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The Mississippi Rag

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The Mississippi Rag was an internationally influential monthly newspaper about traditional jazz and ragtime music published by Leslie Johnson since 1973.[1][2][3]

The Rag featured stories about contemporary and legendary giants of traditional jazz and ragtime, plus stories on lesser-known but accomplished musicians. Contributors included George A. Borgman, Bob Byler, Derek Coller, Chip Deffaa, William Schafer, Butch Thompson, and Paige Van Vorst.

The Rag covered jazz history, new and current performers, and bands. The paper highlighted these bands and performers in each issue, with information about where and when they were playing. The Rag also reviewed recordings, books, videos, DVDs and CD-ROMs.

Dubbed the "bible" of the traditional jazz and ragtime world by its readers, the Mississippi Rag had a worldwide readership. Its monthly tabloid reached subscribers in all 50 of the US states and in 26 other countries. More than one-third of its readers were professional or amateur musicians, including some of the top musicians, writers, researchers and critics in the traditional jazz and ragtime world.

Nearly 100 writers and photographers regularly contributed stories and photos to The Rag, and at least six critically acclaimed books resulted from articles first published in it. The Rag published many rare photos from private collections, especially Duncan P. Schiedt's. Among the photographers featured were Charles Peterson, Nancy Miller Elliott, Ray Avery, William Gottlieb, and Ed Lawless.

In January 2007, The Rag ceased to be issued in print as it had for 33 years, and began to be released online.[1][3] The last publication was printed online shortly before the death of founder Leslie Johnson.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Jasen, David (2007). Ragtime: An Encyclopedia, Discography, and Sheetography. Routledge. p. 205. ISBN 9780415978620. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  2. Vezner, Tad (21 January 2009). "Mississippi Rag publisher Leslie Johnson dies at 66". Twin Cities Pioneer Press. Retrieved 9 December 2019.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Senior, Andy (1 September 2017). "Leslie Johnson & The Mississippi Rag, a Worthy Legacy". Syncopated Times. Retrieved 9 December 2019.

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