More Notes on Jimmy Hager

Last year, in this column was an article on drummer Jimmy Hager, bandmaster Fred Hager’s brother, but since that publication, more has been discovered about him. After communications with Jimmy’s grandson, more has come to light about his personality and how different he was from his rather vain and eccentric brother Fred. Fred had a very large personality, always speaking as though he was the smartest one in the room. Jimmy’s grandson Don seemed to recall him carrying much this personality and demeanor; always dressing a little bit better than everyone else, he indicated. He remained a dandy into his old age, despite not having any of his magnificent brown hair by then. According to Don, his grandfather was a very kind and caring man, with little to say and nothing to brag about. He was a very serious man, who cared deeply for his career and interests, those being music and baseball. Jimmy was a big fan of baseball his entire life. As many folks of his generation were, he was no exception to this interest. He was always up on the news of the Yankees and Giants, frequently tuning into games whenever they were on. Don also indicated that since the family he married into had connections to the boxing world, Jimmy was also quite keen on following the prize fights. With all this in mind, it wouldn’t be obvious that he spent so much time in recording labs and was such a talented
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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.

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