Charles Thompson

Charles Hubbard Thompson (June 19, 1891 – June 13, 1964) was a ragtime pianist and composer.

Born in St. Louis, Missouri, he was given some piano lessons in his youth, though he later described himself as self-taught. He left St. Louis in 1911 to tour in Ohio and Indiana. In 1912, he met James P. Johnson in either Washington D.C or Coney Island. Thompson also played in Buffalo, New York, Detroit, Cleveland, Toledo, Erie/Pennsylvania, and Atlantic City/New Jersey.

He won the great ragtime contest of 1916 in the Booker T. Washington Theatre of in St. Louis, with his composition "The Lily Rag". He defeated Tom Turpin, the owner of the theatre and the owner of the "Rosebud Club", where nearly all the great ragtimers of America met since 1900.

Birth and Death Data: Born June 9th, 1891 (St. Louis), Died June 13th, 1964

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1914 - 1923

Roles Represented in DAHR: composer, lyricist


Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor B-14459 10-in. 2/16/1914 Swanee ripples rag Victor Military Band Band composer  
OKeh 8493 10-in. Oct. 1923 Gone but not forgotten blues Moe Thompson Male vocal solo, with piano lyricist  


Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Thompson, Charles," accessed December 7, 2021,

Thompson, Charles. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved December 7, 2021, from

"Thompson, Charles." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 7 December 2021.

DAHR Persistent Identifier



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