Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Chicken Chowder

It's not my intention to turn this into a musical blog, but lately I've been delighted to find some of my old piano recordings - - and I'm intent on inflicting them upon you, even if it's against your will.

A catalogue of my piano recordings indicates that I made nearly fifty recordings of ragtime music, including twenty pieces by Scott Joplin.
Unfortunately nearly all of these were lost.  

Last night I happened to find about half a dozen of my ragtime recordings, and I quickly slapped together a video that I could post here.

This long-forgotten piano gem is called the Chicken Chowder Rag. Amazingly, it was written by a sixteen-year-old girl named Irene M. Giblin (1888-1974) and was first published in 1905 when she was seventeen.

 Irene Mary Giblin

Giblin, who was from St. Louis, started playing the piano at an early age. By the time she was fourteen, she was hired to play the piano at the Grand Leader Department Store - where she performed all the latest hits from the Jerome H. Remick music catalogue.

Although Irene Giblin had a promising musical career and published numerous highly popular piano compositions, she abandoned her professional pursuits in 1908 when she married an accountant named Edward O'Brien. Her last published piano rag appeared in 1913. She died at the age of eighty-five in 1974.

Here's my performance of Chicken Chowder.



  1. That was fun. Enjoyed the song. Irene was gifted. And so are you.

  2. I wasn't sure from that first picture--LOL! But this was a lighthearted tune. She was sure young when she wrote this. A shame she didn't keep writing, but back then--a wife was a wife and not allowed to do much else. :(

  3. Did my comment get registered? Basically just said the rag was fun, your playing was great and the photos definitely added to the fun!

  4. I must admit that ragtime is not my favorite. But, your ability to play different genres is amazing! A true musician!! (I love the first photo)

  5. CHICKEN CHOWDER!!!!! I have never heard of this song....ever. As long as your playing and not eating that cute peep.

  6. Just in time for Easter!
    This was, in a word, delightful. I hope you had just as much fun performing this as I did listening.

  7. HA HA - never heard of this tune either, but it's a fun little piece. Loved the piano and the pictures. You can play your music anytime ... happy to hear it :)

  8. Whenever you feel yourself falling into a funk, you should play this tune to cheer yourself up. It's impossible to feel low when playing (or hearing) such upbeat music. It's amazing that Irene Giblin was only sixteen when she composed it. I wrote some music at that age, too, but trust me, it wasn't anywhere near as complicated and intricate as this piece.

  9. Thanks for the lovely playing and the background info! I purchased the piece as arranged for flute choir, and was looking for some information on the author, as my online purchase didn't include any program notes. Really enjoyed your rendition!

  10. Thanks for the lovely playing and the background info! I purchased this piece as arranged for flute choir, but the online purchase didn't include any program notes. I really enjoyed your rendition!


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