Artie Matthews (November 15, 1888 – October 25, 1958) was an American songwriter, pianist, and ragtime composer.
Artie Matthews was born in Braidwood, Illinois; his family moved to Springfield, Illinois in his youth. He learned to play piano, mostly popular songs and light classics, until he heard ragtime played by a pianist named Banty Morgan about 1905. Matthews was fascinated and immersed himself in ragtime and started playing and writing numbers in the style. In 1908 he moved to the ragtime center of St. Louis, Missouri, which would be one of his bases, frequently alternating with Chicago, Illinois. He worked as a pianist, arranger, and wrote music for local theater productions.
In early 1913 music publisher John Stark heard Matthews and offered him 50 dollars each for any original rags he submitted for publication. Matthews also worked as an arranger for Starks.
In 1916 Artie Matthews moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, where he first worked as a church organist. In 1921 Matthews and his wife Anna Howard founded the Cosmopolitan School of Music, a music school for African Americans, where Matthews taught until his death. Among Matthews students was Frank Foster, who would become the principal arranger for the Count Basie orchestra.
Some rank Artie Matthews with Scott Joplin, Joseph Lamb, and James Scott as one of the finest and most sophisticated ragtime composers. His most famous rags are the "Pastime Rags", numbered 1 to 5, the latter of which was performed at one point by Lu Watters, with the Yerba Buena Jazz Band. His 1912 Baby Seals Blues was one of the first published Blues. His Weary Blues remains a standard by Dixieland and New Orleans jazz bands.
Birth and Death Data: Born November 15th, 1888 (Braidwood), Died October 25th, 1958 (Cincinnati)
Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1921 - 1938
Roles Represented in DAHR: composer
|Company||Matrix No.||Size||First Recording Date||Title||Primary Performer||Description||Role||Audio|
|Victor||BS-95142||10-in.||9/26/1935||Weary blues||Tommy Dorsey Orchestra||Jazz/dance band||composer|
|Victor||BS-026859||10-in.||9/12/1938||Weary blues||Erskine Hawkins Orchestra||Jazz/dance band||composer|
|Victor||BS-030321||10-in.||11/28/1938||Weary blues||Tommy Ladnier Orchestra||Jazz/dance band||composer|
|Columbia||80114||10-in.||12/21/1921||Birmingham blues||Johnny Dunn’s Original Jazz Hounds||Jazz/dance band||composer|
|Columbia||80151||10-in.||1/20/1922||Birmingham blues||Edith Wilson||Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance band||composer|
|Columbia||W142003||10-in.||4/12/1926||Weary blues||Parenti's Liberty Syncopators||Jazz/dance band||composer|
|Columbia||W144761||10-in.||10/14/1927||Weary stomp||Dixieland Blue Blowers ; Curtis Mosby||Jazz/dance band||composer|
|OKeh||S-70949||10-in.||Oct. 1922||Birmingham blues||Thomas Waller||Piano solo||composer|
|OKeh||S-71528||10-in.||May 1923||The weary blues||Clarence Williams||Piano solo||composer|
|OKeh||W80863||10-in.||5/11/1927||Weary blues||Louis Armstrong ; Hot Five||Jazz/dance ensemble||composer|
|Brunswick||C791-C793||10-in.||4/22/1927||Weary blues||Black Bottom Stompers ; Johnny Dodds||Jazz/dance band||composer|
|Brunswick||C1152-C1153½||10-in.||10/2/1927||Weary blues||Hotel Gibson Orchestra ; Ray Miller||Jazz/dance band||composer|
|Brunswick||A20-A22||10-in.||5/7/1924||The weary blues||Vic Meyers Orchestra||Jazz/dance band||composer|
Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Matthews, Artie," accessed October 22, 2020, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/105781.
Matthews, Artie. (2020). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved October 22, 2020, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/105781.
"Matthews, Artie." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2020. Web. 22 October 2020.
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