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Namespaces Page Discussion. Views Read Edit View history. Display Options. In other languages Add links. This page was last edited on 21 December , at Titanic and was played in the 1st Class Lounge early on in the sinking. This is portrayed in James Cameron 's blockbuster, Titanic. The Georgia Tech Pep Band plays the song before every men's and women's home basketball games. Liza Minnelli frequently opens her concerts with the song. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

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For the film of this name, see Alexander's Ragtime Band film. Alexander's Ragtime Band. This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Refer also to the family genealogy websites www. King of Ragtime , Oxford University Press, , p. BING magazine. International Club Crosby. Retrieved September 20, University of California at Santa Cruz. Retrieved June 20, He told four to "cut that band song out.

Berlin himself took advantage of the song's popularity by reusing its ideas or referencing it in later songs.

Alexander's Ragtime Band () | Moochin' About

The first instance came quickly, with a musical quote in "Whistling Rag," published on March 31, These songs have syncopation and the "raggy" feel that came to be synonymous with ragtime, and were features of "Alexander. Hon', better run, just because I hear them tuning up. The chorus, in turn, tells of the individual instruments in the band, expanding on the earlier idea of "they can play a bugle call like you never heard before. Alfred Bryan, Cliff Hess, and Edgar Leslie wrote "When Alexander Takes His Ragtime Band to France" in , quoting both the words and music for "come on along" from Berlin's song, making it clear just which band would be going "over there.


Freedman and Harry D. Squires published "When Alexander Blues the Blues," which musically alludes to the "oh ma honey" phrase and in the lyric mentions this piano playing Alexander working his magic on "Swanee River," just like Berlin's Alexander "when he starts to blue that old Swanee River, too".

Berlin also wrote two parodies of "Alexander's Ragtime Band," adding new lyrics to the tune. The first, written April 10, , was prompted by the possibility that the song's copyright would expire the laws were rewritten, but Berlin still did manage to outlive the copyright.

Berlin clearly was opposed to the law as it stood, but took wry consolation that he was "in the club with Stephen Foster's 'Swanee River. An unusual story around the early years of "Alexander" concerns, of all people, the Russian mystic Grigori Rasputin. The life and death of Rasputin are still mysterious, with the facts of his death uncertain and likely to remain so. It is hard to know if this story is true, but it casts an interesting light on the power of Berlin's music, and a fascinating connection to the country where he was born.

In both cases the performers were Arthur Collins and Byron G. Harlan, who made six total recordings for six different companies , all of which were released in September. In November came three recordings by Billy Murray, which are now considered the classics of the early recorded versions. Arrangements for both band and "orchestra" followed, along with a banjo arrangement by Fred Van Epps released in May and re-recorded for release in September For all its popularity, "Alexander's Ragtime Band" has appeared in only three musical films, two of which are Irving Berlin "catalogue" movies.

Alexander’s Ragtime Band

The first was Alexander's Ragtime Band , released in in conjunction with Berlin's fiftieth birthday, in which the song bookends the film, befitting its status as the title number. The original intent was for the film to be Berlin's life story. Berlin was uncomfortable being impersonated in any kind of dramatization and refused permission. The film stars Alice Faye and Tyrone Power as star-crossed lovers brought together by the title song.

Power is a classical violinist named Roger who moonlights leading a jazz ensemble to earn money.

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He stumbles on a new song, "Alexander's Ragtime Band," which Faye has just acquired and hopes to use in her act. Renamed Alexander through his association with the song, Power goes from strength to strength in show business with his group, now called Alexander's Ragtime Band, but loses Faye to Ameche though they later divorce and Faye disappears from both men's lives.

Ultimately "the first and best of all swing songs" as Power calls it in the film's final scene brings Faye back to him, when swing goes legit and Alexander's Ragtime Band appears at Carnegie Hall in New York. Hollywood changed the show from a revue to a one with a fairly standard Hollywood plot, but retained the Berlin score, including Berlin himself singing "Oh How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning. In Ethel Merman again was connected with "Alexander's Ragtime Band" on film, this time singing it in There's No Business Like Show Business , another collection of older Berlin songs, rounded out with a couple of new ones.

No biographies of either Merman or Berlin state the situation as such, but it seems obvious that the film was conceived, in part, to allow her a permanent cinematic record of the song. Marilyn Monroe rounds out the cast as O'Connor's love interest and rival for some Merman songs. While not the title song, as it was in the earlier film, "Alexander's Ragtime Band" serves as a bookend to the movie.

It appears early in one of the film's largest production numbers and then as the finale when the cast is reunited. The production number is in six sections opening with the entire Donahue family singing. The sequence then takes a series of bizarre turns. It segues to Dailey and Merman doing what appears to be a Bavarian version, complete with lederhosen and faux German with a bit of a Swiss bell ringing act added to confuse the ethnic flavor though it is mitigated somewhat in that it does allow Merman to indulge her natural comic sense. This is followed by O'Connor in kilts in a Scottish reel reminiscent of Berlin's own "Alexander's Bagpipe Band" , then Gaynor in a French oo-la-la can-can version, culminating in the non-dancing Johnny Ray at his piano giving a solo rendition in his overwrought style a low point in the production and the film.

Whatever the problems of the "Alexander" production number, the overall film is entertaining, and a rare chance for Merman to display her star power onscreen. The stage history of "Alexander's Ragtime Band" after the vaudeville appearances mentioned earlier is brief, but fascinating.

Ray Goetz, and A. The show toured the U. The dances featured were a waltz, fox trot, tango, maxixe, Ballin' the Jack, and the Turkey Trot danced by Lucille Ellis, Lenwood Morris, and the ensemble. Even with changes in music and popular entertainment, "Alexander's Ragtime Band" remains an iconic American song.

Recordings now are highly infrequent, especially as the recording industry changes, but continued interest in singers such as Al Jolson, Bing Crosby and Ethel Merman, along with cult favorites such as Connee Boswell and Bessie Smith keep their recordings of the song in circulation. Oh ma honey, oh ma honey, Better hurry and let's meander; Ain't you goin', ain't you goin', To the leader man, ragged meter man?

Oh ma honey, oh ma honey, Let me take you to Alexander's Grandstand, brass band, Ain't you comin' along? Come on and hear, come on and hear, Alexander's Ragtime Band. Come on and hear, come on and hear, It's the best band in the land. They can play a bugle call like you never heard before, So natural that you wanna go to war, That's just the bestest band what am, Honey lamb.

Come on along, come on along, Let me take you by the hand Up to the man, up to the man Who's the leader of the band.