Read Full Biography. They continued the relationship even after Ellington was in a relationship with Fernanda de Castro Monte in 1960s. Fact 5: The Duke’s first composition was entitled “Soda Fountain Rag”, also known as the “Poodle Dog Rag”. UrbanTurf has learned that a house on 13th Street where the legendary Duke Ellington spent some of his childhood years is under contract just a few days after hitting the market. And Ellington kept trying more extended pieces. In his teens he continued to play piano, studied harmony, composed his first tunes and was generally active in music in Washington. And so, the nickname “Duke” was born. They quit and formed their own band. He attended the Armstrong Technical High School in Washington D.C. Ellington’s first job was selling peanuts in baseball games. Their impact on Ellington's sound was so profound that their relatively brief tenure has been dubbed "the Blanton-Webster Band" by jazz fans. During this time, he wrote his first composition “Soda Fountain Rag,” creating the piece by ear, since he did not know how to read or write music. "You've got to find some way of saying it without saying He was the leader of a band of five other musicians, which eventually grew into a 10-piece ensemble. Ellington appeared in and scored the 1959 film Anatomy of a Murder, and its soundtrack won him three of the newly instituted Grammy Awards, for best performance by a dance band, best musical composition of the year, and best soundtrack. Childhood "Duke" Ellington was born on April 29, 1899 in Washington D.C.. Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellingtonwas born on April 29, 1899, in Washington, D.C. He is considered to be one of the most prolific performers and eminent jazz composers of his time. With the end of the war, Ellington's period as a major commercial force on records largely came to an end, but unlike other big bandleaders, who disbanded as the swing era passed, Ellington, who predated the era, simply went on touring, augmenting his diminished road revenues with his songwriting royalties to keep his band afloat. Ellington credited his "chum" Edgar McEntree, "a sharp dresser himself," with the nickname. )," a vocal number featuring Ivie Anderson, was a Top Ten hit in the spring of 1938, and Ellington scored his third number one hit in April with an instrumental version of another standard, "I Let a Song Go out of My Heart." Greer was born in Long Branch, New Jersey, and played with Elmer Snowden's band and the Howard Theatre's orchestra in Washington, D.C., before joining Duke Ellington, whom he met in 1919. Duke was born in a musical family as both his parents were pianists. Biography. Music had embedded itself within Duke from a very young age. Duke Ellington is on my favorites shelf because it literally leapt of the page and into my heart and soul with the palpably joyful ability to take the reader right into the music, story, and culture of the time. In the. His parents were James Edward and Daisy Kennedy Ellington. He also performed in shows in 1973, making his last appearance at the Sturges-Young Auditorium in Michigan. The relationship was stormy and filled with drama. Jul 14, 1914. The record received mixed reviews, but Ellington was very proud of his work, performing it many times. Duke Ellington was the most important composer in the history of jazz as well as being a bandleader who held his large group together continuously for almost 50 years. Duke Ellington was a U.S. pianist, composer, and bandleader. Duke Ellington called his music "American Music" rather than jazz, and liked to describe those who impressed him as "beyond category. One of Ellington's first professional gigs was a party where he played so long that his hand bled. He earned 75 cents. Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington was born in Washington D.C. on April 29, 1899. In 1946, he teamed with lyricist John Latouche to write the music for the Broadway musical Beggar's Holiday, which opened on December 26 and ran 108 performances. https://www.allmusic.com/album/16-most-requested-songs-mw0000114211 And he still longed for a stage success, turning once again to Broadway with the musical Pousse-Café, which opened on March 18, 1966, but closed within days. Comic strips can incorporate factual and imagined storylines. They separated in 1938 but never divorced. In a musical climate in which jazz was veering away from popular music and toward bebop, and popular music was being dominated by singers, the Ellington band no longer had a place at the top of the business; but it kept working. One of the originators of big-band jazz, Ellington led his band for more than half a century, composed thousands of scores, and created one of the most distinctive ensemble sounds in all of Western music. With his father, a Methodist, and his mother, a Baptist, Ellington's upbringing had strong religious influences. Besides piano lessons, Ellington was also interested in baseball. The recording was later inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. According to the official site of his estate, “Ellington got his nickname of ‘Duke’ from a childhood friend who commented on his elegant manners, bearing, and dress”… Duke Ellington married his high school sweetheart, Edna Thompson, in 1918. Ellington began playing piano as a child but, despite some local success, took up a career as a sign-painter. The recording was later inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. Duke Ellington successfully played in different styles including orchestral jazz, swing, progressive big band, and jazz. He later assembled his band and played for various official occasions. Duke Ellington - Biography. Here is a short biography of the internationally acclaimed musician, composer, and band leader – Duke Ellington. DUKE ELLINGTON Duke Ellington, named Edward Kennedy Ellington at birth, was born on April 29, 1899, in Washington D.C. to James Edward Ellington and Daisy Kennedy Ellington.Both of Ellington’s parents were talented, musical individuals. He was a bandleader, composer, pianist, and arranger. Three months later, the Sinatra film Assault on a Queen, with an Ellington score, opened in movie houses around the country. Helpful. In that sense, he foreshadowed the future of jazz and could lay claim to being one of its most influential practitioners. His father played operatic arias while parlor songs were his mother’s first choice. They moved back to Washington D.C. and struggled for a while. In 1928, he had two two-sided hits: "Black and Tan Fantasy"/"Creole Love Call" on Victor (now BMG) and "Doin' the New Low Down"/"Diga Diga Doo" on OKeh (now Sony), released as by the Harlem Footwarmers. Duke Ellington's Early Years At age 15, Ellington worked at a soda fountain and wrote his first song, "Soda Fountain Rag." Duke Ellington's childhood rowhouse hits the market for $1.2 million. The band was then known as ‘Elmer Snowden and his Black Sox Orchestra’ which change… After several years recording more or less regularly for Brunswick, Ellington moved to Victor. During his career, Ellington won 12 Grammy Awards, three of them after his death. Duke Ellington's biography and life story. Biography. Later in the fall, the band was back in the Top Ten with "Saddest Tale," and they had two Top Ten hits in 1935, "Merry-Go-Round" and "Accent on Youth." In 1918, Duke Ellington married his high school sweetheart Edna Thompson. He is considered to be one of the most prolific performers and eminent jazz composers of his time. His mother was a wonderful lady, and at the ripe age of seven, had him start taking piano lessons … For the rest of his life, Ellington supported both women. The James recording went to number one in April 1945, but Ellington's recording was also a Top Ten hit. In 1917, he was working as a freelance sign-painter and also assembled groups to play for dances. Ellington kept his own piano playing fresh as well. Duke, even as a teenager, had a great talent for music. Edward Kennedy was later nicknamed Duke by his childhood friend, Edgar McEntire and this name has stuck with him throughout his life and career. He also worked as his father’s business manager. They separated in 1938 but never divorced. Duke Ellington's contributions to jazz and American music were simply enormous. Ellington had lung cancer and died on May 24, 1974, after contracting pneumonia. She said that she felt homesick and returned to Washington. Ellington credited his "chum" Edgar McEntree, "a sharp dresser himself," with the nickname. They were Daisy and James Edward Ellington. The Ellington band moved uptown to The Cotton Club in Harlem on December 4, 1927. One of Ellington's first professional gigs was a party where he played so long that his hand bled. As a composer, Ellington ranked with George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin and their contemporaries. When Duke was seven years old, he began taking piano lessons. Duke Ellington Family, Childhood, Life Achievements, Facts, Wiki and Bio of 2017. The parents of Ellington were pianists. When Ellington was 14 years old, he began sneaking into Frank Holidays Poolroom. Edward "Duke" Kennedy Ellington, (AKA "Ghost of Duke Ellington"), was a 20's composer and pianist who died in 1974. To say that Duke Ellington (April 29, 1899 - May 24, 1974) had a productive and illustrious career would be a major understatement. "The Mooche" on OKeh peaked in the charts at the start of 1929. The following summer, the band took a leave of absence to head out to California and appear in the film Check and Double Check. His peers noticed his dressing style and natural grace and began referring to him as Duke. Nearly four years after it was recorded, the retitled recording hit the pop Top Ten and number one on the R&B charts for Ellington in early 1944, while newly recorded vocal cover versions also scored. While the latter was scoring in the hit parade in September, Ellington recorded another of his extended compositions, "Reminiscing in Tempo," which took up both sides of two 78s. They separated in 1938 but never divorced. Duke Ellington was the most important composer in the history of jazz as well as being a bandleader who held his large group together continuously for almost 50 years. By his late teens, he was making enough money to help his parents move into a better house. Their only son, Mercer Ellington (b. Ellington was celebrated in Stevie Wonder's song "Sir Duke" (from "Songs in the Key of Life" (1976)). He was listening to the piano music and began to love the instrument. From the score, "Three Little Words," with vocals by the Rhythm Boys featuring Bing Crosby, became a number one hit on Victor in November 1930; its flip side, "Ring Dem Bells," also reached the charts. He switched from Columbia to Frank Sinatra's Reprise label (purchased by Warner Bros. Records) and made some pop-oriented records that dismayed his fans but indicated he had not given up on broad commercial aspirations. Facts about Duke Ellington 10: the early life of Ellington. "I merely took the energy it takes to pout and wrote some blues. Jun 4, 2019, 1:27pm EDT. He dropped out of high school in his junior year in 1917 to pursue a career in music. A childhood home where music legend and Washington, D.C., icon Duke Ellington lived is on the market for $1.2 million. And he wrote his first full-length background score for a feature film with 1950's The Asphalt Jungle. His given name was Edward, not Duke. Ellington won a special Pulitzer Prize for commemorating the centennial year of his birth and recognition of his musical genius. They made their first recordings in November 1924, and cut tunes for different record companies under a variety of pseudonyms, so that several current major labels, notably Sony, Universal, and BMG, now have extensive holdings of their work from the period in their archives, which are reissued periodically. Ellington's orchestra featured jazz's biggest names and achieved an almost perfect unity of style, making tremendous … https://study.com/academy/lesson/duke-ellington-biography-songs-facts.html Unfortunately, the show never went to Broadway, but among its songs was "I Got It Bad (And That Ain't Good)," another standard. He was one of the originators of big-band jazz, or jazz that uses large orchestras with many musicians.Ellington wrote thousands of pieces of music and is considered one of the most creative U.S. musicians from the 1900s. JazzBiographies.com: An online guide to jazz biographies, discographies, reviews, and articles As a bandleader, his orchestra during 1926-74 was always among the top five, whether it be 1929 or 1969. Duke Ellington was born on April 29, 1899, in Washington DC to parents James Ellington and Daisy Ellington. At first, he booked and performed in bands in the Washington, D.C., area, but in September 1923 the Washingtonians, a five-piece group of which he was a member, moved permanently to New York, where they gained a residency in the Times Square venue The Hollywood Club (later The Kentucky Club). Duke Ellington was an illustrious American pianist, bandleader of a jazz orchestra and composer whose career spanned approximately five decades. He wrote primarily for his band, allowing his veteran players room to solo within his compositions, and as a result created a body of work that seemed likely to help jazz enter the academic and institutional realms, which was very much its direction at the end of the 20th century. On the other hand, Daisy preferred to play the parlor songs. Ellington’s son Mercer played trumpet and piano and had his band. Jul 14, 1914. Freed of the necessity of writing hits and spurred by the increased time available on the LP record, Ellington concentrated more on extended compositions for the rest of his career. He turned down the art scholarship to the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn to pursue his music career. In the late twenties, Edna followed Ellington to New York, but the couple soon separated. The couple had only one child, son Mercer Kennedy Ellington. Edward Kennedy Ellington (Duke) was born in Washington, DC, in a prosperous middle-class family. Top reviews from other countries Stuart Emmerson. The many celebrations of the Ellington centenary in 1999 demonstrated that he continued to be regarded as the major composer of jazz. They raised Duke as an only child, until his sister, Ruth, was born when Duke was sixteen years old. The informational text explains Ellington’s formative years, his accomplishments, and his influence on 20th century music. Ellington’s childhood friends noticed that "his casual, offhand manner, his easy grace, and his dapper dress gave him the bearing of a young nobleman", and began calling him Duke. Marietta Clinkscales was the piano teacher of Ellington … Duke Ellington's Early Years At age 15, Ellington worked at a soda fountain and wrote his first song, "Soda Fountain Rag." Edward “Duke” Ellington was born in Washington, DC, on April 29, 1899, which is right around the time that jazz was “born” as well. "New Orleans Suite" earned another Grammy in the category in 1971, as did "Togo Brava Suite" in 1972, and the posthumous The Ellington Suites in 1976. For the rest of his life, he would be a busy world traveler. Ask each student to imagine himself or herself as Duke Ellington. He dropped out of high school in his junior year in 1917 to pursue a career in music. Duke Ellington was born in Washington D.C., and from an early age he loved music. One of the greatest composers of the 20th century, and the leader for 50 years of a band that became the greatest of all jazz orchestras. Ellington was the son of a White House butler, James Edward Ellington, and thus grew up in comfortable surroundings. In early 1939 Billy Strayhorn, a young composer, arranger, and pianist, joined the organization. https://healthresearchfunding.org/5-major-accomplishments-of-duke-ellington Despite his advancing age, Ellington continued to make new and innovative records. And he returned to the movies, appearing in Cabin in the Sky and Reveille with Beverly. With the end of the recording ban in November 1944, Ellington was able to record a song he had composed with his saxophonist, Johnny Hodges, set to a lyric by Don George and Harry James, "I'm Beginning to See the Light." His mother made a great effort to raise his son to be elegant and well-mannered. Duke Ellington Biography. In the beginning of his musical life, Duke began to take a promising interest in a new type of music that would later be called jazz. Biography; Duke Ellington Duke Ellington. His work has appeared in films and radio, and in the 1930s, he toured Europe twice. His parents were James Edward and Daisy Kennedy Ellington. Edward Kennedy Ellington (1899-1974), certainly America's most brilliant jazz composer, was considered by many to be one of the great composers of the 20th century, irrespective of categories. His bandmates included Bubber Miley with his signature “wa-wa” sound, and Joe Nanton, who was known for his trombone “growl.”. Period: Nov 8, 1900 to Nov 8, 1975. Inducted into … By his late teens, he was making enough money to help his parents move into a better house. April 29, He earned 75 cents. Ellington’s childhood friends noticed that "his casual, offhand manner, his easy grace, and his dapper dress gave him the bearing of a young nobleman", and began calling him Duke. He did not usually perform with the orchestra, but he became Ellington's composition partner to the extent that soon it was impossible to tell where Ellington's writing left off and Strayhorn's began. The band also appeared in the Mae West film Belle of the Nineties and played on the soundtrack of Many Happy Returns. In 1965, Duke Ellington was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for music, but that year no prize was awarded. His mother made a great effort to raise his son to be elegant and well-mannered. See all reviews. At the age of nine, the child began taking lessons from a more experienced piano teacher. in 1914, he began working as a soda jerk at Poodle Dog Café. His instrumental version became a Top Five hit in the spring of 1933, with its flip side, a treatment of "Stormy Weather," also making the Top Five. In addition to touring year in and year out, he recorded extensively, resulting in a gigantic body of work that was still being assessed a quarter century after his death. James liked to play the operatic arias. Read more. They played in what was called "jungle" style, their sly arrangements often highlighted by the muted growling sound of trumpeter James "Bubber" Miley. Early Career Born in Washington D.C. in 1899, Edward Kennedy Ellington, better known as “Duke,” began playing piano as a child. In-universe he died in Nick's house in suburban NYC and now his ghost resides in the attic. Duke Ellington: Biography. Duke Ellington in childhood. If that seemed something of an anomaly in a musical style that emphasizes spontaneous improvisation over written composition, Ellington was talented enough to overcome the oddity. The Ink Spots scored with a vocal version (recorded a cappella), and Ellington's three-year-old instrumental recording was also a hit, reaching the pop Top Ten and number one on the recently instituted R&B charts. Before that, he was skipping on many of his piano lessons but now started to take them seriously. This record was later followed by two more concerts of the same type. Biography. With his bands, Ellington made hundreds of recordings. The first half of the 1950s was a difficult period for Ellington, who suffered many personnel defections. Duke Ellington May 23rd, 2011 | By BHS | Category: Arts & Entertainment. The nickname 'Duke' was given to Ellington by a childhood friend, who noticed his impeccable taste in everything and that he carried himself with a sophisticated air at all times. Meanwhile, the record labels, stymied for hits, began looking into their artists' back catalogs. (Fun fact: Ellington’s childhood piano teacher’s name was … "If You Were in My Place (What Would You Do? He was commemorated by Stevie Wonder with “Sir Duke,” a song Wonder wrote in 1976. In 1916, Duke Ellington started playing gigs in the Washington D.C. area cafes and clubs. Childhood At the age of 7 Edward began taking piano lessons from Marietta Clinkscales and his mother would start to surround him with women to teach him manners and eligance, his friends soon noticed this and nicknamed him "Duke" Ellington. As a composer, Ellington ranked with George … Even as he became more ambitious, however, he was rarely out of the hit parade, scoring another Top Ten hit, "Cotton," in the fall of 1935, and two more, "Love Is Like a Cigarette" and "Oh Babe! Report abuse. Their instrumental rendition of "Cocktails for Two" from the score hit number one on Victor in May, and they hit the Top Five with both sides of the Brunswick release "Moon Glow"/"Solitude" that fall. He wrote about the vibrant jazz scene of his formative years in his excellent autobiography Music Is My Mistress. That same summer, Ellington was in Los Angeles, where his stage musical, Jump for Joy, opened on July 10 and ran for 101 performances. Ellington became a Grammy favorite in his later years. His peers noticed his dressing style and natural grace and began referring to him as Duke. He won a 1966 Grammy for best original jazz composition for "In the Beginning, God," part of his sacred concerts. Ellington appeared on the cover of Time magazine, and he signed a new contract with Columbia Records, which released Ellington at Newport, the best-selling album of his career. When he was young he wasn't called Duke his given name was Edward Kennedy Ellington. Early Life Born on April 29, 1899, Ellington was raised by two talented, musical parents in a middle-class neighborhood of Washington, D.C. At the age of … 6 people found this helpful. Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington was born in Washington, D.C. on April 29, 1899. The four-bedroom home at 1805 13th Street NW hit the market for $525,000 shortly before the July 4th weekend and had a sale pending on it within 72 hours of being listed. Lyricist Bob Russell took Ellington's 1940 composition "Never No Lament" and set a lyric to it, creating "Don't Get Around Much Anymore." They got to play in Atlantic City and the limited exposure they got earned them a gig at Exclusive Club in Harlem. In August 1963, his stage work My People, a cavalcade of African-American history, was mounted in Chicago as part of the Century of Negro Progress Exposition. Russell repeated his magic with another 1940 Ellington instrumental, "Concerto for Cootie" (a showcase for trumpeter Cootie Williams), creating "Do Nothin' Till You Hear from Me." This was still more than three years before the official birth of the swing era, and Ellington helped give the period its name. Ellington also wrote film scores and stage musicals, and several of his instrumental works were adapted into songs that became standards. One of the greatest composers of the 20th century, and the leader for 50 years of a band that became the greatest of all jazz orchestras. By Katishi Maake – Staff Reporter, Washington Business Journal . In 1965, Ellington made his debut in Christian music with his Sacred Concerts jazz liturgy. Complete Duke Ellington 2017 Biography. Two key personnel changes strengthened the outfit with the acquisition of bassist Jimmy Blanton in September and tenor saxophonist Ben Webster in December. Nor had he abandoned his artistic aspirations, as the first of his series of sacred concerts, performed at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco on September 16, 1965, indicated. The Ellington band underwent several notable changes at the end of the 1930s. But the band made a major comeback at the Newport Jazz Festival on July 7, 1956, when they kicked into a version of "Dimuendo and Crescendo in Blue" that found saxophonist Paul Gonsalves taking a long, memorable solo. Duke Ellington (Edward Kennedy Ellington) pianist, composer, orchestra leader Born: 4/29/1899 Birthplace: Washington D.C. Grammy Award-winning jazz pianist, composer, and orchestra leader considered the most prolific composer and best-known figure in jazz history. His death did not end the band, which was taken over by his son Mercer, who led it until his own death in 1996, and then by a grandson. Moreover, he … Duke Ellington married his high school sweetheart, Edna Thompson, in 1918. As "the Jungle Band," the Ellington Orchestra charted on Brunswick later in 1931 with "Rockin' in Rhythm" and with the lengthy composition "Creole Rhapsody," pressed on both sides of a 78 single, an indication that Ellington's goals as a writer were beginning to extend beyond brief works. Cool Facts "A problem is a chance for you to do your best." 1899. The group gradually increased in size and came under Ellington's leadership. 1919), became a well-known jazz trumpeter, composer and bandleader… Stevie Wonder‘s pop hit “Sir Duke” is a tribute to Duke Ellington. Each student creates a comic strip about life as child or teenage Duke Ellington. When Duke was seven years old, he began taking piano lessons. Duke Ellington was born on 29 April 1899 and passed away on 24 May 1974 and he embodied jazz like few others. His family had always shown racial pride and support in their community. "Duke" Ellington Quotes He got his nickname "Duke" because many people saw him as a gentleman. 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