Final Days in the Midwest, 1905–1907

Edward A. Berlin

in King of Ragtime

Published in print March 1996 | ISBN: 9780195101089
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199853120 | DOI:
                   Final Days in the Midwest, 1905–1907

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His successes in ragtime gave Scott Joplin reason to be pleased, but he also had reason to despair. His opera was a failure and probably had severe financial repercussions. On the personal side, his marriage to Belle had been a disaster, underscored by the death of their infant daughter. And if Freddie Alexander inspired him to new heights, her passing must have cast him to new depths. The author argues that Joplin dedicated Bethena A Concert Waltz to Dan E. Davenport and his wife to show his appreciation for helping him through some difficult times. It has been speculated that the picture of the woman on the cover of Bethena might have actually been Freddie. In the summer of 1907, Joplin went to Chicago to visit Arthur Marshall for the last time. From there, he went on to New York, and never again returned to St. Louis.

Keywords: Belle Hayden; Freddie Alexander; Bethena; Dan E. Davenport; Arthur Marshall

Chapter.  6638 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: American Music

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