Get a head - e-mail me. Perfessor Bill Edwards
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Bill Edwards, who lives a somewhat separate life from his musical alter-ego, "Perfessor" Bill, currently resides in Ashburn, Virginia, a suburb of Washington, D.C., just a few miles from Dulles airport and a harrowing commute from the White House. Here is a glimpse of him as a person in and outside of ragtime, including some past and current joys in his life.

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Born February, 1959 in Garden Grove, California (a castle stone’s throw from Disneyland)
Siblings Deborah Billings (b. 1961), who currently resides in the Orange County, California area with her husband Todd.

Linda Cameron (b. 1962), who currently resides north of Los Angeles, California (Thousand Oaks) with her energetic grade schooler Gordon.

Parents Beverly Edwards (mother), who currently resides in Durango Colorado. Her husband, our beloved stepfather and former Hollywood radio/screen/TV/stage/record actor Sam Edwards, after 35 years of marriage and at 89 years of age, passed away July 28, 2004 in Durango with his family present. They traveled extensively up to the end, usually in an RV, a lifestyle about which she continues to write as an editor at large for Trailer Life and other magazines. Click here for a fuller biography of Sam Edwards, as he may have also touched your life in some way.

William G. Motley II (father), a retired engineer and programmer who currently resides in Southern California with his wife Patty.

Grandparents Wilma E. Motley (paternal - deceased), who lived and practiced dentistry and dental hygeine leadership more than 60 years in the San Fernando Valley outside of Los Angeles, California, before moving to Baltimore, Maryland for her final years. She was a past President and Lifetime Member/Associate of the American Dental Hygienists Association, inducted into the U.S.C. Wall of Fame in 2002 for her major role in this field. Mrs. Motley also composed a family history for her side of the clan, and wrote the widely used textbook on Ethics of Dental Hygienists. She was active as a speaker in the field of dental hygiene into her early 90s, passing away in September 2005.

William G. Motley Sr. (paternal - deceased) was both a well known dentist and a talented jazz musician in the San Fernando Valley for a great many years. His abilities went beyond keyboards to horns, strings, and other assorted instruments. He was a fabulous player when seated at his Gulbransen theatre organ, and love his jazz. Mr. Motley also associated with many Los Angeles area jazz musicians, including members of the Firehouse Five Plus Two and Robin Frost. Many of his revered instruments are now revered in Bill's home. He passed on in late 1996.

Paul Scroggs (maternal - deceased) grew up initially in the Carthage, Missouri area, where he eventually retired after a long career in construction around the country with the Peter Kiewit Company. He actually lived in Missouri during the ragtime era when many of the greats were playing there and in Joplin, and had a few stories to tell about those times, particularly during young Bill's summer stays. He passed on in 1995.

Elma Scroggs (maternal - deceased) also from the Carthage, Missouri area, was a fine cook who relished (no pun intended) making great meals when she mustard (pun intended) up the effort (I'll let you ketch-up), particularly at Thanksgiving and Christmas. She also loved taking care of Bill and his sisters when their mother had the need to "get away" for a while. She passed on in late 1975.

Lineage On the maternal side, direct links to the (Cave Springs, Missouri) Henry clan, including many that fought against each other in the Civil war, and back to and even before Patrick Henry. Many other relatives on this side of Bill's family still reside and farm in the Carthage/Joplin/Ozarks area of southwest Missouri, including a number of Henrys and Greshams.
Children Alex (1989) graduated from high school in 2007. He was an active soccer player in younger years, and has a particularly keen interest in math and computers (and games, of course). Alex is a very talented drummer and percussionist as well as guitarist. He has played in our church's youth worship bands, and was an active member of his school jazz and marching bands. His stage debut was in a second grade talent show while singing and tap dancing to dad playing Yes Sir, That’s My Baby and occasionally performs on stage with his dad as well as CDs. They did a honky-tonk piano album together in 2005 and he contributed to my 2006 Christmas Album. He currently employed in retail but looking for a career in recording as both musician and engineer.

Zachary (1994) is now in the Ninth Grade in High School. Graduating from DS and PSP games, he now enjoys WarQuest online, jazz music, Beatles, and all modes of sophisticated fantasmic literature. His most recent conquest is that of 2x2, 3x3, 4x4 and 5x5 Rubiks Cubes, all of which he can usually solve in near-record times. Yikes. Zach is in the advanced and gifted programs, finding them to be a breeze (unlike his brother and dad). He seems to have a good sense of musical rhythm, and is doing well at the piano - including ragtime - as well as on tuba in the school band. Zach added tuba and percussion to my 2006 Christmas Eve 1916 CD and has played with me at gigs. He tried a brief stint as a swimmer after an earlier soccer career, but neither suited him. He is a currently a Star Boy Scout in Ashburn Troop 997 and a member of the Loudoun County High School Marching Band as a tuba player. Zach has visited King's Dominion AND Hershey Park several times over the last few years, plus a trips to Kennywood Park, Knott's Berry Farm having ridden every coaster several times. He is also a Disney veteran from both coasts. Pulled me on to Mount Everest, Tower of Terror and Aerosmith at Walt Disney World in spite of MY fears (which as far as coasters go really don't exist - just falling elevators!).

Others Currently married to Pamela L. Edwards, an investigative auditor for the Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA), and mother of three children, Patric (24 and recently married), Marcia (23), and Kelsey (21) Pederson. Bill and Pam both serve in ministry at church when not on performance travel, as well as having led spiritual outreach and DivorceCare groups. Kelsey has worked with "Perfessor" Bill as Miss Kelsey, having cut her first old-time song CD in 2005. Pam served our country with DCAA in Kuwait from July 2006 to January 2007, recovering millions of dollars that were mischarged in the war effort.

Married to Joanna S. Edwards from 1985 to 1996, who retired a few years ago from a 17 year career teaching music, 14 of which were in Loudoun County, Virginia middle schools. She is a talented guitarist/singer in her own right. Joanna recently left a career as a high-level manager with RVIA (Recreational Vehicle Industry Association) and is pursuing other interests. She is still a good friend, and the mother of our two sons, Alex and Zachary (above).

Education
  • Ulysses S. Grant High School, Van Nuys CA
  • California State University at Northridge (Earthquake U)
  • Los Angeles Valley College, Van Nuys CA (AA in Broadcasting)
  • Fort Lewis College, Durango, CO (BA in Music Performance and American Ethnomusicology)
  • Strayer Business College (AA Certification in Computer Information Systems)
  • Continuing Education and MCSD Certification
Career Bill is a contract programmer for CACI Federal (formerly with Acton Burnell which was acquired by CACI in 2002) in the Fairfax, Virginia office. For seven years, he was a lead programmer for a VHA imaging project, creating, refining, and documenting a program that is rapidly eliminating film radiology in not only VA hospitals, but hospitals worldwide. The package, known as VistARad, reads and maximizes viewing options for X-rays, MRIs, CT Scans, and other types of radiology and topical images directly and instantly from an electronic database to a single or multiple-monitor Windows-based workstation. This pioneering project (FDA approved as a Class One Medical Device) has been saving pilot medical facilities measurable amounts of money spent on developing expensive silver film, plus it has made diagnosis of an image or series faster and easier with great flexibility. In light of recent tragedies and current military movements, this tool has become a point of interest for the Department of Defense as well for field operations. Bill has moved on to new projects under the new CACI management, recently working on a mutli-screen web alert system for Homeland Security Disaster Management, also having helped to develop a new legal repository for Department of Justice for large-scale lawsuit references, after working with an Army contract developing web personnel database tools as part of the RASS program. After having recently worked on an internet repository and global scanning application for a government contract, he is now doing stuff for Homeland Security that he can't talk about, and really isn't even sure about.

In the past, Bill has written several programs that are currently online and in daily use across the VA. This includes personnel tracking databases, an analysis tool for Gulf War Syndrome, and a program for tracking file cabinet use in the VA (not his idea – purely a Government thing)!

Before that, Bill worked for many years (and continues) as a professional musician and certified piano technician. Other than scant jobs in broadcasting and retail, this was his primary living for a number of years.

Music Bill’s primary love in life is music, particularly performance, in which he has several venues to exercise this particular talent. At Crossroads United Methodist Church he was a lay leader for the Music and Worship Ministries for many years, still contributing when he can. Using his orchestration and computer skills in combination, Bill was able to create nearly any type of MIDI accompaniment for the musical groups at the church, similar to the (almost) live one-man ragtime band he is able to render through digital technology. Since God gave Bill considerable musical talent (this is by accounts of many who have told him this), he only feels right that he should give it back in an appropriate fashion, through praise and musical outreach. From 1986 to 1994 he was the staff musician at another Northern Virginia Methodist church where his former wife, Joanna, was the musical director.

Mr. Edwards’ biggest interest has always been in Ragtime and Traditional Jazz. While music itself is much more than a hobby, one of his greatest hobby-like joys is the continuing search for interesting sheet music from the ragtime era. The number of oddities and really bizarre items seen in various antique stores and malls all around the country certainly add humor to those visits. Many of them yield good music or recordings as well. The process of digitally restoring scanned covers to their original state (or better) is also a fascinating challenge that keeps Bill busy in his copious "free" time.

Bill continues his pursuit to regain the World Championship Old-Time Piano Playing title he originally won in 1991, but the competition is admittedly more considerable than ever, although all participants are usually on friendly terms (except for those ten minute blocks of performance!). He continues to expand his repertoire, and to compose new pieces as well. He is currently completing two books - one on all of the people who made ragtime music possible, and a book on Honky-Tonk piano recordings and artists of the 1950s, both due in late 2009, in conjunction with his restoration of original recordings of the era to pristine state for CD on his Siggnal Sounds label. One of his long term projects has been the "discovery" of the music of Thumbs Malone, a Los Angeles based composer/performer who’s work has been rightfully elusive to locate. More information concerning Mr. Malone and an upcoming biography will be available in the future.


Alex and Zach, May, 2000
Alexander and Zachary in 2000. Following in my footsteps? Time will tell! I've got BIG feets.
Alex and Zachary late 2006
Zachary (now 14) and Alex (now 19) in a more recent photo.
Bill at the piano
The Perfessor, poised in his new (old) suit at the 2004 World Championship of Old Time Piano in Peoria!
Bill with his Petrof
A 2008 view of Bill with his beautiful 9'3" Petrof Concert Grand
Bill Edwards and Marty Mincer at the Whistle Stop Diner
Bill with his friend Marty Mincer performing in Blue Mound, Illinois at the now defunct Whistle Stop Diner. Marty is another World Champion of Old Time Piano
Look for our duet release in CD Recordings
Old-Time photo from 1984
The Early Days! REALLY Early!!


Ragtime Webring-Dedicated To Scott Joplin

The Ragtime Webring-Dedicated to Scott Joplin and the music of the Ragtime Era, this ring is an invaluable resource for jazz music lovers, musicians and historians. Sheet music, midi files, afro-american history, record collectors...

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There are lots of great ragtime recordings by top artists available from
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Including some of my recommended favorites:

Max Morath Dick Hyman Dick Zimmerman
Paul Lingle Wally Rose Lu Watters
James P. Johnson Tony Caramia Squirrel Nut Zippers
Marcus Roberts Butch Thompson Jelly Roll Morton
Glenn Jenks Sue Keller Fats Waller
The Good Time Jazz Catalog and Bill's personal favorites, The Firehouse Five+2!

And don't miss these movies which include some ragtime music:

The Jazz Singer The Sting
Alexander's Ragtime Band Scott Joplin
The Legend of 1900 Ragtime
For Me and My Gal Meet Me In St. Louis
In the Good Old Summertime Take Me Out to the Ball Game
The Jolson Story Jolson Sings Again
Cheaper by the Dozen San Francisco
Somewhere in Time Titanic (1953)
The Other Pretty Baby
42nd Street Reds
The Son of Kong Story of Vernon and Irene Castle
Cheyenne Social Club The Shootist
How To Dance Through Time - Dances of the Ragtime Era

Or just search their site using the search engine below!

     

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