2013 WCRF Seminars
November 22, 23, and 24
Updated 11/13/2013. Previous update 11/12/2013

Click on presenter's name for biographical information. 

Click on the Day/Time/Room link view the seminar's location on the schedule.

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Bryan CatherThe Joplin Mythology 
Sunday, 12:30 to 1:30 P.M., Camellia
This seminar will take a critical look at many details of Scott Joplin's life that have, over the course of time, become accepted as "canon" but may or may not be true. As Bryan will discuss in his presentation, in some cases, logic and newly discovered information will show these long-held suppositions to be untrue, while in others they will serve to reinforce their validity. This seminar promises to be thought-provoking and challenging yet interesting and accessible to the audience.
Check out Bryan's Living a Ragtime Life blog.

Andrew GreeneStep With Pep: The Music of Mel B. Kaufman
Saturday, Noon to 1:00 P.M. Camellia
Come hear Andrew Greene's engaging and informative talk on the "King of The One Step", Mel B. Kaufman. Today Kaufman has fallen into the ranks of many obscure ragtime composers, but his works helped bridge the gap between ragtime and early jazz, and were frequently used in movies and cartoons. Featuring never-before-seen photos of the composer, recently uncovered information on the composer's life, and historic recordings, Andrew will share his knowledge of this oft-forgotten composer with the festival audience.

Max Morath - The Truth About Ragtime: Little-known facts and fictions about our seven-lettered music: sights, sounds, and seductions
Friday, 10:30 to Noon, Camellia
Sunday, 1:30 to 2:45 P.M., Camellia
Sounds controversial, and to some it might be. A bit tongue-in-cheek, but mostly reflections on the music and the times from Max Morath’s experience and study of it. 

David Reffkin - The Sting at 40: A Sure Bet that Paid 29-to-1
Saturday, 1:00 to 2:00 P.M. Camellia
This movie accomplished what no other picture ever did: it thoroughly revitalized and re-popularized an entire genre of music. The Sting is the 1973 film that either introduced you to ragtime or verified what you already knew: Scott Joplin wrote neat music. But what is the hidden truth about the bestseller status of The Entertainer? What was Marvin Hamlisch's astonishing response to David Reffkin's request for an interview? Is it really possible to quantify the time it took to alter history? You will be stunned by the revelation presented at the very opening of this seminar. Yet the tension, surprise, horror and enlightenment will only intensify as the story unfolds toward the dramatic, shocking conclusion!

Sean Sharp There’s Lots of Stations on My Railroad Track: The Life and Times of Eddie Morton, Vaudeville Singer
Saturday, 11:00 A.M. - Noon, Camellia 
The seminar is on the life and times of popular vaudeville singer and recording artist Eddie Morton, whose recording career was from 1907-1917 and whose vaudeville career lasted into the late 1920s. This multi-media presentation will use projected images, audio files of Morton’s recordings, and actual 78 rpm records of Morton that Sean will play on his antique phonograph, a circa 1910 Victor V Talking Machine. Come hear Morton’s superb ragtime-era vocals and be transported back to the days when vaudeville reigned supreme.

Bruce Vermazen Those Entertaining Frisco Boys: Hedges Brothers and Jacobson
Sunday, 11:30 TO 12:30, Camellia 
Charles Frederick (Freddie) Hedges (1886–1920), his brother Elven Everett Hedges (1889–1931), and Jesse Jacobson (1882–1959) got together in San Francisco’s Cafe District (now a part of the Tenderloin) in 1910. Elven was a celebrated ragtime pianist who also played saxophone and guitar, and all three sang and danced. When the trio went on the vaudeville stage in 1910–11, critics greeted the act as something new and exceptionally good. The Hedges Brothers and Jacobson toured England in 1911-12 and were praised by the English press as “one of the first among the best” of American ragtime singing groups. Bruce's seminar will trace their careers from an Iowa circus to the Barbary Coast to the music halls of England and beyond using photographs and excerpts from recordings by them and related groups.