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Ragtime Project

That Epidemic Rag

A coronavirus theme song from the Ragtime Era

While researching for my next extended blog post, I came across a rag I couldn’t resist sharing – Edna Williams’ That Epidemic Rag (1911). How fitting for this unique time in history!*

That Epidemic Rag MIDI realization by RagtimeDorianHenry
The Paragon Ragtime Orchestra’s rendition of That Epidemic Ragtime

I tried to find more information about the life and music of Edna Williams, but little information appears to be available on the internet. I came across another song she likely wrote entitled You’ve Made a Home Run With Me (1911) and a collection of more songs from the University of Oregon’s Historic Sheet Music Collection.

I did find two other important musicians by the name of Edna Williams. Edna C. Williams was a beloved soprano vocalist, pianist, and educator. There was also Edna Williams, a trumpet player and member of the International Sweethearts of Rhythm, perhaps the most prominent all-female band of the Swing Era.

*For the sake of clarity: COVID-19 was declared a pandemic in mid-March.


Learn More About Ragtime

This is a collection of the sources I have used for my research on ragtime. I am always looking for more places to learn, so please let me know if you have any recommendations.

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