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Duke Ellington

Duke Ellington

Born: 1899 Died: 1974

Edward Kennedy 'Duke' Ellington was born on April the 29th 1899 in Washington, D.C. 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.

Both his parents played the piano and Ellington himself first began lessons at the age of 7. At this time however, his talent for drawing and painting was apparently stronger than that for music. He attended the Armstrong Manual Training School, where he studied commercial art.

During some time in Philadelphia he looked up Harvey Brooks, from who he learnt some piano tricks. This prompted Ellington to start learning again and he also began doing small gigs at local clubs and cafes. Three months before his graduation Ellington dropped out of school, so as to concentrate on a career in music.

Eliington's first band, The Duke Serenaders, later called 'The Washingtonians', was formed in 1917. They played at different dance halls and lodges for $5.00 a night between them. However, finding a more lucrative part of the business in contracting bands out to these places, Ellington assembled a number of bands and was soon supplying 'a band for every occasion'.

In 1918, he married his childhood sweetheart, Edna Thompson and in 1919 his son Mercer was born. Mercer would in the future join the band as a trumpeter and road manager.

1923 saw the band move to New York, where they played at various clubs. It was 1927 that gave the band their big break, when the prestigious Cotton Club offered Ellington and his band the job as house band. They became well known nationally, as the Cotton Club regularly broadcasted via radio.

This new environment proved to be very productive for Ellington to develop his skills as a composer. He wrote music in an array of different styles for theatre acts, as well as continuing to write for the band. The band also broadened out to playing in Broadway musicals, the first being 'Show Girl' in 1929 and then later, in many films, including Murder at the Vanities and A Day at the Races.

In 1931 Ellington left the Cotton Club as a well known celebrity and continued recording for different record companies and touring with his band in the USA and Europe. Even though his sidemen sometimes changed, Ellington adapted to these and his experimenting with his music helped him to find new outlets.

Some newer outlets after 1956 included a satirical suite for the Shakespeare Festival in Stratford and his 'Sacred Concerts'.

Duke Ellington died May 24th 1974, from cancer of both lungs, complicated by pneumonia. After his death his name was remembered through different schools, art centres and scholarships being named in his honour. Even the pop hit 'Sir Duke' by Stevie Wonder was done as a tribute to Ellington.

Although many remember Ellington's earlier works from the 1940s, he continued to be a musical experimenter and he excelled as a composer, pianist and band leader throughout his career. His music and life still continues to affect people today, with a large sculpture memorial being dedicated to him over 20 years after his death.

Featured Items (See Related Items.)

Displaying 1-4 of 4 items.


Duke Ellington : Pro Vocal - Duke Ellington : Solo : Songbook & CD : Duke Ellington : 073999748550 : 0634080466 : 00740341

Duke Ellington : Pro Vocal - Duke Ellington

Review: Whether you're a karaoke singer or preparing for an audition, the Pro Vocal series is for you. The book contains the lyrics, melody, and chord symbols for eight classic songs. The CD contains demos for listening and separate backing tracks so you can sing along. The CD is playable on any CD, but it is also enhanced for PC and Mac computer users so you can adjust the recording to any pitch without changing the tempo! Perfect for home rehearsal, parties, auditions, corporate events, and gigs without a backup band.

Songlist: Caravan, Do Nothin' Till You Hear from Me, Don't Get Around Much Anymore, It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing), Mood Indigo, Prelude To A Kiss, Solitude, Sophisticated Lady

Style: Jazz

More details
5538b | Songbook & CD $14.95 | Solo add item to cart Vocal Jazz Songbooks for Solo Male Voice


Professional Tracks for Serious Singers : Sing the Songs of Duke Ellington : Solo : Songbook & CD : Duke Ellington : 888680033576 : 1941566065 : 00138896

Professional Tracks for Serious Singers : Sing the Songs of Duke Ellington

Review: 8 favorites from the Duke for male vocalists are presented in this package which is designed to provide the at-home singer with an actual professional setting. The CD features orchestral interludes and instrumental solos typical of a live club performance, retaining the natural performance flow of an actual performance with an accompanying rhythm section or orchestra. Includes the songs: Do Nothin' Until You Hear from Me - I Got It Bad (And That Ain't Good) - I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart - It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing) - Mood Indigo - Solitude - Sophisticated Lady - Don't Get Around Much Anymore.

Songlist: Do Nothin' Till You Hear from Me, I Got It Bad (and That Ain't Good), I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart, It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing), Mood Indigo, Solitude, Sophisticated Lady, Don't Get Around Much Anymore

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8359b | Songbook & CD $24.95 | Solo add item to cart


Duke Ellington : Duke Ellington Anthology : Solo : 01 Songbook : Duke Ellington : 884088236328 : 1423436997 : 00313400

Duke Ellington : Duke Ellington Anthology

Review: The most important composer in the history of jazz, the legendary Duke Ellington lead his band continuously for five decades. This collection features 52 of his most beloved songs, including: Caravan - Don't Get Around Much Anymore - I Got It Bad and That Ain't Good - I'm Just a Lucky So and So - It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing) - Mood Indigo - Perdido - Satin Doll - Solitude - Take the A Train - and more.

Songlist: Day Dream, Drop Me Off In Harlem, East St. Louis Toodle-oo, Love You Madly, Ring Dem Bells, Black Butterfly, The Mooch, I Didn't Know About You, Cotton Tail, Passion Flower, Everything But You, Something To Live For, Azure, Solitude, Dancers In Love, In A Mellow Tone, The Single Petal Of A Rose, Warm Valley, I'm Gonna Go Fishin', Jump For Joy, Caravan, Just A Settin' And A Rockin', Duke's Place, What Am I Here For?, Brown Skin Gal In The Calico Gown, Black And Tan Fantasy, Boy Meets Horn, Chelsea Bridge, Prelude To A Kiss, Perdido, Come Sunday, The Creole Love Call, Do Nothin' Till You Hear From Me, Don't Get Around Much Anymore, I Got It Bad And That Ain't Good, I Let A Song Go Out Of My Heart, I'm Beginning To See The Light, I'm Just A Lucky So And So, In A Sentimental Mood, It Don't Mean A Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing), Just Squeeze Me (But Don't Tease Me), Maybe I Should Change My Ways, Mood Indigo, Rockin' In Rhythm, Satin Doll, Sophisticated Lady, Take The 'A' Train, Things Ain't What They Used To Be, It Will Have To Do Until The Real Thing Comes Along (Until The Real Thing Comes Along), All Too Soon, Isfahan, C-Jam Blues

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20313b | Songbook $22.95 | Solo add item to cart


Hywel Davies : A Duke Ellington Choral Suite : SATB : 01 Songbook : Duke Ellington : 884088485719 : 0853605904 : 14009357

Hywel Davies : A Duke Ellington Choral Suite

Review: A Novello Voices Choral Suite, arranged by Hywel Davies. Contains: Take the A Train, Satin Doll, Lush Life, Things Ain't What They Used to Be and Perdido. The Novello Voices series features fabulous SATB arrangements of popular modern songs from West End shows and the worlds of jazz and pop.

Songlist: Take The 'A' Train, Satin Doll, Lush Life, Things Ain't What They Used to Be, Perdido

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4367b | Songbook $7.95 | SATB add item to cart

Related Items ( See Featured Items )

Displaying 1-50 of 70 items.

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Come SundayAnders JalkeusDuke EllingtonReal GroupArrangements of The Real Group Vol 4Sheet MusicMORE DETAILS 
Come SundayParis RutherfordDuke EllingtonCome SundaySheet MusicMORE DETAILSYes
Come SundayParis RutherfordDuke EllingtonCome SundaySheet MusicMORE DETAILSYes
Come SundayParis RutherfordDuke EllingtonCome SundaySheet MusicMORE DETAILSYes
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Do Nothin' Till You Hear from MeSteve ZegreeDuke EllingtonDo Nothin' Till You Hear from MeSheet MusicMORE DETAILSYes
Do Nothin' Till You Hear from MeSteve ZegreeDuke EllingtonDo Nothin' Till You Hear from MeSheet MusicMORE DETAILSYes
Do Nothin' Till You Hear from MeSteve ZegreeDuke EllingtonDo Nothin' Till You Hear from MeSheet MusicMORE DETAILSYes
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Don't Get Around Much AnymoreMark BrymerDuke EllingtonDon't Get Around Much AnymoreSheet MusicMORE DETAILSYes
Don't Get Around Much AnymoreMark BrymerDuke EllingtonDon't Get Around Much AnymoreSheet MusicMORE DETAILSYes
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Duke's PlaceRussell L. RobinsonDuke EllingtonDuke's PlaceSheet MusicMORE DETAILS 
Duke's PlaceRussell L. RobinsonDuke EllingtonDuke's PlaceSheet MusicMORE DETAILS 
Duke's PlaceRussell L. RobinsonDuke EllingtonDuke's PlaceSheet MusicMORE DETAILS 
Hit Me with a Hot NoteMac HuffDuke EllingtonHit Me with a Hot NoteSheet MusicMORE DETAILSYes
Hit Me with a Hot NoteMac HuffDuke EllingtonHit Me with a Hot NoteSheet MusicMORE DETAILSYes
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I Got It Bad (and That Ain't Good)Steve RawlinsDuke EllingtonSteve RawlinsJazz Ballads For Singers - Womens EditionSongbookMORE DETAILS 
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In a Mellow ToneKirby ShawDuke EllingtonIn a Mellow ToneSheet MusicMORE DETAILSYes
In a Mellow ToneKirby ShawDuke EllingtonIn a Mellow ToneSheet MusicMORE DETAILSYes
In a Mellow ToneKirby ShawDuke EllingtonIn a Mellow ToneSheet MusicMORE DETAILSYes
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It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)Howard RobertsDuke EllingtonChicago Children's ChoirLive From Vienna 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
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It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)Jay AlthouseDuke Ellington Jay AlthouseClassic Jazz A CappellaSheet MusicMORE DETAILS 
It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)Roger EmersonDuke EllingtonIt Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)Sheet MusicMORE DETAILSYes
It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)Roger EmersonDuke EllingtonIt Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)Sheet MusicMORE DETAILSYes
It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)Mark BrymerDuke EllingtonIt Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)Sheet MusicMORE DETAILSYes
It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)Mark BrymerDuke EllingtonIt Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)Sheet MusicMORE DETAILSYes
It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)Mark BrymerDuke EllingtonIt Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)Sheet MusicMORE DETAILSYes
It Don't Mean a Thing (If it Ain't Got That Swing)Paris RutherfordDuke EllingtonIt Don't Mean a Thing (If it Ain't Got That Swing)Sheet MusicMORE DETAILS 
It Don't Mean a Thing: The Best of Duke Ellington (Medley)Kirby ShawDuke EllingtonIt Don't Mean a Thing: The Best of Duke Ellington (Medley)Sheet MusicMORE DETAILSYes
It Don't Mean a Thing: The Best of Duke Ellington (Medley)Kirby ShawDuke EllingtonIt Don't Mean a Thing: The Best of Duke Ellington (Medley)Sheet MusicMORE DETAILSYes
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