards us.

So far, in New Orleans, we’ve had 5.85 inches of rainfall. Our diminished pumping capacity is not really keeping up. Streets are flooding. All schools are closed. Many government offices are closed. Our smart phones have been going off all morning with flood advisories.

I know. 5.85 inches of rain is nowhere near Houston’s 40 to 60 inches of rainfall. But, our ground is already saturated. Our pumping capacity is down…

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