Black and White Rag
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|"Black And White Rag"|
Cover, sheet music, 1908
The first known recording of this piece was by Albert Benzler, recorded on Lakeside/U.S.Everlasting Cylinder #380 in June 1911. This recording is somewhat rare (Lakeside/U.S.Everlasting cylinders, though molded celluloid on a wax/fiber core, were made in small batches), and significant. Edison featured the "Black and White Rag" on one of his Early Diamond Disc Records (50116) from 1913 played by a Brass Orchestra.
One of the best-known versions of this piece of music was recorded in 1952 by pianist Winifred Atwell, and helped her to establish an international profile. Originally the B-side of another composition, "Cross Hands Boogie", "Black and White Rag" was championed by the popular disc jockey Jack Jackson, and started a craze for Atwell's honky-tonk style of playing. The recording became a million selling gold record, and in the United Kingdom was later used as the theme tune for the long-running BBC2 television snooker tournament, Pot Black.