J HUBERT (EUBIE) BLAKE
A Short Story
In the 1960's all of my combo members lived in Brooklyn. We traveled
in one car to Ridgewood Queens. We were playing either at the
Ridgewood Rathskeller or the Ridgewood Terrace, a few nights each
week. We always took a shortcut thru Eastern Parkway. (It looked
like the city of Berlin after a bombing.)
Along the way we would pass a small night club / bar. The sign
"Tonight Featuring The Composer Of "I'm Just Wild
About Harry" on the piano".
One morning, on the way home, we decided to stop in and listen
for a while. Oh! my (Gosh) could this guy play! He looked to be
105 at the very least. We then made it a practice to stop in at
least twice a week and hear some great Ragtime piano. Eubie had been
working at this rat hole of a bar for perhaps 6 nights a week for maybe the last ten years.
"THE STING" featuring the music of Scott Joplin
Then in 1970, LP's were issued on which rags were played by such
"legitimate" pianists as Joshua Rifkin and William Bolcolm.
Ragtime is a "chord" rediscovered ... and for some reason,
it has found its preservation capital in Los Angeles ... especially
at the numerous Shakey's Pizza Parlors, where ragtime pianists
spend hours playing requests for the oldtime music. Ragtime music
clubs have sprung up with membership rosters resembling the Hall
of Fame. Eighty-eight year-old ragtime pianist, Eubie Blake, Jimmy
Durante, and musicians all over the world have restored the ecological
balance to a totally American musical form that had almost died
All of the midi files on this server are modified and somewhat
abbreviated. There is enough of each song (about 20 measures)
to give you a feel for what they are like. The songs are available as midi,
recorded on tape, cd, pdf files or printed.
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