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Gualdo, John (?–20 December 1771), musician, composer, and wine merchant, was born Giovanni Gualdo. Details of his parents are unknown. He arrived in Philadelphia in the 1760s as a wine merchant. Little is known of Gualdo’s youth and background before his arrival in Philadelphia. On 24 August 1767 it was announced in the ...

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Read, Daniel (16 November 1757–04 December 1836), composer, tunebook compiler, and merchant, was born in Rehoboth (now Attleboro), Massachusetts, the son of “Captain” Daniel Read and Mary White, farmers. He received only a rudimentary “country school” education (only one quarter, according to his son G. F. H. Read) and gained his musical education from attendance at singing schools. (His older brothers Peter and Joel were singing masters.) He may also have attended singing schools conducted by Andrew Law and ...

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Turpin, Tom (1873–13 August 1922), ragtime pianist, composer, and bar owner, was born Thomas Milton J. Turpin in Savannah, Georgia, the son of John L. “Jack” Turpin, a bar owner and amateur wrestler, and Lulu Waters. The Turpin family was prominent in Savannah’s African-American community, but by 1880 they had relocated to St. Louis, Missouri, where John Turpin opened the Silver Dollar Saloon. Young Tom began playing piano from an early age and was employed at one of the best known of the city’s bars, the Castle Club, by the early 1890s. By 1893 he had opened his own saloon, which eventually became known as the Rosebud Bar, with Turpin grandly proclaiming himself “President of the Rosebud Club.” The bar became a meeting place for local pianists, including Louis Chauvin....