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Length: approx. 4½ mins.
An early work, Johnson dedicated Scandalous Thompson
to his rag-time friend Mr Harry Kelly. This is what the composer said about Thompson:
"No doubt the above title for a musical composition will seem odd, and inappropriate, therefore, I will explain how it happens that this queer title is adopted. During my earlier school days the school which I attended boasted of having- the best foot ball team in the city, The most prominent member of this team was a young man named Thompson. He was prominent not only as the greatest player on the team, bat for being the funniest. He was never known to be quiet in his waking hours; always on the move, usually dancing, he naturally attracted attention. One day during a game of foot ball, Thompson made one brilliant play after another, and at every play a Negro lad standing near me would make all sorts of exclamations, usually attaching the word "scandalous" to the sentence. I learned that the Negro used the word "scandalous" to praise and show his appreciation and that the word is common in that sense among the Negroes. During the intervening years I have thought many times of Thompson and the Negro. As the recollection of Thompson's dancing would invariably intrude when I was writing this piece, and I would find myself writing to his shuffle, I decided to call it by his name, and have used the word "scandalous" since it is the name he is known by to this day. Should this meet the eyes of my old school-mate, I hope that it will stir in him the feeling that inspired me to the writing of this explanation."
Clearly intended for dancing it is much like a cakewalk with many stops. Its form is AABBACCDCDC with a 4-bar introduction whereby the AB- and CD- strains are in the major keys of G and C respectively. A sonorous all tenor/bass affair - it is just the piece for those recorder ensembles with basses aplenty.
Scandalous Thompson was published by J.W. Jenkins' Sons Music Co., Kansas City, Missouri, USA.
A tempo of 80 crotchets/min. is suggested.