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Ezra Read
Ezra Read (1862-1922)

Ezra Read was an English pianist and composer of popular music born in humble circumstances in Willenhall, Staffordshire. He is reported to have been taught piano by his elder brother, John Colley Read who would himself later become organist at the catholic cathedral in Birmingham. After marriage to Beatrice Ida Hampden, a pianist and violinist, in 1886 they both studied harmony and composition. They are said to have written over 4000 pieces under some 120 pen names. According to the Internet source given below, perhaps the best known of Ezra's works was his Easy Pianoforte Tutor (1897) which sold many thousands of copies throughout the world. Other successes were his Cinderella Waltz (1910)of which over a million copies were sold, his Mafeking , Kimberley and Ladysmith Marches which were very popular during the Boer War, and his many "descriptive fantasias" such as The Christmas Ball (1909), Fire! Fire! (1915), The Victoria Cross (1899) and War of the Nations (1914).
In 1912-3, he turned to ragtime and composed a numer of rags and cakewalks including Bob Tail Rag, Cracker Rag, Dreamy Daniel, Postman's Holiday and Slippery Sam. Almost at the end of his career, but still with it, he composed Jazz Nights (1919). He died in Shirebrook, Derbyshire.
ezra-read 
september 2014 by mandoisland

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