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Duke Ellington “Live” 80 years ago

Congress Hotel 9 May 1936 Congress Hotel 26 May 1936

It is a well-known fact that Duke Ellington and his orchestra very early had the opportunity to take part in broadcasts from the Cotton Club in New York City, and that this was an important step in launching and popularizing the band to a broader audience.

However, those broadcasts seem  not available for listening, since they in all probability were not recorded or have been lost.

The earliest broadcasts, which are still available (according to NDESOR), are some glimpses from the Congress Hotel in Chicago, where Duke and his men were playing for the main part of May and early June in  1936, some 80 years ago.

Congress Hotel

The radio station WMAQ did half-hour broadcasts with Duke and the orchestra every night from from May 8 till June 4. (more…)

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