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Established:June 1997
Hosting Provider:iPowerWeb
Author:All content written, coded, illustrated, maintained and posted by 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.

Last Update 07/29/2015

Born February, 1959 in Garden Grove, California (a castle stone’s throw from Disneyland)
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 son Gordon and husband Eric.
Beverly Edwards (mother), who currently resides in Thousand Oaks, California. 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 continued to write as an editor at large for Trailer Life and other magazines until the late 2000s. 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 has resided in Southern California with his wife Patty.
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.
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.
Amber (1984) was raised in Durango, Colorado. A very adept student in the Durango school system, she also graduated from Fort Lewis College with a degree in accounting, and later passed her Certified Public Accountant exam. Amber moved to the Washington, DC, area in the mid-2000s, and became an integral part of the AARP family. Due to medical concerns she moved back to Colorado where she currently resides.
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 as an auto mechanic, specializing in mid-sized diesel engines.
Zachary (1994) is working on a math/computer sciences degree at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. A talented guitarist who has dabbled in composring, he also enjoys jazz music, Beatles, and all modes of sophisticated fantasmic literature, and logic overall. Zach easily mastered 2x2, 3x3, 4x4 and 5x5 Rubiks Cubes (and even stranger combinations), all of which he can usually solve in near-record times. Yikes. In high school he was 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 even spent some time learning 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 on occasion. He achieved the rank of Star Boy Scout in Ashburn Troop 997 and a member of the Loudoun County High School Marching Band as a tuba player. He has a future in pretty much anything he wants.
Married to Pamela L. Edwards, an auditor of auditors and policy for the Department of Defense, and mother of three children, Patric (1984), Marcia (1985), and Kelsey (1987) Pederson. Bill and Pam have both served in music and other ministries 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 the Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) in Kuwait from July 2006 to January 2007, recovering millions of dollars that were mischarged in the Gulf War efforts.
Previously Married to Joanna S. Edwards from 1985 to 1996, who retired a few years later 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, now living in Maryland. She is still a good friend, and the mother of our two sons, Alex and Zachary (above).
  • 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)
  • Other IT Professional Certifications
Bill was 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 helped to rapidly eliminated film radiology in not only VA hospitals, but hospitals worldwide. Bill later moved on to new projects under the new CACI management, having worked on a mutli-screen web alert system for Homeland Security Disaster Management, 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, and closing out his two decades of continuous work with another Homeland Security contract creating a website that helped track terror threats and later make them accessible to the public after the fact. He took time following the sequestration issues of late 2012 to research and write extensively on his favorite topic of ragtime era composers. Bill is currently workin again, this time for the Airlines Recording Corporation as a web programmer and designer, but has not flagged in his research and writing.
In the past, Bill wrote several programs that for many years were, or even 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.
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, and even delivering a message now and then. 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 during those ten minute blocks of performance!). He continues to expand his repertoire, and to compose new pieces as well. He is currently working on three books - one on all of the people who made ragtime music possible, a book on Honky-Tonk piano recordings and artists of the 1950s, and the ragtime movement from the mid-1970s to current day, 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 and Alex at 14 and 19 respectively.
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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