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|RCA Press Release for March 23, 1982|
Eubie Blake, the 99-year old musician/composer, was honored today by RCA Chairman, Thornton F. Bradshaw, who presented him with a video disc player and the first stereo video disc of the Broadway musical, "Eubie!"
In making the presentation, Mr. Bradshaw noted that Mr. Blake's music has charmed people of all ages for more than eight decades.
Seth M. Willenson, Division Vice President, Programs and Business Affairs, RCA "SelectaVision" VideoDiscs, said, "Eubie Blake holds a unique place in American musical history as the first widely accepted Black composer who wrote expressly for the Broadway stage. His music has retained a theatricality and freshness throughout the years."
Noting that more than 2.5 million theatergoers saw "Eubie!" on Broadway and on tour, Mr. Willenson said, with the video disc, "many millions of Americans will be able to see this great musical at home and at a price they can readily afford. He said the video disc costs less than the price of a single ticket to a Broadway show.
"Eubie!" is a visual musical comedy that features some of the great songs of Eubie Blake, including such standards as "Memories Of You," "I'm Just Wild About Harry," "In Honeysuckle Time," "Goodnight Angeline," and "Charleston Rag," the first piece of music he ever composed.
The RCA video disc captures all the fun and nuances of the live Broadway production, retaining the original sets, award-winning costumes, and nearly every member of the original cast: Leslie Dockery, Lynnie Godfrey, Mel Johnson, Jr., Maurice Hines, Gregory Hines, Alaina Reed, and Jeffery V. Thompson.
"Eubie!" was nominated for four Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Score, Choreography, and Featured Actor in a Musical.
"Eubie!" will be one of the stereo discs available in May when RCA brings its stereo video disc player to market.