Eubie Blake made himself even more famous well into his 90s when he said, “If I’d known I was going to live this long, I’d have taken better care of myself.” He died on February 12, 1983 at the age of 100 years and five days. More famous? Yes, he had been widely known for decades as a pianist, bandleader and composer. Blake’s “Memories of You,” “I’m Just Wild About Harry” and “Charleston Rag” were among a string his of hits that began with an early one for Sophie Tucker, “It’s All Your Fault.”
When ragtime made a comeback in the 1950s, so did Eubie, and the comeback lasted until he died. Here he is in Berlin in 1972 when he was a mere 89 year old, charming an audience with a medley of his best-known songs.
Taking the birthday tribute a step further, let’s hear one of best of the dozens of versions of Blake’s “Memories of You,” by Clifford Brown with strings.
Thank you for Eubie Blake.