Living in Jackson

Popular Music in a Historic Site

July 2, 2021

Ragtime to Christian Rock: 125 years of tunes inside these old brick walls.

The weird and intoxicating Ragtime piano music of Scott Joplin must have been heard soaring out windows throughout Jackson around the same time this landmark structure was built.

The Commercial Exchange, formerly the Collins Manufacturing Plant, was built in 1895. Scott Joplin's "Maple Leaf Rag" which was published in 1899, hit popular culture with a bang and Ragtime became a distinctly American form of popular music.

I remember my stepson, Paul LaZebnik, beating out Scott Joplin’s tunes on our old grand piano. Our family lived in the Commercial Exchange Building in the 1970s and 80s. That same old grand piano was moved into Stephen Ziegenfuss’ second-floor guitar manufacturing studio in 2020. When his state-of-the-art saws and sanders are resting, our maintenance team often hears Stephen thumping out Ragtime tunes, or, he and Paula singing their original brand of contemporary Christian music.

It is no surprise to us at the Commerical Exchange to learn the Ziegenfuss’ will be opening with their own songs for MercyMe at the Jackson County fair on August 9 of 2021.

MercyMe performed the hit, “I Can Only Imagine,” a digital single that made Christian music history as the first to be certified platinum.

Stephen and Paula have been writing and performing music since 2002.

You can bet our entire crew will be at their performance on August 9.
Please check out the article on MLive below and buy your tickets!