Imperial Hotel Reservations
719-689-2561


Room 48 Max Morath Hide-away Queen Bed Suite

2-room suite

$125

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The The Imperial was blessed with gifted musicians and entertainers. In 1950 the Hotel had the good fortune to engage a young pianist from Colorado Springs named Max Morath, a man who after playing many seasons with us, went on to national fame with his Gay '90's music and one-man show. Bob Goodnow, entertainer and musician from Amarillo, Texas, kept the Gold Bar lively with his talents for a seven year stretch and now travels the ragtime circuit in Colorado and Wyoming.

About Max Morath:

Colorado Springs native Max Morath occupies a unique space as a spokesman for American life and music. With his many one-man shows in New York and on national tour, he was a prominent figure in the Ragtime revival that swept the nation in the1970’s. He has logged a lifetime total of over 5000 performances, a figure that includes hundreds of appearances in the Imperial’s Gold Bar Room during the summers of the1950’s, in his role as pianist and Musical Director for the Imperial Players.

Max had worked his way through Colorado College as a radio announcer and jazz sideman, graduating in 1948 with a B.A. in English. He first appeared with the Imperial Players soon after, joining the troupe in1950 -- the year it was founded by Wayne and Dorothy Mackin. Working at the Imperial and elsewhere, in melodramas, cabarets, and summer stock, he developed a lifelong fascination with ragtime and American musical theatre.

Graduate studies at Stanford’s NBC Radio & Television Institute sharpened his media skills, and for PBS (then NET) in the early 1960’s he wrote and performed twenty-eight half-hour television shows exploring American life through its popular music. The initial series, “The Ragtime Era,” was conceived and produced by Moss Hall, another veteran of the Imperial Players. Hall had put in several seasons onstage as a popular actor/mime, then served as Stage Manager for the troupe. He went on to become a producer for Denver’s Channel Six, a major supplier of programs for PBS. As one of his first projects, he convinced Max they could put his Cripple Creek persona on the tube. The resulting ragtime series, written by Max and produced under Hall’s supervision, became a substantial and long-running national hit.

Exposure and publicity from these shows led to extended runs for Max at New York’s famed Blue Angel nightclub and on to a lengthy engagement with his quartet at the historic Village Vanguard. Then, determined to enlarge his television and cabaret materials into a theatrical property, he launched in1969 his first one-man theatrical, Off-Broadway at the Jan Hus Playhouse in New York: "Max Morath at the Turn of the Century." Again, critics were impressed with his seemingly offhand, colloquial approach to history and music. Many other theatrical productions followed, assuring him many years of successful touring across the USA and Canada.

Many of Max’s piano and vocal recordings remain currently available on CDs, primarily on the Vanguard label, but also on Columbia/Sony,Omega, Premier, RCA, and Solo Art. His album The Ragtime Man, (Omega, 1992) includes his composition "Cripple Creek: A Ragtime Suite for Piano,” capturing the mood of the gold rush days with rags named for six of the district’s legendary mines.
The Moraths have never been strangers to the Gold Camp. Max’s grandfather, Fred A. Morath and his great-uncles Ed, Gene, and Charlie, came west from Ohio and were hustling here in the boom days of the 1890’s. As kids, growing up in Colorado Springs, Max, his brother Fred and their pals hiked the Old Stage Road and the Gold Camp Road to Cripple Creek “millions of times.” Long after his final season with the Imperial Players, Max and his daughter Kathy, a professional actress, were in town to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Bob Womack’s discovery (1892-1992) in an outdoor concert with the Colorado Springs Symphony. The orchestral version of Max’s ragtime tribute to Womack, Poverty Gulch, was premiered. Then in the year 2000, Max was invited by the late Steve Mackin, who managed the new Butte Music Hall on Bennett Avenue, to perform the opening shows on its stage.


Max is determined to come back again soon, if only to re-visit his old piano, order a round at the Red Rooster Bar, and spend the night in the Max Morath Suite (#48.)





123 N. Third St. POB 308

Ph: 719-689-2561

gary@imperialhotelrestaurant.com

        
 

 

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