Oct. 16, 1961 - A monument to ragtime music and its pioneer, Scott Joplin, was erected today in a parking lot in Sedalia, Mo., where the old Maple Leaf Club once stood. The composer’s most famous tune, “Maple Leaf Rag,” was written at the club in 1899. Born in Texas in 1868, Mr. Joplin began his career in St. Louis at 17 as a honky-tonk piano player. In 1907, Joplin moved to New York City to find a producer for a new opera. His attempts to go beyond the limitations of the musical form that had made him famous did not meet with much success. In 1916, Mr. Joplin descended into dementia as a result of syphilis. He was admitted to Manhattan State Hospital in January 1917 and died there 3 months later at the age of 48.
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