An extract on #tv_charmingfences
The soundtrack album, executive produced by Gil Rodin, included several Scott Joplin ragtime compositions, adapted by Marvin Hamlisch. According to Joplin scholar Edward A. Berlin, ragtime had experienced a revival in the 1970s due to several separate, but coalescing events:
Joshua Rifkin's recording of Joplin rags on Nonesuch Records, a classical label, became a "classical" best-seller.
The New York Public Library issued a two-volume collection of Joplin's music, thereby giving the stamp of approval of one of the nation's great institutions of learning.
Treemonisha received its first full staging, as part of a Afro-American Music Workshop at Morehouse College, in Georgia.
Gunther Schuller, president of the New England Conservatory of Music, led a student ensemble in a performance of period orchestrations of Joplin's music.
Inspired by Schuller's recording, the producer of the movie The Sting had Marvin Hamlisch score Joplin's music for the film, thereby bringing Joplin to a mass, popular public.
There are some variances from the film soundtrack, as noted. Joplin's music was no longer popular by the 1930s, although its use in The Sting evokes the 1930s gangster movie, The Public Enemy, which featured Joplin's music. The two Jazz Age-style tunes written by Hamlisch are chronologically closer to the film's time period than are the Joplin rags:
"Solace" (Joplin)orchestral version
"The Entertainer" (Joplin)orchestral version
"The Easy Winners" (Joplin)
"Hooker's Hooker" (Hamlisch)
"Luther"same basic tune as "Solace", re-arranged by Hamlisch as a dirge
"Pine Apple Rag" / "Gladiolus Rag" medley (Joplin)
"The Entertainer" (Joplin)piano version
"The Glove" (Hamlisch)a Jazz Age style number; only a short segment was used in the film
"Little Girl" (Madeline Hyde, Francis Henry)heard only as a short instrumental segment over a car radio
"Pine Apple Rag" (Joplin)
"Merry-Go-Round Music" medley; "Listen to the Mocking Bird", "Darling Nellie Gray", "Turkey in the Straw" (traditional)"Listen to the Mocking Bird" was the only portion of this track that was actually used in the film, along with a segment of "King Cotton", a Sousa march, a segment of "The Diplomat", another Sousa march, a segment of Sousa's Washington Post March, and a segment of "The Regimental Band", a Charles C. Sweeley march, all of which were not on the album. All six tunes were recorded from the Santa Monica Pier carousel's band organ.
"Solace" (Joplin)piano version
"The Entertainer" / "The Ragtime Dance" medley (Joplin)
The album sequence differs from the film sequence, a standard practice with vinyl LPs, often for aesthetic reasons. Some additional content differences:
Selected snippets of Joplin's works, some appearing on the album and some not, provided linking music over the title cards that introduced major scenes. (The final card, "The Sting", introducing the film's dramatic conclusion, had no music.)
Some tunes in the film are different takes than those on the album.
A Joplin tune used in the film but not appearing in the soundtrack album was "Cascades". The middle (fast) portion of it was played when Hooker was running from Snyder along the 'L' train platform.
The credits end with "The Rag-time Dance" (Joplin) medley which features a 'stop-time' motif similar to a later work "Stop-Time Rag" (Joplin).