WFMT Press Room


For Immediate Release:

June 23, 2006

It's Ragtime To The Max

A new national series from the WFMT Radio Network, celebrating an American art form Debuts July 1, 2006

Chicago, IL – The WFMT Radio Network, one of the world's most renowned sources for fine arts radio programming, presents Ragtime to the Max, a 13-week, 1-hour series hosted by the legendary pianist-humorist-singer-historian Max Morath. Ragtime to the Max will be heard locally on 98.7WFMT each Saturday at noon, beginning on July 1, and nationally through the WFMT Radio Network.

In his new series, Max Morath explores the world of Ragtime in its broadest sense, applying it not only to the compositions of composers Scott Joplin, Jelly Roll Morton and Eubie Blake, but to all the popular music of the period that broke away from the early 20th century European traditional of the ballad and the waltz. Listeners will hear music of the theater and vaudeville, of bands and orchestras, ballroom dances, bar rooms and pop tunes.

Ragtime to the Max seeks to entertain and reconnect its audience with this truly American musical form, as part of our common heritage. The series shys away from traditional documentary forms; there are no interviews, in-depth biographies or musicological treatises. Instead, Ragtime to the Max delivers fast-paced commentary full of humor and insight, as a compliment to its main focus – the music. All of the music used in the series is available on current commercial recordings, performed by contemporary musicians including those by host Max Morath.

"The music Max Morath presents in this series is lively, rambunctious, exciting and fun. Each hour flies by in what seems like a few minutes. Not only that, Max writes and delivers the script with a verve and panache I've never heard before in a radio series. Max Morath is a piano genius and a radio wonder and it's a great privilege to have worked on this series with one of the great music veterans of our time."

Ragtime to the Max is produced by Max Morath and Chris Willis. Executive Producer is Steve Robinson.

About the WFMT Radio Network
The WFMT Radio Network, the international syndication division of award-winning Chicago classical music station 98.7 WFMT is one of the world's most well regarded sources for fine arts radio programming. WFMT syndicates concerts by the New York Philharmonic, Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, as well as ongoing series and documentary specials such as Exploring Music with Bill McGlaughlin and Leonard Bernstein: An American Life. The WFMT Radio Network also offers exclusive programming from Germany's Deutsche Welle Radio, the British Broadcasting Corporation, and dozens of classical, folk, jazz, and news series, as well as specials to radio outlets around the world.

WFMT Media Contact:
Holly H. Gilson
98.7WFMT and the WFMT Radio Network
(773) 509-5424