Adeline   Adeline Shepherd ~ Ragtime Composer - and My Grandmother

An Untold Story

In 1977, I was contacted on the phone by a reporter named Susan Wirth. She wanted to interview me for a story that was being written about my grandmother Adeline Shepherd as part of a Women In Ragtime series. I told her that she must have called the wrong person that I did not have any knowledge of my grandmother doing anything like this. She said, no, I have her entire family tree and you are the granddaughter of the Adeline Shepherd who was a well-known ragtime composer. Imagine my embarrassment and how I felt I had let my grandmother down for not having this knowledge. In truth, noone in my family had this knowledge except perhaps my mother who had passed away. Everyone knew Adeline had a grand piano on the landing between the 2nd and 3rd story of her very large home and everyone knew she played very well, and very often, even with arthritis. But the family only knew Adeline after she had married a very successful businessman and had begun to raise her family. They did not know Adeline between 1902 and 1910 when she composed and sold, quite successfully, ragtime songs. From that moment on, my journey became one of learning all I could about my grandmother, Adeline, and in making sure everyone in the family knew her story and would continue to tell that story to future generations. This Web site is just one more tribute to her great talent.

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