Jack Rummel





A Little Lost Lamb

Piano Music by Joseph F. Lamb

Ragtime Press, Oak Forest , IL


The Alaskan Rag / The Beehive Rag / Chasin’ the Chippies / Gee, Kid! But I Like You / Greased Lightening Rag / I Want to Be a Bird-Man / I’ll Follow the Crowd to Coney / The Jersey Rag / Joe Lamb’s Old Rag / Lorne Scots on Parade / Mignonne / My Queen of Zanzibar / Ragged Rapids Rag / The Rag-Time Special / Rapid Transit / Red Feather / Spanish Fly / Walper House Rag.


            Unlike Scott Joplin and James Scott, Joseph Lamb (the third member of early ragtime’s mighty triumvirate) lived long enough to be “rediscovered” during the ragtime renaissance that marked the second half of the twentieth century.  As it turned out, he had been quietly composing music during his 30-year hiatus and as a new generation of ragtimers took notice of him and he started notating again, much of this music began to come to light.

            One piece, The Alaskan Rag, was published in the seminal work by Rudi Blesh and Harriet Janis, They All Played Ragtime.  Thirteen other compositions were released in 1964 in a folio entitled Ragtime Treasures.  Both are now out of print and have truly become “ragtime treasures” – if you can find them!  Two recently discovered works, Brown Derby Rag and Ragtime Reverie, were published privately a few years ago.  But the rest have existed only in manuscript form, available to just a select few – until now.

            Finding A Little Lost Lamb is somewhat akin to locating buried treasure or finding the Titanic or unearthing a new Egyptian tomb.  We knew most of these scores existed – we’d even heard recordings of some of them – but we’d never seen them up close and personal.  Thanks to the efforts of Patricia Lamb Conn , Joe Lamb’s daughter, and to the painstaking labors of love of Sue Keller and Howard Vigorita at the Ragtime Press, we can now enjoy these pieces for many years to come.

            Joe Lamb’s musical interests went beyond ragtime and that is reflected here.  In addition to 10 rags, the folio contains three songs with words (Gee Kid! But I Like You, I Want to Be a Bird-Man and I’ll Follow the Crowd to Coney), two intermezzos (My Queen of Zanzibar and Spanish Fly), a waltz (Mignonne) and a stirring march (Lorne Scots on Parade).  Like the early songs of Joplin and Scott, the songs of Lamb may remain little more than curiosities, while the other non-rags certainly may pique the interest of the purchaser.

            But it is the 10 rags that make this folio such a valuable publication.  As an endorsement of their worth, all have been recorded at one time or another.  However, to be able to put this collection on your piano’s music stand and play through them is a thrill that even the jaded ragtimer can experience.  Joseph Lamb’s elevated status as a ragtime composer cannot be denied.  Owning this folio will help to complete the picture of this self-effacing genius whose music continues to stir our hearts.  Recommended without reservation.

            Available for $25.00 postpaid from Ragtime Press, P.O. Box 630 , Oak Forest , IL 60452 .