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 Satelloon Could this three-inch square of metallic material be part of America's first satellite program?
- Related Investigation Blueprint Special Did this record play a dramatic role in the Allied victory during the Second World War?
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi Army Muster Roll What can a Continental Army muster roll tell us about this remarkable African-American soldier?
- Also in Season 8 Lauste Film Clip How is this odd strip of film connected to the invention of talking movies?
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi Amos n' Andy Record Is this aluminum record an early recording of the old-time radio series?
- Also in Depression and WWII: 1929-1945 Tokyo Rose Did this 1940s recording help convict the woman alleged to be "Tokyo Rose"?
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.