R.S. Baker

R. S. Baker has appeared at several Ragtime festivals as a pianist and lecturer. Her particular interest lies in the brown wax cylinder era of the recording industry, and in the study of the earliest studio pianists, such as Fred Hylands, Frank P. Banta, and Frederick W. Hager.
Hagers orchestra caricature(1902)

The Beaux of Bronx Park

In the 1890s and 1900s, military bands were all the rage. From Gilmore’s band to your village community band, they were loved by everyone. One

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Hylands and Held’s troupe enroute to England in 1913

Fred Hylands in Vaudeville

For researchers, scouring newspaper archives is an essential, yet at times tedious, process. Hours spent reading through century-old papers may yield only a small nugget

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Banta at Edison c.1899

The Original Frank Banta

Record collectors may be familiar with the name Frank Banta—a name usually associated with hot novelty and jazz piano of the 1920s, and rightfully so.

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The Mysterious Mr. King

The Mysterious Mr. King

If you ever find yourself thumbing through discographies of Victor records from the 1920s, one name shows up more than most. You’ll see him listed

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