Maple Leaf Rag was my favorite piano piece when I was a kid.
I was actually pretty decent at playing it. Good enough, at least, that my parents thought it would be a great idea to dress me up in a little bowler hat and suspenders when I was twelve years old and “encourage” me to play it in a schoolwide talent show. I won, but only the battle. The war? Lost, the minute I appeared in front of my classmates in an absurd outfit that, to adults, looked adorable.
The following year, they made me do it all again in a cruise ship “variety show.” This constitutes abuse. I think I’ll write a tell-all memoir.
Sure, I also played a version of “Autumn Leaves,” from one of those terrible “Easy Popular Arrangements” compilations. Mercifully, there were no public performances.