Tune of the Day: Sugar Cane
When this rag was first published in 1908, it was evident to many that it was based on the same format of Joplin's first big hit, “Maple Leaf Rag”, which was published nine years earlier. Indeed, in the opening section “Sugar Cane” is stylistically identical to its famous predecessor. But it still rings with originality, in spite of the detractors. One of those was his now-estranged publisher John Stark, who derided Joplin's efforts of the time in personal notes. He postulated that Joplin's “spring of inspiration had run dry”, and seemed to show little compassion for the composer that had helped build his empire. Just the same, Joplin rags sold no matter who published them.