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Mrs. Lucille Armstrong widow of jazz immortal Louis Armstrong with Eubie Blake and Merver H. Bernstein
Mrs. Lucille Armstrong (C), widow of the late jazz immortal Louis Armstrong, stands beneath a poster advertizing a concert given at Brandeis University in Waltham, on September 17, 1979, for the Brandeis Louis Armstrong Music Fund. Flanking Mrs. Armstrong are Eubie Blake (L), the 92 year-old famed jazz and ragtime pianist, and the President of Brandeis University, Merver H. Bernstein (R). (UPI Photo/Files)
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James Hubert Blake (February 7, 1887 – February 12, 1983) was an American composer, lyricist, and pianist of ragtime, jazz, and popular music. In 1921, Blake and long-time collaborator Noble Sissle wrote the Broadway musical Shuffle Along, one of the first Broadway musicals to be written and directed by African Americans. Blake's compositions included such hits as, "Bandana Days", "Charleston Rag", "Love Will Find A Way", "Memories of You", and "I'm Just Wild About Harry". The musical Eubie! featured the works of Blake and opened on Broadway in 1978.

Blake was born at 319 Forrest Street in Baltimore, Maryland to former slaves John Sumner Blake (1838–1917) and Emily "Emma" Johnstone (1861–1927). He was the only surviving child of eight, all the rest of whom died in infancy. In 1894 the family moved to 414 North Eden Street, and later to 1510 Jefferson Street. John Blake worked earning US$9.00 weekly as a stevedore on the Baltimore docks.

In later years Blake claimed to have been born in 1883, but his Social Security application and all other official documents list his year of birth as 1887. Many otherwise reliable sources mistakenly give his year of birth as the earlier year.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Eubie Blake."
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