Talk:Eubie Blake

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Age Controversy[edit]

Blake's WWII draft registration card lists his birthdate as 1883, so at the very least, the statement that all government documents indicate the 1887 date is incorrect.

The following documents do list the 1887 date:

  • Social Security Death Index (SSN 113-05-1371)
  • 1920 Census (lists age as 33)

cbustapeck 17:25, 12 August 2006 (UTC)

Don't forget the 1900 census which is linked to in this article. It clearly shows 1887. And as he would have been either 4 or 8 years old depending on who you believe, he (or rather his parents) would have had no reason to lie about it. If anything makes the definitive case for 1887, it's that document. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:48, 3 July 2010 (UTC)


I believe the 1887 date is wrong too. How could he have met his wife in primary school if he was 8 and she was 14? His wife's birthdate is listed as 1881. 1883 would certainly be more plausable. It would have made him 16 when he composed Charleston Rag which is more believable. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 15:27, 18 January 2007 (UTC).

12 Year Old Composer??? He must have been 1883-1983[edit]

Supposedly Eubie Blake, born in February of 1887 composed the Charleston Rag in 1899 -- now really ... 16 is plausible, but 12??? Come on.

Ever heard of Mozart? Come on.
List of music prodigies#Composition and Conducting for even more examples.--T. Anthony 16:52, 12 November 2006 (UTC)

Good, very, very good point. But he might have changed that later on, he simpy tried to avoid comabt in war. I was told, he was younger, and only a certain age limit is allowed to enter the army.
Keep in mind. Mozart was total prodigy and back then they did not publish notes or rolls. Remember, Maple Leaf Rag was PUBLISHED in 1899 and many more in the next subsequent years.

It's possible he was 96 or even 100, but because of army service, 1887 stayed, including on his social seucirty. He must have been 100 when he died.
And Since the Social Security Board did not have a network of field offices in late 1936,(by then he had personal reasons to change age, many people do) it contracted with the U.S. Postal Service to distribute and assign the first batch of Social Security numbers through its 45,000 local post offices around the country. Of these 45,000 post offices, 1,074 were also designated as "typing centers" where the cards themselves were prepared. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 17:56, 2 July 2007 (UTC).
your primer on the us ssa is all very fascinating information i'm sure. however, there 'must' be some final arbiter on the subject of an official date of birth, and it seems to me that when every official document on the planet points to a birth year of 1887....well...who better than the ssa? further, i am removing the inline-link again because: 1) the loc is not the arbiter determining birth year, 2) the link clarifies nothing, and 3) the article itself devotes a good thirty percent to the subject which completely addresses the subject. cheers. --emerson7 | Talk 18:44, 2 July 2007 (UTC)
Why 'must' there be a document that will settle this debate? Until relatively recently it was quite possible for a person to successfully obscure his date of birth, or in some cases to not even know it with certainty. It seems to me that the only document that should really be considered more relevant than any other is a birth certificate, but from the way this debate is going I assume none available. Another idea that occurs to me is to look at media coverage of Blake's later years and death. Retrospectives about him from 1977-1983 or so might mention his approaching 100th birthday, and most likely his age or date of birth in any case. Presumably, anything published about him at that time would have his approval and should probably just be taken as authoritative (while still noting the controversy and unanswered questions, of course). By the same token, all his obituaries taken together have the same implicit approval from his family. Surely some consensus can emerge from these sources. My real reason in adding to this discussion, though, is just to warn you all to be careful about consistency with his date of birth and age as stated in the article and infobox. The infobox currently says "1883-1983 (Aged 96)," which is ridiculous.R0m23 (talk) 23:02, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
Of course, the simplest explanation is that Charleston Rag was not composed in 1899. There's no trace of it before the 1917 piano roll as far as I know.
Indeed, he lied about his age; he probably lied about the date of Charleston Rag too. The 1900 census lists Hubert as being 4 years old. Unless you think his parents had some reason in 1900 to lie about their son's age to make him four years younger -- and the census taker being unable to tell the difference between a 4-year-old and an 8-year-old -- the birth year of 1887 should be considered definitively correct. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:44, 3 July 2010 (UTC)
Now, I've just stumbled across all this by looking up Eubie Blake, but I have to wonder - how can the 1900 census listing him as 4 years old support an 1887 birthdate? If he were born in 1887 he should have been 13 in 1900. Not 4. And, in fact, in does list him as 13. His entry is near the bottom. The Luizer (talk) 15:16, 30 August 2010 (UTC)

Personal info[edit]

There is a section left out. At some point Eubie was living in St. Louis. He used to "hang out" at a little piano bar on Euclid in the Central West End. I spent a lot of time listening to him and admiring that at his age, he was still playing. I believe this was in 1980-81.

I heard Eubie Blake perform at the Nice Jazz Festival in 1978. He was still playing with remarkable vitality. I remember a Rag Time improvision on Wagner's Tannhauser Overture. A true great.Thermosoverfil (talk) 01:08, 28 March 2009 (UTC)

If I'd known I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself.[edit]

This quotation should probably be sourced. "If I'd known I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself." It is popularly attributed to Mickey Mantle, and WP:RS is important. SaltyBoatr get wet 16:30, 15 May 2012 (UTC)

Done! He said it, but almost certainly wasn't the first... EddieHugh (talk) 00:42, 18 January 2013 (UTC)