Scott Joplin Birthday Celebration

The Regional Music Heritage Center and the Scott Joplin Support Group joined on November 24 at the 1894 City Market and Gallery to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of Scott Joplin’s Birthday. Guests and mayors, Ruth Penney Bell and Bob Bruggeman, christened the all new Flying Crow Rail Lounge Car, under renovations by owner David Peavy. Joining in the dedication of the evening was Regional Music Heritage Center board members: Vicki Carr (executive director), David Mallette (founder), Billy Brown, Darleen Valentin Perot, Dick Eckstein, and Carol Collins-Miles, who is also the SJSG founding director. Ragtime and classical music was played by saxophonist Desmond Smith and pianists Beth Brine and Miriam

Taylor Bougie.

The “moving birthday feast” offered the jazz trio, Three of a Kind, featuring vocalists Candace Taylor, Valerie Cooper, and Carol Collins-Miles in the City Market area. The locally-produced video, “Scott Joplin - Hometown Hero” was screened during the entire event. Linden residents Russ and Jean Wright and Richard and Jennifer Bowden represented the proposed birthplace of Scott Joplin, as depicted in the video. A silent auction offered a dedicated 150th Anniversary birthday painting of the “King of Ragtime” by Texarkana native artist, H.M. Fort II. All proceeds from the auction benefitted the Skyscape Project, “Music in the Air,” of permanent downtown rooftop artworks, a joint Main Street Texarkana and SJSG venture, to place lighted, welded

music sculptures throughout downtown. (Photos by Stan Shavers of Starlight Photography)