Thanks to hoffmanjazz for the You Tube
This is Eubie Blake, playing a concert in Berlin, Germany in 1972, It was around the same year I saw him live in El Segundo, California at the Old Town Music Hall. For me, it was a once in a lifetime opportunity to hear Eubie Blake, who had played professionally 70 years earlier at the height of the Ragtime era. He still played remarkably well for a man in his late 80’s, and he even cracked jokes while he played.
One of his jokes went something like, “…I heard about all these guys who claim to have invented boogie woogie. I was playin’ boogie woogie before they were born, only we called it “the walkin’ bass.”
The tunes are (all Eubie Blake compositions): The Charleston Rag, The Classical Rag, I’m Just Wild About Harry, and Memories of You.
This video gives people today a chance to hear Ragtime as it was originally played. Scott Joplin died in 1917 and was never recorded on sound equipment. We have Scott Joplin piano rolls, and I’m grateful for them, but they are just not the same as a live pianist. So, with Eubie Blake, we get to hear the ragtime era music live as it was played in around 1910…boogie woogie or the walkin’ bass and all. Memories indeed!