Eubie Blake, with

Vivian Perlis

Brooklyn, New York

January, 1972

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

 

Side a:                                                                                                                                            pp. 1-24

 

Rambling-- mutual friends in New Haven-- Vera Lawrence-- waltz written for her-- (music)-- Gershwin-- musicians who taught Gershwin to play ragtime-- social background of ragtime-- reminiscing and anecdotes about family life-- mother buys E.B. an. organ-- first song learned-- Margaret Marshall is teacher-- development of own style-- difference between styles of playing ragtime then and now-- Willy the Lion, Billy Taylor, Count Basie-- more on the Count-- Dizzy Gillespie and “bop”-- stride piano-- ragtime becomes popular-- playing for white parties-- difference between style of white and colored bands-- whites dancing out of tempo-- Eubie following bands as a boy.

 

Side b:                                                                                                                                           pp. 24-48

 

Porgy and Bess-- reactions of Negroes to whites-- childhood dealings with white neighbors-- playing the cornet as a boy-- plays in Charlie Harris’s band-- picnics and excursions from the church-- Friday night torchlight parades-- improvising during performances-- quitting the band-- hearing ragtime for first time at funerals-- getting into trouble for following the band-- ragtime pianists-- Jesse Pickett, Jack the Bear-- Jesse Pickett as teacher-- more on J.P.-- first girlfriend-- plays organ for a lawn party for girlfriend-- Ragtime Maine-- Richard K. Fox[sp]-- Rudy Blesh-- first job with a medicine man-- then to house of ill-repute-- mother finds out-- anecdote/story-- buys a. house for parents with money earned-- gets a job at the Middle Section Club-- begins composing in 1899--  Goldfield’s Hotel-- One-leg Willy-- Huey Wilford-- Jelly-Roll Morton-- more on Huey Wilford[sp]-- rough times on the job-- playing in cabarets (1905)-- Joe Gans-- Atlantic City-- 1915 leaves Baltimore for New York-- buys mother fur coat-- produces a show.

 

Side c:                                                                                                                                                          pp. 48-62

 

Adopted children-- wrote political songs-- Lottie Gee-- "I’m Just Wild about Harry”-- meets Sissle in 1915-- forms partnership with Sissle-- “It’s All Your Fault”-- Sophie Tucker-- first songs published-- how publishers used to cheat composers-- flat rate on music-- playing for Irving Berlin-- anecdote about “Alexander's Ragtime Band"-- two wives-- partnership with Madison Reed-- George Cohan-- anecdote about “You’re a Grand Old Flag"-- James Reese-- Sissle and Reese go to war-- Jim Europe.

 

 

 

 

 

Side d:                                                                                                                                           pp. 62-84

 

Lawrence Deas stages Shuffle Along-- show rehearses for six weeks before production-- Blake plays for rehearsals-- Blake and Sissle perform their act on stage-- description of the "Sissle and Blake” vaudeville act-- Pat Casey, agent for Sissle and Blake-- the Clef Club-- Sissle and Blake perform for white millionaires-- other musicals at the time of Shuffle Along-- Josephine Baker-- success of Shuffle Along-- Alan Dale, writer of Shuffle Along-- Miller and Lyles routine-- Blake owes money to chorus-- move show to Boston to Selwyn Theatre-- moved to Olympia Theatre in Chicago-- Blake composes Chocolate Dandies-- Sissle and Payton write lyrics-- Blake prefers score of Chocolate Dandies to Shuffle Along-- Chocolate comes three years after Shuffle Along-- B.C. Whitney and Chocolate Dandies-- discussion of a scene from Chocolate Dandies-- show is unsuccessful because of that scene-- Andy Razaf and Blackbirds of 19.30-- ”Memories of You” not written for voice-- Gertrude Lawrence-- “You Were Meant for Me”-- Police refusing Blake attendance at funerals of Lawrence and Sophie Tucker-- Blackbirds success-- Joshua Ready[sp]-- Blake and Ready write an operetta but never perform it--  bad luck follows mother’s death-- Blake’s retirement-- Rudolph Friml--  1930’s are bad years for Blake-- Herschel Stewart[sp] becomes Blake and Sissle’s advance man——Blake and Sissle are cheated-- mother’s reaction to Shuffle Along-- anecdote about Ford’s Theatre and opening the second balcony for the Negroes-- Sissle goes to Paris-- touring the United Kingdom-- return to U.S. and make money-- tour during WWII-- Sissle and Cole Porter form a band in Paris-- Sissle and Blake tour with separate bands-- receives a degree from NYU-- Blake’s feelings about whites playing rags-- Don Ewell-- Jim Hessian[sp]-- John Hoffmann[sp]-- Max Morris[sp]-- acquaintance with Paul Robeson; Blake puts him on the stage-- Blake heard Scott Joplin play “Maple Leaf Rag”-- Joplin was pitiful.

 

Side e:                                                                                                                                            pp. 84-96

 

James Reese Europe’s death-- more on Europe-- William Grant Still-- meeting between Roland Hayes and Europe-- ideas generated for Shuffle Along-- Europe’s death-- Miller and Lyles, Sissle and Blake-- approaching Harry Court about performing Shuffle Along-- cost of putting on the show-- John Sholes[sp] supports the production-- writing the score-- composing “Bandana Days”-- Hammerstein and Rodgers-- the magic of the writing team of Sissle and Blake-- Paul Whiteman-- auditioning the score of Shuffle Along-- rejection of “Love Will Find a Way”-- ”Oriental Blues”-- Frank Fay's Fables-- size of the cast, costumes, pay for Shuffle Along-- Shuffle Along goes to Broadway.