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Eubie Blake

Eubie Blake had a rather unique career. Although his main importance was as a songwriter for Broadway shows in the 1920s, late in life he became known as the last living link to ragtime. Blake always had a colorful life. He wrote his first rag, "The Charleston Rag," in 1899, spent years playing with medicine shows and in sporting houses, and by 1915 was teaming up with singer Noble Sissle in vaudeville. Sissle and Blake wrote for the 1921 hit show Shuffle Along (the first all-black musical) and it was followed by Revue Negre, Plantation Review, Rhapsody in Black, and Bamville Review. The team of Sissle and Blake, in addition to making recordings, were filmed for some early experimental sound shorts. Among Blake's hit songs of the 1920s were "I'm Just Crazy About Harry," "You're Lucky to Me," and "Memories of You."

Although he made some recordings in 1931, Eubie Blake generally had a lower profile for the next three decades. He worked with Sissle now and then and earned a degree from New York University, but was largely forgotten until 1969. That year he recorded a double LP for Columbia (The Eighty-Six Years of Eubie Blake) that amazed listeners who had never heard of him. During his remaining 14 years, Eubie Blake was a very popular performer, playing and singing ragtime-era pieces, charming audiences, making new records, appearing on Broadway in the 1978 show Eubie (he was 95 at the time), and running his own label, Eubie Blake Music. He continued performing until he was 98, and Eubie Blake made it to his 100th birthday with five days to spare. ~ Scott Yanow, Rovi
full bio

Comments

THANX AGAIN, PANDORA!!! :-D I have found Mr.Eubie Blake again, & that's the best thing that's happened 2 me ALL DAY!!! :-) & it's only 5:43 AM!!! Who knows where this will go? Very encouraging! ! ! :-D
Wow. I have never heard of Eubie, what an amazing character, you learn something every day. Fantastic! Drank and smoke until 100 I hope I can!
I saw him when he was a young man of 93. He played the s**t out of the piano, an unforgettabl e , very high-energy performance for a musician of any age. But he would have corrected Pandora's blurb, where it says he wrote Charleston Rag in 1899. He said he composed it then, but didn't write it, as he hadn't learned to read or write music yet.
I thought the same thing when I saw him on SNL. He was about 100 years old and his hands looked like a black boned skeleton . But could he play . He was amazing...
tunamae
His appearance with Gregory Hines in the fourth season of Saturday Night Live is unforgettabl e . His hands were amazing!
mrobertchase 1
You list a song as Eubie Blake's Dream Rag but it sure sounds like Memories of You. Any explanation?
bawood8
Eubie Blake was a talented composer and pianist. But he was not representati v e of the classic ragtime style/era. He was more of a stride and tin-pan alley player. This is not to diminish his accomplishme n t s at all, only to inform listeners that he was not truly representati v e of turn-of-the century ragtime composers and players, such as Scott Joplin, James Scott, Joseph Lamb, Arthur Marshall, et al.
sfw206
SIMPLY CAPTIVATING! ! !
I remember seeing him interviewed. He was asked how he lived so long when smoked and drank so much. He replied with a smile, "If I'd known I was gonna live this long. I'd have taken better care of myself."
Wow... would never have known about this guy without Pandora. This is wonderful ragtime piano!
jklevans21
Dear jjames370, Me, too. At the University of Delaware..He is MY inspiration.
jjames370
I had the priviledge to hear Ebuie Blake in a very small intimate concert setting when he was 90 years young! I will never forget that night....... h i s humor was as in tune as his skills on the keyboard.
sldt7157
Wonderful happy music!!!
His biography is so inspiring! And his music is simply amazing! :)
Mr.Eubie Blake is one of the greatest Ragtime Piano players of all time.
This music is very entertaining . He made great music for Broadway plays also.
i loved his music in the Broadway show Eubie. I bought the record but now can't find a place to buy the c.d. Do you know?

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