Eubie Blake

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James Hubert Blake (February 7, 1887 – February 12, 1983)[1][2][3] was an American composer, lyricist, and pianist of ragtime, jazz, and popular music. In 1921, Blake and long-time collaborator Noble Sissle wrote the Broadway musical Shuffle Along, one of the first Broadway musicals to be written and directed by African Americans. Blake's compositions included such hits as, "Bandana Days", "Charleston Rag", "Love Will Find A Way", "Memories of You", and "I'm Just Wild About Harry". The musical Eubie! featured the works of Blake and opened on Broadway in 1978.



Early years

Blake was born at 319 Forrest Street in Baltimore, Maryland to former slaves John Sumner Blake (1838–1917) and Emily "Emma" Johnstone (1861–1927).[1][2][3] He was the only surviving child of eight, all the rest of whom died in infancy. In 1894 the family moved to 414 North Eden Street, and later to 1510 Jefferson Street. John Blake worked earning US$9.00 weekly as a stevedore on the Baltimore docks.

In later years Blake claimed to have been born in 1883, but his Social Security application and all other official documents list his year of birth as 1887. Many otherwise reliable sources mistakenly give his year of birth as the earlier year.


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