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James Hubert 'Eubie' Blake
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Composer
    (February 7, 1887-February 12, 1983)
    Born in Baltimore, Maryland
    Died in Brooklyn, New York, five days after his 96th birthday
    Ragtime pianist
    Composed ‘Boo Hoo Hoo,’ ‘’Deed I Do,’ ‘Life Is Just A Bowl Of Cherries,’ ‘Love Will Find A Way’ and ‘I’m Just Wild About Harry’
    Shows include ‘Swing It,’ ‘Blackbirds’ and ‘Shuffle Along'
    Namesake for the Eubie Blake National Jazz Institute and Cultural Center and 1979 musical ‘Eubie!’
    Appeared on The Tonight Show (1973) and Saturday Night Live (1979)
    As he claimed it reminded her of the bordellos, his mother did not appreciate him playing his signature style (‘the Devil’s music’) on the family piano.
    He routinely sneaked out of his mother’s house to perform at a local dive — while she thought he was long since in bed!
    When ragtime was on the wane, he went into a 23-year retirement.
    In his twilight years, he caused a great deal of confusion by insisting his year of birth was 1883.
    He was addicted to sweets — especially in his final year.
    On reaching very old age: ‘If I had known I was gonna live this long, I’d have taken better care of myself.’
    After ten attempts at childbirth, he was the first child to live past infancy.
    Against his mother’s objections, his father insisted he learn about where he really came from (he was the son of liberated slaves).
    He credits his mother with the origin of the ‘ragtime’ reference (‘take that ragtime out of my house!’).
    He met his best songwriting partner – Noble Sissle – during the First World War.
    He considered his performance with the Boston Pops Orchestra his absolute defining moment.
    ‘The world goes on no matter what you do.’

Credit: Cool It All Right?


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