songs The Very Best Ragtime Songs  

Ranker Music
729 votes 291 voters 18.6k views 43 items

The best ragtime songs are those which capture the magic of the era. Ragtime’s golden era was from roughly 1899 to 1915, when it gave way to early jazz. Unlike jazz, ragtime wasn’t improvisational music at all. It was primarily composed for solo piano, though there are some guitar ragtime songs floating around.

This ragtime songs list includes some of the top ragtime songs of all time. You might recognize the names on here as well, like Scott Joplin, who is known as the “King of Ragtime.” You’ll find many of Joplin’s most popular works on this list, including “Maple Leaf Rag,” “The Entertainer” and “Pineapple Rag.” Other well-known musicians with famous ragtime songs include James Scott (“Frog Legs Rag”), Joseph Lamb (“Bohemia Rag”), Eubie Blake (“Charleston Rag”), and Jelly Roll Morton (“King Porter Stomp”).

If you’re just starting out with the history of ragtime, begin with Scott Joplin. His work is arguably unmatched by any other ragtime artist. Enjoy listening to Jelly Roll Morton’s tunes, and see if you can pick out the ways ragtime influenced his early jazz work. Fall in love with Fats Waller, Max Morath, and Leon Redbone. Above all, have fun with the genre's syncopated, “ragged” melodies.

Vote for your favorite good ragtime songs, and enjoy!

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The Entertainer Scott Joplin

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Maple Leaf Rag Scott Joplin

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Pineapple Rag Scott Joplin

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King Porter Stomp Jelly Roll Morton

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Twelfth Street Rag Sidney Bechet, Sidney Bechet and His New Orleans Feetwarmers

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Mississippi Rag Claude Bolling

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Bohemia Rag Joseph Lamb

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Charleston Rag Eubie Blake

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Shreveport Stomp Jelly Roll Morton

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HarrisonSiegel added Sunflower Slow Drag

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Belle of Louisville Frank French

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Top Liner Rag Joseph Lamb

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Frog Legs Rag James Scott

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Climax Rag James Scott

The Best Ragtime Bands/Artists

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Everybody Loves My Baby Dave Van Ronk and the Ragtime Jug Stompers

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American Beauty Rag Joseph Lamb

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Sunflower Slow Drag Scott Joplin

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Ragtime Nightengale Joseph Lamb

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Hilarity Rag James Scott

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The Best Concert Movies Streaming on Hulu

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Dill Pickles Rag Charles L. Johnson

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Steeplechase Rag James P. Johnson

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Ragtime in Pixiland (Pixiland Rag) The Manhattan Transfer

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Mr. Freddie Blues Jimmy Blythe

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Sun Flower Slow Drag is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Very Best Ragtime Songs
HarrisonSiegel added Sun Flower Slow Drag New England Ragtime Ensemble

The Best Frank Sinatra Songs of All Time

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Tiger Rag Preservation Hall Jazz Band

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Hello My Baby Max Morath

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The Strenuous Life Richard Zimmerman

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Bucktown Buck Frank French

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Peaches and Cream Rag Percy Wenrich

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The Baltimore Todolo Eubie Blake

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Melody Rag Charles L. Johnson

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Temptation Rag Benny Goodman

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A Slow Drag Wally Rose

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Tom Cat Blues Jelly Roll Morton

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Ragtime Cowboy Joe Bob Roberts

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Ragtime Man Asylum Street Spankers