Eubie Blake

1883 —

Blake, Eubie was as much as 20 years older than most of the other early jazz and ragtime musicians who composed and recorded their creations on 78s and piano rolls in the early years of this century. Incredibly, he met almost all of the pioneers, and he outlived them. By the time Eubie first recorded, he was 34, but he was already a show business veteran. With singer Noble Sissle, he brought the first 'Negro' musical to Broadway in 1921-Shuffle Along.

In his later years, his willingness to travel, his ability to clearly recall events and people from 60 to 90 years before, and his openness and frankness (not to mention his keyboard facility) made him a national institution. The Amherst Saxophone Quartet met Eubie in St. Louis in 1979, and by 1980, Eubie helped the ASQ to record 14 of the master's works for the Musical Heritage Society record label.