Duke Ellington Plates
1941, Manhattan bustles, and New York City's newest subway line - the "A" train - is moving people in more ways than one. A new instrumental "Take the 'A' Train," rolls up the charts and will become the signature song of pianist Edward Kennedy Ellington. The song will bring financial success to a pioneering music publishing venture, owned by Duke Ellington.
But was the young composer of "Take the A Train" himself denied full credit for the hit song? More than half a century later, Garfield Gillings, of Brooklyn, New York, has made a discovery, boxes of sheet music in a dumpster. Among the paper scores are metal sheets that look like printing plates for "Take the A Train."
History Detectives sets out to find the story behind these plates and to determine the role they played in this jazz classic.
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi Natchez House How did a free man of color come to own this house twelve years before emancipation?
- Related Investigation Pete Gray Cartoon Do these unsigned drawings from the golden age of comics tell the tale of a real life superhero?
- Related Investigation Isleton Tong Was this building a safe haven for persecuted immigrants, or a hub for organized crime?
- Also in Season 7 Galleon Shipwreck Is this a piece of treasure from a Spanish galleon washed up on an Oregon beach?
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi John Brown Letters How is this woman in Sacramento related to John Brown, the 19th-century abolitionist?
- Also in Season 8 Moon Museum Was work by major artists, including Andy Warhol, smuggled to the moon?
This is a place for opinions, comments, questions and discussion; a place where viewers of History Detectives can express their points of view and connect with others who value history. We ask that posters be polite and respectful of all opinions. History Detectives reserves the right to delete comments that don’t conform to this conduct. We will not respond to every post, but will do our best to answer specific questions, or address an error.