Collector: Colton Neely
Collection Name:
Ragtime Vanity: Sheet-ography and Recorded Music spanning the Golden Era of Ragtime

Collection Statement:

"The first time I encountered ragtime music was sitting on the front porch of my childhood home in Mount Vernon, Iowa. It was a muggy day in June, and the Ice Cream truck pulls up and the sweet sounds of Scott Joplin’s “The Entertainer Rag” hummed the air like a nostalgia of an enjoyable time in history long ago. Seventeen years later, strolling in an antique shop in Mount Vernon, Iowa... I find 1 of 8 known original 1902 copies of the “The Entertainer Rag” most likely held by Scott Joplin himself. The snowball effect built when I was a kid and seized about every .25 cent music score in antique shops I could find. Thus, landing me a massive collection of over 10,000 individual music scores! My collection covers how the sheet music industry supplied recording industries in the early 1830’s to 1950’s. My collection expands as early as print and recorded music can go, ceasing to when I feel the music is not becoming music to my ears."

List of featured collection items:

  • Sheet Music; Bric-a-Brac Rag, by Maurice Porcelain, 1908, Vinton Music Co. Boston & New York 11 by 14
  • 1 Edison Dimond Disc; Edison Record; “So I Took The Fifty Thousand Dollars” by Albert Gumble – Sung by Robert Denning. Circa 1915
  • 2 Player Piano Rolls
    • 1. Angelus. “The Dying Poet” Gottschalk; Perforated by the Wilcox & White Company, Meriden, Conn. Circa 1899
    • 2. 88 Note 124 Ever Thine Waltz Mandoline Arragment by Marcsh; New York, N. Y.; Circa 1907
  • RCA Victor Record; 35728-A & B “Clayton’s Grand March”; Played by the Victor Band. Circa 1925
  • Edison Amberola Record (Green); “The Revival Meeting at Pumpkin Center (Steward)” 657; 1908
  • Edison Amberola Record (Blue); “Tra La La La” (Irving Berlin) Comic Song- Billy Murray 2136- 1905
  • Colombia Phonograph Company, St. Louis, Mo. “Hickory Bill Talking” Bee’s Wax Cylinder, 1897
  • Modern Record- Scott Joplin Himself; Classic Solos Played by the King of Ragtime Writers and Others; Circa 1974

This collection was on display in Macbride Hall at The University of Iowa in the Spring of 2020.