Archive for the Cypress Hills Cemetery Category

Eubie Blake

Posted in Cypress Hills Cemetery with tags on January 10, 2017 by Cade

blake2February 7, 1887 – February 12, 1983

Jazz and ragtime pianist/composer, James Hubert “Eubie” Blake was, by all accounts, a naturally-gifted musician. He first exhibited his talent at a random music store organ at the age of five. In a career that spanned nearly 70 years, Blake wrote for vaudeville, Broadway, film and television. His hit songs such as “I’m Just Wild About Harry” and “Charleston Rag” became mainstays in popular music. Continue reading

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Mae West

Posted in Cypress Hills Cemetery with tags on November 22, 2016 by Cade

west1August 17, 1893 – November 22, 1980

“Goodness had nothing to do with it, dearie.” Night After Night (1932)

In her first scene in her first movie, Mae West made clear her contribution to Hollywood. This response to “Goodness, what beautiful diamonds.” said it all. Critics and censors be damned, Mae was going to say what she wanted, how she wanted.

Born in Brooklyn, Mary Jane West took the same, circuitous route through talent shows and vaudeville as many of her contemporaries. But she differed in that she made bawdy and sexy work for her advantage. And Broadway loved her for it. Continue reading

Jackie Robinson

Posted in Cypress Hills Cemetery with tags , , on November 18, 2016 by Cade

robinson5January 31, 1919 – October 24, 1972

It would be incredibly easy to just speak of Jackie Robinson in the terms of his single most famous accomplishment: becoming the first black player in modern Major League Baseball. But, it would miss out on so much. For instance, Jack was a tremendously gifted ALL-AROUND athlete. He excelled in multiple sports through high school and eventually lettered in FOUR different sports while attending UCLA. He played semi-professional football until the U.S. was dragged into World War II in 1941. Because of the latter, he was drafted into the Army, but never saw combat due to a trumped-up court martial (he was ultimately acquitted). After the war, Robinson signed to play with the Kansas City Monarchs in the Negro Leagues. He was immediately identified by a number of major league teams – some serious, some not so much – as a legitimate candidate to become the first black player in the majors. Continue reading