On This Day

Duke Ellington

Jazz Musician and Composer Duke Ellington

Full Name: Edward Kennedy Ellington
Profession: Jazz Musician and Composer

United States of America

Why Famous: Take the A Train, Cocktails for Two

Born: April 29, 1899
Birthplace: Washington, District of Columbia, USA

Generation: Lost Generation
Star Sign: Taurus

Died: May 24, 1974 (aged 75)
Cause of Death: Lung cancer and pneumonia

Married Life

  • 1918-07-02 Jazz orchestra band leader Duke Ellington (19) weds high school sweetheart Edna Thompson

Historical Events

  • 1927-10-26 Duke Ellington sings "Creole Love Song"
  • 1927-12-04 Duke Ellington opens at the Cotton Club in Harlem
  • 1933-07-25 1st Dutch live radio concert: Duke Ellington
  • 1934-05-12 "Cocktails For Two" by Duke Ellington hits #1
  • 1941-02-15 Duke Ellington first records "Take the A Train"
  • 1943-01-23 Duke Ellington plays at Carnegie Hall in New York City for the first time.
  • 1959-09-11 Composer and band leader Duke Ellington wins NAACP's Springarn Medal for his musical achievements
  • 1965-07-30 Duke Ellington's "Golden Brown & the Green Apple" premieres
  • 1977-05-21 Stevie Wonder's single "Sir Duke", a tribute to Duke Ellington and other musical influences of Wonder's, begins a 3-week run at #1
  • 1981-02-01 Duke Ellington's musical "Sophisticated Ladies," premieres in NYC
  • 1981-03-01 Duke Ellington's musical "Sophisticated Ladies" opens at Lunt-Fontanne, NYC; runs for 767 performances
  • 1983-01-02 Duke Ellington's musical "Sophisticated Ladies" closes at Lunt-Fontanne, NYC after 767 performances

Quotes by Duke Ellington

  • "I don't need time. What I need is a deadline."