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 Coca Cola Trade Card Could this card be a unique piece of early Coca-Cola advertising?
- Related Investigation Lincoln Forgery Could this piece of sheet music have come from Abraham Lincoln's private collection?
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi Howard Hughes Crash Was this the instrument that chartered Howard Hughes' near fatal plunge into Beverly Hills?
- Also in Season 7 Cemetery Alarm Was this explosive device used to stop a morbid black market trade?
- Also in Depression and WWII: 1929-1945 Ernie Pyle's Typewriter Did America’s most beloved battlefront correspondent bang out his dispatches on this Corona 3?
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi Lubin Photos What do these photo albums reveal about the birth of the silver screen?
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.