The Heliotrope Ragtime Orchestra
San Diego, California

Home Ragtime, Early Jazz and Blues Research Lemuel J. Fowler - His Life and Music

Ragtime, Early Jazz and Blues Research

Here is a collection of links to original research by members of the Heliotrope Ragtime Orchestra.

Lemuel James Fowler (1898-1963) - His Life and Music

by Bob Pinsker

Lemuel Fowler has been a primary focus of my historical and musical research since around the turn of the 21st century. I have realized that if I did not get around to writing up what I had found, I was running the risk of repeating the mistake of Mike Montgomery, who had been researching Fowler since the late 1950s but when he passed away in 2011, the only publication of his results was in the form of a set of CD jewel case booklet notes from 1995. Although the work is by no means complete, if such a thing is ever possible, I have put up the start of a series of webpages about Fowler's life and work here.

George and Hersal Thomas, blues and boogie-woogie pioneers

by Bob Pinsker

This started in 2006 as a World War I Draft Registration Card essay for my friend Mike Meddings, the British musicologist, Jelly Roll Morton expert, and piano roll authority, for his excellent set of webpages. Mike had previously commissioned such draft card essays from me about Roy Bargy and James P. Johnson (see links below),  but my essay on the Thomas brothers quickly grew beyond the bounds that Mike had set for these short essays on that webpage. So I never quite finished it or submitted what I had to Mike for publication on that site. After Mike's untimely passing in 2013, I was able to locate a few more documents that had not been available in the middle of the previous decade which solved a few more long-standing mysteries, and I posted the essay on the HRO webpages in 2016. The webpage is set up exactly in the format Mike Meddings used on the draft card essay pages of his essential website, as a tribute to the memory of my friend Mike.
Roy Bargy and James P. Johnson, draft registration card essays
by Bob Pinsker
Here are two of the earlier WWI Draft Registration card essays I had written for Mike Meddings in 2005-2007.
Blog entries on Miscellaneous Bits of Research
by Bob Pinsker
Here I will deposit various bits of research I have done over the years, having posted them originally on various social media, such as the rec.ragtime newsgroup in ancient days, the Elite Syncopations group a bit later, and more recently (since maybe 2010 or so) on various Facebook groups.

That Moaning Saxophone
The Six Brown Brothers and the Dawning of a Musical Craze
by Bruce Vermazen

HRO co-leader Bruce Vermazen's magnum opus, published by the Oxford University Press in 2004. When your book wins the 2005 ARSC Best Research in Recorded Popular Music Award and gets blurbs from Ed Berlin, R. Crumb, and Brian Rust, you know you really achieved something extraordinary!