Scott Joplin | 1977
The life story of famed ragtime composer and pianist Scott Joplin is told. Born in the 19th century, racism had kept the brilliant African American in the lower echelons of show business, but when he introduced his composition "The Maple Leaf Rag" in a musical competition, he gained the attention of a Caucasian music publisher. Joplin agreed to sell the piece for a low price, hoping that it would lead to success upon publication. In fact, it did result in Ragtime music becoming an American craze and made him a rich man. Unhappy that the genre was not considered to be respectable, Joplin longed to write a concerto or opera, but his talents began to wane along with his health at the age of 49.