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Meet The Composer

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On September 24 last year, the website published a post with a radio program from 1949 with Willis Conover playing Ellington music. By that time, Conover was working for Voice of America.

However, one of his first jobs when he arrived in Washington D.C. was with radio station WWDC which he joined in 1946.

His task at the station was to put together and presented jazz programs.

In its May 22, 1948 issue, Billboard reported that Conover organized a jam sessions series on Sunday nights and that the third one was going to feature Duke Ellington and his orchestra. Unfortunately, I have not managed to find a date for this concert and no recording seems to exist of it.

Another program series with Conover as presenter was ”Meet the Composer” – a series sponsored by the Custom Upholstery Company. On October 31, 1948, Ellington was the featured composer. Only the first part seems to have been preserved but it has been digitized and is available in the digital library of University of North Texas, which is home to the Willis Conover Collection.

The program features well-known songs from Ellington’s early career – Take The ”A” Train, Mood Indigo, The Mooche – and in between them Conover talks about Ellington.


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