James Edward Kennedy Ellington: Annotated Bibliography

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Duke Ellington is an infamous American jazz composer. With awards like the Pulitzer Prize, the French Legion of Honor (1973), the Medal of Freedom (1969), the President’s Gold Medal (1966), and thirteen Grammy awards, Duke Ellington is known as one of the most influential African American figures of the twentieth century.
Coming from a musical family, Edward Kennedy Ellington was born on April 29, 1899 to James Edward Ellington and Daisy (Kennedy) Ellington. James Ellington was a White House butler and his mother was a pianist. He was raised in Washington, D.C. Ellington was raised in a middle-class neighborhood and earned the nickname “Duke” for how gentlemanly he came across. When he was at the young age of seven years old, he began studying …show more content…

They also played in Many Happy Return’s soundtrack. In the fall of 1934, “Saddest Tale”. In 1935, they sprung into the Top Ten with two hits, entitled “Merry-Go-Round” and “Accent on Youth”. During this time, Ellington also recorded another long composition called, “Reminiscing in Tempo”, which took up both sides of two 78s. Although he was taking on so many compositions at once, Ellington never failed to deliver hits to fill the charts over the many decades. Soon after, he delivered “Cotton”, a Top Ten hit, “Love Is Like a Cigarette”, and “Oh Babe! Maybe Someday,” in …show more content…

However, some were very loyal to Duke and were their from the band’s beginnings until his death. However, by the 1970s, many of the long term band members passed away. In the 1920s, the band was began as a sextet. It then grew into a ten-piece ensemble. Many of the members had unique playing styles that Ellington sought them out for. For example, Bubber Miley, who used a plunger to make a sound often described as “wa-wa”. Another example is Joe Nanton, who was known for the growl sound omitted from his trombone. Alto saxophonist, Johnny Hodges, cornetist, Rex Stewart, and trumpeter, Cootie Williams, all were included in the ensemble at times, but were not permanent members. Ellington also had a variety of on-off contributors, such as John Coltrane, Charles Mingus, and Max Roach. In fact, Charles Mingus, Max Roach, and Duke Ellington performed in a trio. Ellington also occasionally sat in with both the Louis Armstrong All-Stars and the John Coltrane Quartet. This, all together, made Duke the well-rounded Jazz musician that we know him as today. Duke’s son, Mercer, took over the band after Ellington passed away in 1974, and the band continued to draw in awe inspiring

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