Eubie (James Hubert) Blake

     Internationally renowned ragtime pianist and composer

        Birth:                            February 7, 1883

      Death:                          February 12, 1983

      Birthplace:                    Baltimore, Maryland

      Date of Interview:         April 14, 1972

      Place of Interview:        SIUE

      Interviewers:                 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.”

For the table of contents for the Interview of Eubie Blake, please click on this link:  Oral History and Research Materials:  Eubie Blake

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

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Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
Updated by Kristin Walker
May 2005