Composers Performing Their Own Works

James Hubert "Eubie" Blake (1887-1983) was an American pianist, lyricist, and composer of ragtime, jazz, and popular music. His earliest work was his Charleston Rag, which he said he composed in 1889, when he would have been only 12 years old. The recording above is of the song, "I'm Just Wild About Harry," written in 1921 by Blake with lyrics by Noble Sissle, written for the famous musical Shuffle Along. The song was the most popular of the production, and it broke racial taboos of the time, depicting romantic love between two African-Americans. Shuffle Along was the first all-Black hit Broadway show, premiering in 1921 and running for 504 performances.

Danzas Españolas is a collection of 12 piano pieces composed by Pantaleón Enrique Joaquín Granados Campiña, commonly known as Enrique Granados (1867-1916). The fifth dance, titled "Andaluza", is the most well-known dance in the set. It is believed that these dances were composed when Granados was quite young, but some think that the maturity of the compositional style shows that Granados perfected them at a later date. Whenever they were written, Danzas Españolas gained great popularity during the late 19th century as a symbol of Spanish nationalism.

George Gershwin (1898-1937) was an American composer and pianist best known for his French-inspired and jazz-influenced compositions such as Rhapsody in Blue, An American in Paris, and Porgy and Bess. He and his brother Ira Gershwin wrote many of the early 20th century's most popular tunes, not unlike the recording above. Kickin' "The Clouds Away" was written in 1925, when it premiered in the show Tell Me More, and later appeared in My One and Only in 1983.

Click the items below to see some other works being performed by their composers, or check out our catalog of rolls on the MPAL website to see if we have works by a specific composer.

  • Minuet Op. 14, No. 1
    Recording of "Minuet Op. 14, No. 1", composed and performed by Ignace Jan Paderewski. Perforated roll intended for use on player pianos.
  • Danza Espanolas, No. 5, Andaluza
    Recording of "Danza Espanolas, No. 5, Andaluza", composed and performed by Enrique Granados. Perforated roll intended for use on player pianos.
  • Kickin' The Clouds Away
    Recording of "Kickin' The Clouds Away", composed and performed by George Gershwin. Perforated roll intended for use on player pianos.
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