Wednesday, October 23, 1974
THE MICHIGAN DAILY
Wedes~yOcobe 2, 174HE ICIGA ~-L----e iv
By JEANNE LESEM
UPI Food Editor;
NEW YORK (UPI) - A spon-
taneous wine boom created by
consumers at the beginning of
this decade is leveling off, but'
the industry is optimistic about'
wine and in actually selecting
and buying the wine. Chain
Store Age, a merchandiser
magazine, says supermarkets,
whose dollar sales are con-!
trolled by women shoppers, ac-
counted for one third of all wine
sales last year.
By H. D. QUIGG
UPI Senior Editor
NEW YORK (UPI) - The boy
was black and only 14 when he
came out of Texarkana, Tex., and
began roving the "jig piano" pur-
lieus, the honky-tonks and red-light
parlors, the Tenderloin that finally
killed him but to which he was lim-
ited as a black piano "professor."
Scott Joplin, son of a former slave
violinist and a banjoist mother, had
been schooled by a German music
teacher in European music and
the lives of its masters. He roamed
Missouri, Kansas and Arkansas and
arrived in St. Louis in 1885 - at 17
already an experienced musician.
In the next eight years, a new
music called ragtime came of age,
flowered along the Mississippi, and
centered mainly in St. Louis and
Sedalia, Mo. Joplin settled in Se-
dalia in 1895, taught, conducted,
sang - and began writing songs of
He sold "Maple Leaf Rag" to John
Stark at Stark's store in Sedalia for
the future. Meantime, the pop wine fad'
For one thing, table wines has fizzled. At the height of the
have passed dessert wines in wine boom in the early 1970s,
total case sales. Researchers cold duck and other dessert andf
see this an an indication that apertif wines that experts liken
Americans are beginning to' to soda pop represented one
drink wine with meals fairly third of the total business for
often. California wine producers. But
pop wines showed a 17 per cent
Cs purchases also ae fe decrease during the first six
rising, oprdwthafwmnhsti er
years ago when 64.7 persons this year.
questioned in a survey said And for the first five months
they bought wine by the bottle. of 1974, the most recent figures
But table wine sales, which available show wine distribu-
doubled during the five year tion in general down only .2 per
period beginning in 1069, drop- cent from the same period last
ptd off the first five months year.
this year, compared with the These declines were reported
same period in 1973. as California growers prepared
The Wine Marketing Hand- to harvest one of their largest
book, an annual publication of grape crops ever. The bumper
a New York market research crop may spell trouble, at least
firm, predicts that the wine temporarily, for growers, wine-
boom will continue on its own ries, importers and speculators.
power, although at a slower But it is good news for
pace. They also expect it to be consumers, who already are
led, as in the past three or four beginning to find bargains
years, by younger consumers. among imports that were
Associate editor Dan Hecht marked down to get them mov-
said in an interview that wine ing after a 14.6 per cent decline
sales were off somewhat, at in imported wine sales in May.
least in rate of gain, since its Observers also say good Cali-
1974 edition was published a few fornia wines also may drop in
weeks ago. price.
"It's possible the cost of California remains the na-
living is involved," he said.
Both Hecht and handbook tion's largest producers, with a
research director Bernard Ap- total of 399.9 million wine gal-
pel forecast increases in table Ions last year. It has added
wine sales this year, but ex- more than 200,000 new acres of:
pect 1974 to end with a smaller vineyards since 1967, 30,000 oft
gain than the 8.7 per cent re- them in 1973.
ported for last year.
Their optimism is based on. New York state, with its 11,-
several factors including: 000 acres of vines, is the second
There has been a role largest domestic producer, with
reversal in buying, patterns that a 31-million gallon annual yield,$
finds older consumers emulat- and rapidly expanding produc-
it 18-to34-year-olds, who now tion.
drink more wine than their
elders. Nicholas Paul, president of
As these young people grow the state's Finger Lakes Wine
6lder themselves, they and, Growers Association, shares the
successive groups of young '
adults are expected to continue view of his California competi-
the pattern. The handbook tors and industry people in
editors think the situation re- general that the wine boom is
fleets rebellion against the old- leveling off. He foresees a slow,
er generation, plus changing steady six per cent annual gain
life styles, a desire to do "in"; in U.S. wine consumption with
tsWomen also have become w i n e eventually establishing'
much more influential -both in itself as an alcoholic beverage
creating occasions for serving staple.
Sy Mited Press International years or something-when we;
Phonogram-Mercury has ap- need the bread" . . . Uriah
parently won the long legal Heep will be making up some
fight and Rod Stewart's new canceled 'U.S. gigs in November.
Smiler solo lp will be out in The Heep show was stopped in
October . . . Alice Cooper al- mid-September when bassist
ways said the big ride would Gary Thain suffered near elec,
end someday and now it has- trocution on stage because of1
with a quote "greatest hits" some faulty wiring . . Paul
album out and Alice working McCartney has disbanded Wings
on a solo Lp . . . in a recent . . . two new Elton John albums
Zoo World interview, Ringo --one a "best of . . ."-due
Starr says the Beatles might this fall, to accompany his U.S.
get together again; "in five tour.
$50 in 1899. The sheet music sold out
in Sedalia, through Missouri, snow-
balled nationwide to 75,000 copies in
six months, and eventually sold more
than a million to homes that had
a piano in the parlor. It brought
the itinerant musician instant and
absolute fame, made him "the king
of ragtime composers."
He was already at work on "The
Ragtime Dance" and it was followed
by "Pineapple Rag," "The Enter-
tainer," "Gladiolus Rag," and
many, many more. Ragtime be-
came a rage at the turn of the cen-
tury - London, Vienna, France.
Debussy wrote two ragtime pieces,
Stravinsky wrote his "Piano and
Joplin was the central figure of
what music historian Rudi Blesh
calls "classic ragtime," whose com-
posers' prime purpose was art "and
art was what they produced." Tin
Pan Alley, fast - buck conscious,
joined in with scores of scores,
mostly second and third rate.
Joplin moved to New York and
by 1913 was working obsessively, to
the exclusion of all else, to sell his
opera, "Treemonisha," a black folk
fable. The big money boys couldn't
quite go for that. Joplin suffered de-
pression, relieved by periods of
energy. But the depression grew. A
new music, "jazz," came on from
New Orleans. Periods of deep de-
pression occurred. Mrs. Joplin had
him committed to a state hospital
Joplin died at 48, poverty-stricken,
nearly forgotten, on April 1, 1917,
the day America entered World War
I. Cause of death: "Dementia para-
lytica, c e r e b r a l." Contribut-
ing cause: "Syphilis." The Tender-
loin to which he had been limited
by his skin had done him in.
His grave is unmarked in St. Mi-
chael's Cemetery, Astoria, Queens,
in New York City. The family had
no money for a marker. The ceme-
tery records show there are five
other bodies in that grave. "I hope,"
said one music lover, "that Joplin
is on top."
In 1950, 33 years after his death,
his widow, now dead, was still re-
gretting that she had refused his
often-repeated request that "Maple
Leaf Rag" be played at his funeral.
Around 1942, ,something happened
--a Joplin revival. It died down.
Then, the conservatories and "ser-
ious" critics discovered Scott Joplin.
In 1971, the first concert ever de-
voted to his music was presented at
the Lincoln Center for the Perform-
ing Arts in New York. "These
things apparently cannot be rushed,"
commented John S. Wilson, a New
York Times reviewer.
Wilson also called Joplin's work
"a landmark in American musical
development." Rudi Blesh said: "He
dreamed and strove for the immor-
tality to which his genius and its
fruits entitled him."
In 1942, the Joplin estate was ad-
mitted to membership in the Ameri-
can Society of Composers, Authors
and Publishers ASCAP. The copy-
right laws in Joplin's time were
strictly for the benefit of the sheet
music publishers - "Jop," as he
was called, got only outright pay-
ments, never royalties.
As of now, the copyright laws
protect music back only 56 years,
so that most of Joplin's work is in
the public domain. An ASCAP
spokesman said he was unable to
find out how much royalty money
has gone to the estate in the current
On yellowing paper of notebook
size, now preserved by Sammy Hey-
ward, president of the New Amster-
dam Musical Assn., is the compos-
er's own assessment of his tragic
life in his own handwriting:
"People will begin to appreciate
me 25 years after I am dead."
In the upper left hand corner of
the first page of the sheet music of
many Scott Joplin's compositions
there is a pained plea to the per-
son hitting the keys. It says: "Note.
Do 'not play this piece fast. It is
never right to play Ragtime fast.
But, according to expert opinion,
he didn't mean play slowly; he was
counteracting the popular style of
the time to race through ragtime
pieces in an ultra-fast tinkle.
_ / /
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