The second part of the Jack Cullen interview is now available for DESS members in the Goodies section.
As in the first part, Cullen asks Ellington questions about songs he has written, artists he has worked with and episodes in his life.
Among the songs, they talk about Solitude – “I wrote it in 20 minutes standing up”, In A Sentimental Mood – “it was written very spontaneously in Durham, South Carolina”, I Let A Song Go Out Of My Heart – “It was the only song thrown out of the show I wrote for the new Cotton Club” and I Got It Bad – “I wrote it in Salt Lake City”.
As regards artists, Cullen asks only about singers – Ivie Anderson and Al Hibbler – and Ellington talks quite extensively about Anderson and the date when she joined the band – Feb. 13 1931.
Ellington talks also warmly about his short period with Musicraft Records – “wonderful people …. world’s greatest contract” and his recordings for Standard Transcriptions.
As Ellington aficionados and aficionadas know, Music Is My Mistress has a section on Ellington songs. Either Ellington had a very good memory when he talked to Stanley Dance about them because his words in the book about some of the songs are the same as in the Cullen interview or Dance used the interview as an additional source for his writing.