"James Hubert "Eubie" Blake" (February 7, 1887 - February 12, 1983) was a composer and pianist of ragtime, jazz, and popular music, as well as a lyricist. With his long time collaborator Noble Sissle, Blake wrote the Broadway Musical ''Shuffle Along'' in 1921; this was the first Broadway musical ever to be written and directed by African Americans. Blake's hit compositions included "Bandana Days", "Charleston Rag", "Love Will Find A Way", "Memories of You", and "I'm Just Wild About Harry". In 1978, the musical ''Eubie'' opened on Broadway.
He was born as "James Hubert Blake" at 319 Forest Street in Baltimore, Maryland, on February 7, 1887, to Emma (1861-1927) and John Blake (1838-1917). Both parents were former slaves. He had seven siblings and all had died as infants; he was the only child that lived. In 1894 the family moved to 414 North Eden Street, then to 1510 Jefferson Street. John Blake worked as a stevedore, making nine dollars a week.
Blake's musical training began when he was just four or five years old. While out shopping with his mother, he wandered into a music store, climbed on the bench of an organ, and started "foolin’" around. When his mother fou...