Charley Straight


Charley Straight

From Wikipedia
Charley Straight
Birth name Charles Theodore Straight
Born January 16, 1891
Chicago
Died September 21, 1940
Chicago
Genres Ragtime
Occupations Composer, arranger, orchestra leader
Instruments Piano

The label of Charley Straight’srecording of Forgetful Blues for Paramount, made in 1923.

Charles Theodore Straight (January 16, 1891 – September 22, 1940), better known as Charley Straight, was an American pianist,bandleader and composer. He started his career in 1909 accompanying singer Gene Greene in Vaudeville. In 1916 he began working at the Imperial Piano Roll Company in Chicago were he recorded dozens of piano rolls. He became a popular bandleader in Chicagoduring the 1920s. His band the Charley Straight Orchestra had a long term engagement at the Rendezvous Café from 1922 to 1925 and recorded for Paramount Records and Brunswick Records in the 1920s.

It was during the 1920s that Straight worked with Roy Bargy on the latter’s eight Piano Syncopations. In describing “Rufenreddy”, the fifth in the series, ragtime historian “Perfessor” Bill Edwards has stated:

The actual parentage of this piece will likely remain obscured to some degree, since Bargy’s collaborator, Charley Straight, more or less may have let Bargy take credit when the piano rolls of the Eight Piano Syncopations were transcribed into sheet music form. It is likely that Straight wrote the bulk of the composition in 1918, and Bargy added many of his individual touches to it in the performance, the end result being that there is some of each of them within.

Straight died in Chicago on the evening of September 22, 1940 after being struck by a car. At the time, Straight was working as a sanitary inspector for the city of Chicago, and was emerging from a manhole in the street.

Selected compositions

  • “Rufenreddy” (with Roy Bargy, 1921)
  • “Knice and Knifty” (with Roy Bargy, 1922)
  • “Playmor”
  • “Itsit”
  • “Blue Grass Rag” (1918)
  • “Let’s Go” (1915)
  • “Humpty Dumpty” (1914)
  • “Hot Hands” (1916)
  • “Sweet Pickin’s” (1918)
  • “Wild And Wooly”
  • “S’more”
  • “Nifty Nonsense” (1918)
  • “Black Jack Rag” (1917)
  • “Rag-A-Bit” (1918)
  • “Fastep” (1918)
  • “Dippy Ditty” (1918)
  • “Lazy Bones”
  • “Out Steppin'” (1917)
  • “My Baby’s Rag”
  • “Universal Rag”
  • “Mow ‘Em Down” (1918)
  • “Try Me”
  • “Red Raven Rag” (1915)
  • “Mocking Bird Rag”
  • “King Of The Bungaloos”
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