Jasen, David A(lan) 1937-

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JASEN, David A(lan) 1937-

PERSONAL: Born December 16, 1937, in New York, NY; son of Barnet (a dentist) and Gertrude (Cohen) Jasen; married Susan Pomerantz (a registered nurse), December 30, 1963; children: Raymond Douglas. Education: American University, B. A., 1959; Long Island University, M. S., 1972.

ADDRESSES: Office—C. W. Post Center, Long Island University, Greenvale, NY 11548.

CAREER: Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS), New York, NY, supervisor of news videotape, 1959-66; American Educational Theatre Association, Washington, DC, administrative assistant, 1967; Florists' Transworld Delivery Association, Detroit, MI, field service representative, 1968-69; Reading Development Center, Inc., New York, NY, assistant to president, 1969-70; Long Island University, C. W. Post Center, Greenvale, NY, assistant professor, 1971-77, associate professor in School of Art, 1977—, professor of communication arts, 1982—, director of communication arts, 1975—, chairman of communication arts department, 1979—, director of Popular Music Archive, 1983—. Ragtime composer and pianist; record producer; public speaker.

MEMBER: American Library Association, Ragtime Society, Maple Leaf Club, Pi Delta Epsilon, Alpha Psi Omega.

AWARDS, HONORS: Scott Joplin Award, 1995, for contributions to the field of ragtime music.


Bibliography and Reader's Guide to the First Editions of P. G. Wodehouse, Archon (Hamden, CT), 1970, revised edition, Greenhill, 1986.

Recorded Ragtime, 1897-1958 (discography), Archon, 1973.

P. G. Wodehouse: A Portrait of a Master, Mason & Lipscomb, 1974, revised edition, Continuum (New York, NY), 1981.

(Editor) The Uncollected Wodehouse, Seabury (New York, NY), 1976.

(With Trebor Jay Tichenor) Rags and Ragtime: A Musical History, Seabury (New York, NY), 1978, revised edition, Dover (New York, NY), 1989.

(Editor) Ragtime: 100 Authentic Rags (music), Big 3 Music, 1979.

(Editor) P. G. Wodehouse, The Swoop! and Other Stories, Seabury (New York, NY), 1979.

The Theatre of P. G. Wodehouse, Batsford (London, England), 1979.

(Editor) The Eighteen-Carat Kid, and Other Stories, P. G. Wodehouse, Continuum (New York, NY), 1980.

(Editor) Not George Washington: An Autobiographical Novel, P. G. Wodehouse, Continuum (New York, NY), 1980.

(Editor) George Barr McCutcheon, Brewster's Millions, Continuum (New York, NY), 1980.

(Editor) Jerome K. Jerome, Three Men in a Boat, Continuum (New York, NY), 1980.

(Editor) P. G. Wodehouse: Four Plays, Methuen (New York, NY), 1983.

(Editor) Alexander's Ragtime Band and Other Favorite Song Hits, 1901-1911, Dover (Mineola, NY), 1987.

(Editor) Scott Joplin: Complete Piano Rags, Dover (Mineola, NY), 1988.

Tin Pan Alley, Fine (New York, NY), 1988.

(Editor) For Me and My Gal and Other Favorite Song Hits, 1915-1917, Dover (Mineola, NY), 1994.

(Editor) A Pretty Girl Is Like a Melody and Other Favorite Song Hits, 1918-1919, Dover (Mineola, NY), 1996.

(Editor) Enter Jeeves: 15 Early Stories, P. G. Wodehouse, Dover (Mineola, NY), 1997.

(Editor) Ragtime Jubilee: 42 Piano Gems, 1911-21, Dover (Mineola, NY), 1997.

(Editor) Cakewalks, Two-Steps and Trots: For Solo Piano: 34 Popular Works from the Dance-Craze Era, Dover (Mineola, NY), 1997.

(Editor) 35 Song Hits by Great Black Songwriters, Dover (Mineola, NY), 1998.

(Editor) Beale Street and Other Classic Blues: 38 Works, 1901-1921, Dover (Mineola, NY), 1998.

(With Gene Jones) Spreadin' Rhythm Around: Black Popular Songwriters, 1880-1930, Schirmer (New York, NY), 1998.

(With Gene Jones) That American Rag: The Story of Ragtime from Coast to Coast, Schirmer (New York, NY), 1999.

(With Gene Jones) Black Bottom Stomp: Eight Masters of Ragtime and Early Jazz, Routledge (New York, NY), 2001.

A Century of American Popular Music (1899-1999): 2000 Best-Loved and Remembered Songs, Routledge (New York, NY), 2002.


Creative Ragtime, Euphonic Sound.

Fingerbustin' Ragtime, Blue Goose Records.

Rompin' Stompin' Ragtime, Blue Goose Records.

Rip-Roarin' Ragtime, Folkways.

Dave Jasen's Ragtime, Archive.

26 Happy Honky Tonk Memories, Special Music.

(Producer) They All Played the Maple Leaf Rag, Archive.

(Producer) Zez Confrey Plays Zez Confrey, Archive.

Also author of several ragtime pieces, included in his sound recordings. Contributor to Ragtimer.

SIDELIGHTS: In editing the collection The Swoop! and Other Stories, David A. Jasen "has performed a valuable service in combing through turn-of-the-century popular British periodicals . . . in search of pieces from the earliest years of [P. G.] Wodehouse's long career," remarked New York Times Book Review contributor Robert Kiely. "The result is a collection of fresh and delightful entertainments, many of which had been thought lost and none of which has been published in book form in this country." Jasen has edited several volumes of Wodehouse's work, and was the first to publish a biography of the great British humorist.

In addition to his work as an editor of Wodehouse fiction, Jasen is also a composer, performer, and producer of ragtime music. He has written and recorded several albums of ragtime, and has helped propogate the popularity of rags through concerts, radio shows, university classes, and books. His discography, Recorded Ragtime, 1897-1958, "is a landmark of ragtime scholarship," noted Washington Post writer Joseph McLellan. His historical work, Rags and Ragtime, written with fellow composer-performer Trebor Jay Tichenor, is "commendably lucid, accurate, detailed, and well-arranged, with interesting illustrations," commented McLellan. The critic added that the work helps "fill widespread needs which have begun to be felt only in the last generation and have reached their peak in the present decade."

Spreadin' Rhythm Around, which Jasen cowrote with Gene Jones, chronicles the struggles and successes of African-American songwriters between Reconstruction and the Great Depression. This was the period of Jim Crow laws, which cruelly restricted opportunities for blacks after the Civil War and deprived them of basic rights. Jasen and Jones, wrote Ann Sears in American Music, "bravely tackle the sensitive issues of racism and stereotypes wrapped up in the music" of this era, including minstrel show tunes and "coon" songs. "Jasen and Jones's explanations of the forces that shaped black composers' opportunities are thoughtful and worth pondering," concluded Sears.

Jasen and Jones collaborated again on That American Rag: The Story of Ragtime from Coast to Coast, a work that Booklist critic Alan Hirsch hailed as an "excellent reference for ragtime aficionados." In addition to outlines of the careers of major rag musicians such as Scott Joplin and Jelly Roll Morton, Jasen and Jones also discuss the role of ragtime publishers and describe the locations where the music was born. In Black Bottom Stomp: Eight Masters of Ragtime and Early Jazz, Jasen and Jones argue that ragtime played a crucial role in the development of early jazz. Critiquing music scholarship that dismisses ragtime as a relatively crude and minor predecessor to the more serious genre of jazz, Jasen and Jones, according to Booklist writer Ted Leventhal, "call for a more sophisticated, nuanced understanding of the relationship between the two popular music styles."



American Music, fall, 1999, Ann Sears, review of Spreadin' Rhythm Around: Black Popular Songwriters, 1880-1930, p. 357.

Booklist, August, 1998, Mike Tribby, review of Spreadin' Rhythm Around, p. 1949; November 1, 1999, Alan Hirsch, review of That American Rag: The Story of Ragtime from Coast to Coast, p. 498; November 15, 2001, Ted Leventhal, review of Black Bottom Stomp: Eight Masters of Ragtime and Early Jazz, p. 536.

Choice, May, 2000, D. R. De Lerma, review of That American Rag, p. 1659; May, 2002, C. M. Weisenberg, review of Black Bottom Stomp, p. 1595.

Library Journal, September 1, 1998, Dan Bogey, review of Spreadin' Rhythm Around, p. 172.

Los Angeles Times, June 1, 1980.

Melody Maker, September 1, 1973.

Mississippi Rag, June, 1979.

Newsday, October 22, 1972; January 15, 1992.

New Yorker, March 15, 1999, review of Spreadin' Rhythm Around, p. 20.

New York Times, November 14, 1971; February 10, 1985.

New York Times Book Review, July 1, 1979.

Publishers Weekly, July 13, 1998, review of Spreadin' Rhythm Around, p. 71.

Time, May 4, 1981.

Times Literary Supplement, September 27, 2002, John Postgate, review of Black Bottom Stomp, p. 20.

Washington Post, July 24, 1978.

Washington Post Book World, August 16, 1998, review of Spreadin' Rhythm Around, p. 13; December 5, 1999, review of Spreadin' Rhythm Around, p. 12.*

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