Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Duke Ellington

Today is the 110th anniversary of the birth of Duke Ellington. Called by many America's greatest composer, Ellington was born April 29, 1899 in Washington, D.C.. Ellington lead his band, one of the most successful in history, from 1923 until his death in 1974. His son Mercer Ellington continued the band until his death in 1996 when Duke's grandson Paul Ellington took it over.

Duke, along with Billy Strayhorn and members of his orchestra, wrote and popularized many hits such as "Mood Indigo", "It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)", "Sophisticated Lady", "In a Sentimental Mood", "Caravan", "Perdido", "I Let A Song Go Out Of My Heart", "Do Nothing Till You Hear from Me", and his most recognizable hit "Take the 'A' Train".

As they do every year, Columbia University's WKCR is celebrating Duke's birthday with 24 hours straight of Ellington music. Click on the link to stream the live broadcast.

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