- Written by Peter Burnett Peter Burnett
Chevy Chase - listen now - by Eubie Blake
James Hubert Blake (1887 - 1983) known as Eubie Blake was a talented American composer, lyricist, and pianist of ragtime and music.
Blake said he composed "Charleston Rag" in 1899, when he was 12 years old, but it was not committed to paper until 1915, when he learned to write musical notation.
One more note. Blake started smoking cigarettes when he was 10 years old, and smoked all his life. The fact that he smoked for 85 years was used by some politicians in tobacco-growing states to build support against anti-tobacco legislation.
In later years, Blake listed his birth year as 1883 and he celebrated his 100th birthday in 1983 and died five days later. Many sources, including the Encyclopaedia Britannica incorrectly list his birth year as 1883 based on his word, and after he died, his birth date on his gravestone was changed to 1883 . . . to indulge him, his friends and relatives said.
This song is called 'Chevy Chase' and was first released in 1914, although it was considered too difficult for many pianists to play, a fate that befell Eubie Blake several times as he also released two pieces the same year Scott Joplin released Maple Leaf Rag, but Blake always had to simplify his music for release.