Songs The Very Best Ragtime Songs  

Ranker Music
1.1k votes 359 voters 23k 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!

list ordered by

1
121 29
Ranker Video
Scott Joplin

2
118 30
Ranker Video
Scott Joplin

3
58 26
Ranker Video
Scott Joplin

4
36 18
Ranker Video
Eubie Blake

5
27 20
Ranker Video
Jelly Roll Morton

6
12 5
Ranker Video
Eubie Blake

7
27 22
Ranker Video
Sidney Bechet, Sidney Bechet and His New Orleans Feetwarmers

8
22 17
Ranker Video
Claude Bolling

9
12 9
Ranker Video
Frank French

10
17 16
Ranker Video
Joseph Lamb

11
14 13
Ranker Video
Jelly Roll Morton

12
9 9
Ranker Video
Joseph Lamb

14
8 8
Ranker Video
HarrisonSiegel added

15
8 9
Ranker Video
James Scott

16
9 11
Ranker Video
Joseph Lamb

17
7 9
Ranker Video
James Scott

18
6 8
Ranker Video
James P. Johnson

19
5 7
Ranker Video
The Manhattan Transfer

20
7 10
Ranker Video
Dave Van Ronk and the Ragtime Jug Stompers

21
7 10
Ranker Video
James Scott

22
7 10
Ranker Video
Joseph Lamb

23
6 9
Ranker Video

24
6 9
Ranker Video
Scott Joplin

25
7 11
Ranker Video
Preservation Hall Jazz Band

26
5 9
Ranker Video
Charles L. Johnson

27
4 8
Ranker Video

28
4 8
Ranker Video

29
8 13
Ranker Video
Max Morath

30
3 7
Ranker Video
Jimmy Blythe

31
2 6
Ranker Video
HarrisonSiegel added New England Ragtime Ensemble

32
5 10
Ranker Video
Frank French

33
5 10
Ranker Video
Percy Wenrich

34
5 10
Ranker Video
Asylum Street Spankers

35
5 10
Ranker Video

36
5 10
Ranker Video

37
4 9
Ranker Video
Charles L. Johnson

38
4 9
Ranker Video
Wally Rose

39
4 9
Ranker Video
Benny Goodman

40
3 8
Ranker Video
Jelly Roll Morton

41
7 13
Ranker Video
Richard Zimmerman

42
2 7
Ranker Video

43
5 11
Ranker Video
Bob Roberts