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.
- Related Investigation Camp David Letter Could a box found in a dumpster hold information about the founding of a top-secret Presidential retreat?
- Related Investigation WB Cartoons What can this curious artwork tell us about some of our most beloved cartoon characters?
- Also in Depression and WWII: 1929-1945 WPA Mural Studies Are these unusual paintings part of the biggest job creation program in America's history?
- Also in Depression and WWII: 1929-1945 Japanese Carved Cane What can the message on this cane expose about life behind barbed wire in World War II America?
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi Texas Servant Girl Murders Years before Jack the Ripper, did a serial killer walk the streets of Austin, TX?
- Also in Depression and WWII: 1929-1945 Broadway Ballet Shoes Did this dancer's great-great-grandfather teach Salvatore Capezio to make ballet shoes?
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.