Eubie Blake On Piano Jazz

More interviews from NPR Piano Jazz this week! Though Marian McPartland no longer actively hosts the show (which has been running since the late 1970s), it still airs weekly with encore performances and in a new version hosted by Jon Weber.

Here is a real treat: a 1980 interview with James Hubert “Eubie” Blake. He was the last of the known living original ragtime pianists when he appeared on the program in 1980 with host Marian McPartland. Here, the 93-year-old Blake recalls working in vaudeville, performing at the height of the Jim Crow era, writing “Charleston Rag” and even watching a performance by the great Russian pianist Sergei Rachmaninoff.

Between all the great talking, the set list for the show runs:

  • “Betty Washboard Rag” (R. Kreve)
  • “Marian’s Waltz” (J.H. Blake)
  • “You’re Lucky to Me” (J.H. Blake, A. Razaf)
  • “Charleston Rag” (J.H. Blake)
  • “Dream Rag” (J.H. Blake)
  • “For the Last Time Call Me Sweetheart” (A. Johns)
  • “The Star Spangled Banner”
  • “Falling in Love With Someone” (V. Herbert, R. Young)
  • “Kiss Me Again” (V. Herbert, H. Blossom)
  • “St. Louis Blues” (W.C. Handy)
  • “I’m Just Wild About Harry” (E. Blake, N. Sissle)
  • “Gypsy Sweetheart” (V. Herbert, H. Smith)

Click here to listen to Eubie Blake on NPR Piano Jazz 1991