When you were watching Mad Men, and that disaster of a party thrown by Sterling, did you notice a tune that was perfect for the time period but also a genuine bop?
What about Boardwalk Empire, when, amongst revenge plots, murder and mayhem, there was a jaunty tune going in the background that, despite the gore onscreen made you want to dance?
Or, or…on Tiny Toon Adventures when there was a song that made you want to get up and grab your sweetie to move around the room…
All of those moments? Were provided by Eubie Blake.
Born in Baltimore, February 7, 1887, Blake grew up playing pump organ, first in his home and then in various brothels and saloons around town until he met one Noble Sissie. Together, the two would write a string of hits, including one of the first musicals written by African-Americans: Shuffle Along that became the first Broadway hit with an all black cast and launched the careers of Josephine Baker, Paul Robeson and many, many others.
If you want to check out some old school Jazz, vaudeville and more, check out Blake’s discography here or visit the Eubie Blake Cultural Center!