Duke Ellington

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by willw20wilsen
Last updated 6 years ago

Arts & Music

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Duke Ellington


Duke Ellington was born on April, 29, 1899 in Washington D.C. When he was 7 he started taking piano lessons and when he was 15 he wrote his first song "Soda Fountain Rag". The song was inspired by his job as a soda jerk. Some of the other songs he wrote were “Concerto for cootie”, “Cottontail”, “Don’t Mean a Thing if it ain't got that swing”, “Sophisticated lady”.

~Cuba was Liberated from spain on Jan. 1st 1899. ~The Philippine-American war started on Feb 4th 1899. ~World war 1 was going on from June 28 1914-June 28 1919 ~World war 2 started on September 1st 1939 and ended on September 2 1945.

What was going on during his life?

I listened to the song “It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing” by Duke Ellington. “It don't mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing” was written in 1931 by Ellington with lyrics by Irving Mills. The song is 2 minutes and 45 seconds long and the main theme occurs for the first time 15 seconds into the song and repeats itself 6 times.The instruments used were trumpets, soprano saxophones, tenor saxophones and clarinets. Ivie Anderson sang the song, Joe Nanton played trombone and Johnny Hodges played the Alto Saxophone It was released on the Brunswick Records label on February 2, 1932. The type of jazz it was was band swing and it was written for Duke’s former trumpeter Bubber Miley, who was dying of tuberculosis at the time. Bubber Miley died the same year the song was released. An interesting fact about the song is that it introduced “swing” into common language, also it lifted Duke’s status from Bandleader to Composer.

Thats him!

This is the song "It don't mean a thing if it ain'tgot that swing


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