14 Facts About Ernest Hogan


In 1895 Ernest Hogan composed several popular songs, including "La Pas Ma La" and "All Coons Look Alike to Me".

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Ernest Hogan was considered one of the most talented performers and comedians of his day.

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Ernest Hogan was born Ernest Reuben Crowders in the Shake Rag District of Bowling Green, Kentucky, in 1865.

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Ernest Hogan likely performed in blackface during this time, as he sometimes did later in his career.

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Ernest Hogan was first wed to a youthful singer named Mattie Wilkes.

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Ernest Hogan's was a popular soprano who had been performing in vaudeville shows with him; they married around 1901 or 1902.

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Ernest Hogan was later reportedly married to a woman named Louise, who helped him organize concerts in the early 1900s.

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Ernest Hogan followed this song with the hit "All Coons Look Alike to Me".

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Ernest Hogan was evidently not the originator of the song's lyrics, having appropriated them after hearing a pianist in a Chicago salon playing a song titled "All Pimps Look Alike to Me".

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Ernest Hogan merely changed the words slightly, substituting the word "coon" for "pimp" and added a cakewalk syncopation to the music, which he had heard being played in back rooms and cafes.

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Controversy over the song has, to some degree, caused Ernest Hogan to be overlooked as one of the originators of ragtime, which has been called the first truly American musical genre.

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Ernest Hogan's songs were among the first published ragtime songs and the first to use the term "rag" in their sheet music copy.

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In January 1908, Ernest Hogan collapsed onstage in New York and again in Boston while performing in "The Oyster Man.

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Ernest Hogan died from tuberculosis in Lakewood, New Jersey, on May 20, 1909.

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