songs The Very Best Ragtime Songs  

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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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King Porter Stomp Jelly Roll Morton

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Pineapple Rag Scott Joplin

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

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Charleston Rag Eubie Blake

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Mississippi Rag Claude Bolling

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Bohemia Rag Joseph Lamb

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Shreveport Stomp Jelly Roll Morton

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Top Liner Rag Joseph Lamb

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The Strenuous Life Richard Zimmerman

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Belle of Louisville Frank French

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Hello My Baby Max Morath

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Hilarity Rag James Scott

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Climax Rag James Scott

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Bucktown Buck Frank French

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Steeplechase Rag James P. Johnson

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American Beauty Rag Joseph Lamb

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Sunflower Slow Drag Scott Joplin

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A Slow Drag Wally Rose

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Tiger Rag Preservation Hall Jazz Band

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Peaches and Cream Rag Percy Wenrich

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The Baltimore Todolo Eubie Blake

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Ragtime in Pixiland (Pixiland Rag) The Manhattan Transfer

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Dill Pickles Rag Charles L. Johnson

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Frog Legs Rag James Scott

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

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Temptation Rag Benny Goodman

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Ragtime Nightengale Joseph Lamb

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Melody Rag Charles L. Johnson

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Tom Cat Blues Jelly Roll Morton

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Mr. Freddie Blues Jimmy Blythe

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Ragtime Cowboy Joe Bob Roberts

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Ragtime Man Asylum Street Spankers