Immediately outside the west wall of Rifftides world headquarters is a magnificent Sunset Maple. Each fall, the tree puts on a show. The show is in its final act. With luck, we have a week before the curtain of leaves falls. In the meantime, this is what we wake up to.
You probably suspect that I’m going to use the foliage as an excuse to play a piece of music, and you’re right. It’s from a television special, Those Ragtime Years, narrated by Hoagy Carmichael. It aired on November 22, 1960, on NBC’s Project 20. This was the finale, Scott Joplin’s “Maple Leaf Rag” played by four pianistsfrom left to right in the video, Ralph Sutton, Dick Wellstood, Eubie Blake and Carmichael. The Sidney DeParis band joins them for the final chorus.
Canada might give serious thought to making that piece its national athem.