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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

From our archives, 100 years ago

Bandleader H.A. Driscoll came out in favor of a dangerous new form of music: ragtime.

Driscoll had been hired to lead the Spokane city parks concerts in the summer of 1913, and he intended to throw some ragtime music into the mix.

Spokane had just recently banned rag dancing, and some bandleaders in other parts of the country had announced their intention to omit ragtime in order “to get back to musical sanity.” But not Driscoll.

“Cut out ragtime? No, sir,” he said.

Driscoll said that he, personally, believed that “a little ragtime goes a long way.” But he said he planned his programs to please everyone, and “there is no question” that the people demand ragtime.

He said he hears a lot of “high-brow abuse of ragtime songs and melodies nowadays, but it really fills a want of the people at large and should not be condemned.”

He said he’ll also play plenty of more traditional music. But the average American doesn’t always want “acres of classical stuff.”

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1910: Halley’s Comet passed by Earth, brushing it with its tail.

1953: Jacqueline Cochran became the first woman to break the sound barrier as she piloted a Canadair F-86 Sabre jet over Rogers Dry Lake, Calif.

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