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NYC Music Trail

NYC Music Trail: Scott Joplin's Grave Site

by Jake Neher
Scott Joplin's grave.
Jake Neher, WFUV.

Scott Joplin lived anything but a quiet life. The "King of Ragtime" - as he'd later be called - started making a name for himself while performing in brothels across the country.

He wrote pieces many critics call "revolutionary." They include famous ragtime tunes like "Maple Leaf Rag" and "The Entertainer." But with all the "sites of sound" along the New York City Music Trail, the one honoring Joplin is the only one that's almost always silent.

NYC Music Trail: Swing Street (with Slideshow)

by Jake Neher
Swing Street Than and Now
"Swing Street" in May 1948; photo by William P. Gottlieb. "Swing Street" in July 2012; photo by Jake Neher, WFUV.

Today, 52nd Street between 5th and 6th Avenues in Midtown Manhattan is nothing but skyscrapers. People come here to work, do some banking, or have a $5 cup of coffee. But for much of the first half of the 20th Century, this was where you went to hear the best jazz musicians in the world.

NYC Music Trail: Mandolin Brothers

by Jake Neher
Mandolin Brothers
Courtesy of Mandolin Brothers.

When you walk into Mandolin Brothers music shop, you're standing right in the middle of founder Stan Jay's office. He's often there to greet you and show you around the store. Mandolin Brothers, which sits in the heart of Staten Island, specializes in buying and selling high-end fretted acoustic instruments like guitars, banjos, and - of course - mandolins. But Jay says these aren't the kind of instruments you could find in just any store.

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