RJ Smith – Ragtime Annie

RJ Smith Ragtime, RJ Smith was born in upstate South Carolina and fell in love with the violin at the age of 6. After nearly three years of asking her parents for lessons, she received her first violin at the age of 9. Her earliest desire was to play and perform on her chosen instrument. Due to a strict religious background, she was limited to listening to and playing only classical music, which she did avidly all the way through college. There she majored in Spanish, but continued her music studies through all 4 years with a minor in music, spending every spare hour in the music department studying piano, percussion, theory, conducting and orchestration along with the violin. She played with several orchestras throughout high school and college and was also selected for and performed with the first South Carolina All-State Collegiate Orchestra. Despite her deep appreciation for classical music, RJ always loved fiddle music and would frequently warm up for her orchestra concerts by playing through fiddle tunes instead of her symphony repertoire. She would also seek out Bluegrass and Old-Time jam sessions in the North Carolina mountains on the weekends, where she got her first taste of playing by ear and improvising.

After graduating university with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish, RJ wound up in Texas riding colts as an apprentice horse trainer for several well known trainers…….




RAGTIME ANNIE. AKA and see “Ragged Annie,” «Raggedy Ann,» «Raggedy Ann Rag,» “Raggin’ On,” «Bugs/Bug in the ‘Tater(s).” American, Canadian; Reel. USA, very widely known. D Major (‘A’ and ‘B’ parts) & G Major (‘C’ part). Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB (Phillips/1989): AA’B (Sweet): AABB (Ford, Welling): AA’BB (Ruth): AA’BB’ (Krassen): ABCC (Christeson): AABCC (Jarman, Johnson): AA’BCC’ (Reiner & Anick): AA’BBC (Messer): AA’BCC (Silberberg): AA’BB’CC (Miskoe & Paul): AA’BB’CC’ (Phillips/1995). A popular American fiddle tune and a staple of the North American fiddling repertoire, of uncertain origins. There is much speculation along the lines of the following: «Ragtime Annie is almost certainly a native American dance tune, possibly less than 100 years old» (Krassen, 1973). Guthrie Meade has a similar point of view regarding the tune’s antiquity, noting that this very popular piece appears in many relatively modern collections, but not in early ones. There are persistent rumors that it first was heard played by Texas fiddlers around 1900–1910, but no firm evidence. Reiner & Anick (1989) suggest the tune is derived from a piano piece called «Raggedy Ann Rag,» and categorize it as a ‘Midwest’ and ‘Southwest’ tune, but they did not cite a source and so far no one has been able to access a piano melody similar to the fiddle tune (The title “Raggedy Ann Rag” does appear on printed music, written by Joe «Fingers» Carr and published in 1952, far too late to have been the original for “Ragtime Annie”.) The earliest appearance of “Ragtime Annie” that can be documented, in print or otherwise, is the recording by Texas fiddler Eck Robertson (along with Henry C. Gilliland) in 1923 and a few years later by the Texas duo Solomon and Hughes. Robertson’s release was backed with “Turkey in the Straw.” “Ragtime Annie” was later recorded for the Library of Congress by musicologist/folklorist Vance Randolph from Ozarks Mountains fiddlers in the early 1940’s.



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