(November 24, 1868 - April 1, 1917)
Black composer Scott Joplin, often called the "King of Ragtime Music", was born in Texarkana, Texas, five years before the townsite was platted in 1873. His family lived in this vicinity, and he attended nearby Orr School on Laurel Street. His early musical training came from his father, Giles Joplin, an ex-slave who played the fiddle, and mother, Florence Givens Joplin, who played the banjo. By tradition, a German music teacher realized Joplin's talent and gave him lessons.
Joplin left home at age 14 and wandered through the midwest entertaining in saloons and honky-tonks. In the 1890s, he was one of the originators of ragtime, a rhythmic new musical form that combined black and white musical traditions. Joplin's "Maple Leaf Rag", published in 1899, launched ragtime as a national fad. Joplin defended ragtime against those who called it frivolous and worked constantly to refine his music, which included over 30 piano rags. Demand for ragtime had declined by 1917, when Joplin died in New York City.
Joplin's background is revealed in his most ambitious work, the black folk opera "Treemonisha", set on a plantation "northeast of the town of Texarkana". It was not produced until the 1970s, when a revival of Joplin's music inspired public recognition of his genius.
Erected 1976 by
Location. 33° 25.796′ N, 94° 2.599′ W. Marker is in Texarkana, Texas, in Bowie County. Marker is at the intersection of North State Line Avenue (U.S. 71) and Hazel Street, on the right when traveling south on North State Line Avenue. Touch for map. Located behind the Texarkana Chamber of Commerce, near the James Bowie statue. Marker is at or near this postal address: 901 North State Line Avenue, Texarkana TX 75501, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 5 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. James Bowie (a few steps from this marker); Central Christian Church (within shouting distance of this marker); Texarkana (within shouting distance of this marker); United States Post Office and Courthouse (approx. 0.3 miles away); Confederate Records Stored at Rondo (approx. 4½ miles away in Arkansas).
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker.
Also see . . .
1. Wikipedia article about Scott Joplin. (Submitted on August 7, 2016, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
2. Texas State Historical Association article about Scott Joplin. (Submitted on August 7, 2016, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
Categories. • African Americans • Arts, Letters, Music • Notable Persons •
Credits. This page was last revised on July 6, 2017. This page originally submitted on August 7, 2016, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 256 times since then and 81 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on August 7, 2016, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.