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Eubie (James Hubert) Blake

Eubie (James Hubert) Blake

Internationally renowned ragtime pianist and composer

Birth:

Death:

Birthplace:

Date of Interview:

Place of Interview:

Interviewers:

February 7, 1883

February 12, 1983

Baltimore, Maryland

April 14, 1972

SIUE

Dan Havens, Jules Zanger, Carol Clarkin


Eubie Blake, with his long, slender fingers, had a distinguished musical career. Mr. Blake formed a successful partnership with Noble Sissle in 1915. Mr. Blake went on to become music director for the United Services Organizations (USO) productions during World War II. His first recording was released in 1917. During the 1950's he was considered by many to be the nation's leading ragtime pianist. In 1969 he recorded the album, "The Eighty-Six Years of Eubie" (COL C2S-847), which was well received. Three years later, Mr. Blake came to SIUE to perform at the First Annual Jazz Festival. Eubie Blakes legendary musical life has been celebrated in a number of films and in the Broadway musical, "Eubie."


This is the table of contents for the interview of Eubie Blake. It is part of the National Ragtime and Jazz Archive which is located in Lovejoy Library at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

For a complete contents list of all musician interviews for the oral history project, please click on this link: Oral History and Research Materials.


If interested in reviewing these materials from the National Ragtime and Jazz Archive, please contact Therese Dickman, Fine Arts Librarian.

Tape # Side

Time

Subject

1 a

015-050

Eubie as a nickname

1 a

051-065

Birth in Baltimore, 1883

1 a

066-104

Parents; as slave; family

1 a

105-114

Music in family

1 a

115-133

Longevity; Eubie's father

1 a

134-175

Eubie's father and the American flag

1 a

176-192

Lee Whipper, Porgy

1 a

193-283

How Eubie started playing the organ

1 a

284-307

First lessons; Margaret Marshall

1 a

308-319

Improvising on the organ

1 a

320-340

Ragtime, origins of

1 a

341-403

Eubie's girlfriend, her lawn party; Edgar Dow

1 a

404-449

Plays "Dream Rag"

1 a

450-480

Jessie Picket, Composer of "Dream Rag"

1 a

481-493

Basil Chase; Eubie age 15-16

1 a

494-508

Dr. Frisbee's medicine show

1 a

509-628

Job at Aggie Shelton's Place

1 a

629-634

Next job

1 a

635-648

Old Kentucky Show

1 a

649-654

Playing cabarets in New York

1 a

655-665

Type of music played in bordellos

1 a

666-702

Plays excerpts of music

1 a

703-709

1905; playing in New York and Atlantic City

1 a

710-712

Goldfield Hotel

1 b

063-095

Rags, classic flavor of

1 b

096-111

Composing of Charleston Rag

1 b

112-144

Learning show music

1 b

145-176

Jim Europe's band

1 b

177-224

Early rags - "Chevy Chase" and "Fizzwater"; publisher's tricks -no royalties

1 b

225-274

Plays "Charleston Rag"

1 b

275-280

First musical comedy

1 b

281-394

Discrimination against blacks in show business; musicians salaries; Keith Vaundeville. Dressing facilities for blacks; Eubie's father on Decoration Day

1 b

395-406

Blank

1 b

407-491

Attitudes of young blacks; feelings of older blacks

1 b

492-504

First show; Shuffle Along

1 b

505-523

Playing in small towns

1 b

524-549

Getting from New Jersey to Washington, D.C.

1 b

550-565

Thomas Brothers and race track incident

1 b

566-580

Getting from Washington, D.C. to New York

1 b

581-592

Minstrel shows; comedians

1 b

593-599

Blank

1 b

600-645

Minstrel shows

1 b

646-668

Continued popularity of "I'm Just Wild about Harry"

1 b

669-704

Partnership with Noble Sissle

1 b

705-724

Josephine Baker

1 b

713-719

Blank

1 b

720-740

One-leg Willie

1 b

725-736

Countries played on tour

1 b

737-

End of tape

1 b

740-

End of side one

2 a

003-025

USO tours

2 a

026-038

Travels in U.S.; wife acts as agent

2 a

039-056

Recent compositions

2 a

057-105

Plays "Melodic Rag"

2 a

106-141

Present popularity of ragtime; what makes music ragtime

2 a

142-

End of tape


E-mail comments and inquiries about the National Ragtime and Jazz Archive to Therese Dickman at tdickma@siue.edu or call 618-650-2695.
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