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Jordan, Joe (11 February 1882–11 September 1971), composer, conductor, jazz and ragtime pianist, and bandleader, was born Joseph Jordan in Cincinnati, Ohio. His father owned a pool hall; his parents' names are unknown. He was raised in Cincinnati and was educated at Lincoln Institute in Jefferson City, Missouri. By 1900 he was playing piano in cafes in St. Louis, where he also played violin and drums in the Taborian Band....

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Roberts, Luckey (07 August 1887?–05 February 1968), ragtime, theatrical, and jazz pianist and composer, was born Charles Luckeyeth Roberts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of William Roberts, an unaccredited veterinarian, and Elizabeth (maiden name unknown). His birth year is widely given as 1887, but writer Henry T. Sampson gives 1893. Roberts’s mother died three weeks after he was born, and he was raised with the Ringolds, a family active in African-American show business. They brought him up as a Quaker, and accordingly he abstained from tobacco and alcohol throughout his subsequent career, even when running his own saloon....

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Robinson, J. Russel (08 July 1892–30 September 1963), ragtime, jazz, and popular pianist and composer, was born Joseph Russel Robinson in Indianapolis, Indiana, the son of Mark L. Robinson, a factory worker and later a hotel engineer, and Elizabeth Eleanor Hoover. His father played jew’s harp and harmonica, and his mother, piano. In infancy Robinson contracted polio, which permanently crippled his right arm. As a consequence of this disability he later developed an acrobatic left-hand technique on piano, but like hunchback drummer ...