12/1 April - July 2012
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Duke Ellington Itinerary Corrections and Additions

DEMS 12/1-20





25Dec29, Masonic Temple, Washington, DC.  “Duke Ellington and his celebrated ‘Jungle Band’ attracted a crowd of more than twelve hundred to the Masonic Temple Auditorium on Christmas Day, when from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. they entranced the admiring throng with their musical rhythm and syncopating strains.” Baltimore Afro-American, 4Jun30, p2)





19Jun30, Lakewood, Mahanoy City, PA.  “Thursday Dance.”  (ad, Mt. Carmel Index, 19Jun30, p10)


21Jun30, Rocky Springs Park, Lancaster, PA.  “Music Starts at 8 o’clock.”  (ad, Reading Eagle, 15Jun30, p2)


1Jul30, Ocean Pier, Old Orchard Beach, ME.  “Dance O’er the Waves.”  (ad, Portland Press Herald, 1Jul30, p4)


12Jul30, Valley Dale, Columbus, OH.  “Dancing 9 to 2,” with local broadcast over WCAH 10:00 to 10:30 pm.  (ad, radio listing, Columbus Dispatch, 12Jul30, pp12, 13)


16Jul30, Masonic Temple, Cleveland, OH.  “Wednesday night when Duke Ellington played at the Masonic Temple on Euclid Street, he was greeted by a packed house.”  (Thelma Louise, “Cleveland Squibs,”  Baltimore Afro-American, 26Jul30, p18)


17Jul30, Luna Pier, Lakeside, MI.  “Dancing 9 to 1.”  (ad, Toledo News-Bee, 17Jul30)


18Jul to 24Jul30, Graystone Ballroom, Detroit, MI.  The existence of this engagement is only revealed through radio broadcasts.  “Duke Ellington and his Cotton Club Orchestra will be heard from WJR, Detroit, at 12:30 a.m., on the regular Graystone program.”  (Robert S. Stephan, “Duke Ellington,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, 18Jul30, p16)  Detroit daily newspapers contained little coverage of popular music and no advertisements for the Graystone, but radio listings in the Detroit News confirm these nightly broadcasts at midnight or 12:30 am.


25Jul30, Memorial Hall, Columbus, OH.  Dance.  “[T]he famous jazz king entertains members of his own race.” (“Ellington Tickets Selling Well,” Columbus Dispatch, 24Jul30, p18A)


28Jul30, Paseo Hall, Kansas City, MO.  “Battle of Bands” versus Geo. E. Lee. (ad, Kansas City Call, Home Ed., 25Jul30, p9)


30Jul30, City Auditorium, Omaha, NB.  (“Duke Ellington to Give Concert,” Omaha Bee-News, 29Jul30, p12)


24Aug30, George Olsen’s Club, Los Angeles, CA.  “Guest orchestra.”  (“Duke Ellington to Appear at Olsen’s,” Los Angeles Times, 23Aug30, pA7)


12Sep30, Cotton Club, New York, NY.  First advertisement for Ellington’s return to the Cotton Club for the fall appeared 12Sep:  “Appearing Nightly.” (ad, New York Daily Mirror, 12Sep30).





5 to 11Feb31, Metropolitan Theatre, Boston, MA.  correct opening date.  (daily ads, Boston Post).


9Feb11, the dance at the Hotel New Yorker reported six weeks earlier in the 24Dec30 Variety would have been unlikely to have occurred on this date, if at all.  The band was working in Boston.


18Apr to 21Apr31, Paramount Theatre, Des Moines, IA.  correct closing date.  (daily ads, Des Moines Tribune)


7June31,  Nixon’s Apollo, Atlantic City, NJ.  “In Person with his All Star Band.  A Revue of 50 people.  Sun Nite June 7th.”  (ad, Atlantic City Press, 6Jun31, p9)  “Ellington …broke all records at the Apollo Theatre Sunday [7] night.  Thousands of people were turned away.  The orchestra is scheduled for another engagement this Sunday [14] night.”  (“Duke Ellington Breaks All Records in Atlantic City,” Pittsburgh Courier, 13Jun31, sec2, p8)


14Jun31, Nixon’s Apollo, Atlantic City, NJ.  “By Popular Demand Repeated.” (ad, Atlantic City Press, 13Jun31, p8)


19Jun31, Berkshire Country Club, Reading, PA.  “The Casa [L]oma Orchestra and Duke Ellington played for dancing.”  (“Misses Nicolls and Brother Entertain at Dance at Berkshire C.C.,” Reading Eagle, 20Jun31)


24Jun31, Hershey Park Ballroom, Hershey, PA.  (“Duke Ellington at Hershey Park Tonight,” Lebanon Daily News, 24Jun31, p24) 


25Jun31, Yankee Lake Ballroom, Yankee Lake, OH.  “9 to 1.”  (ad, Youngstown Vindicator, 25Jun31, p26)


3Jul31, Greenwich Village, Dayton, OH.   “Tables are being arranged in the perfect setting in the summer gardens and there will be plenty of room.”  (“News of Dayton Theaters,” Dayton Journal, 3Jul31, p36)


12Aug31, Oasis Ballroom, Michigan City, IN.  (ad, South Bend Tribune, 11Aug31, p5)


1Sep31, Ramona Gardens, Grand Rapids, MI.  (ad, Grand Rapids Herald, 30Aug31, Building and Theatres section, p7)


2Sep31, Woodward’s Pavilion, Paw Paw Lake, MI.  (ad, South Bend Tribune, 1Sep31, p7)


5Sep31, Danceland Ballroom, Davenport, IA.  “Dancing 9:00 pm to 1:00 am.”  (ad, Davenport Democrat and Leader, 4Sep31, p8)


6Sep31, Woodland, Dubuque, IA.  (ad, Oelwein Daily Register, 2Sep31, p8)


17oct31, Madrid Ballroom, Harrisburg, PA.  “8:30 p.m.”  (ad, Reading Eagle, 16oct31, p38)


20Sep31, Nixon’s Apollo, Atlantic City, NJ.  “One show at 8:30 … 60 People.”  (ad, Atlantic City Press, 19Sep31, p9)


4 to 10Dec31, Ambassador Theatre, St. Louis, MO.  (daily ads, St. Louis Globe-Democrat)





4Jan32, Pythian Temple, Pittsburgh, PA.  One night only.  Duke was crowned winner of the Pittsburgh Courier’s “Most Popular Orchestra” contest.    (“Ellington is Presented With Courier Loving Cup, Record Crowd Out,” Pittsburgh Courier, 9Jan32, p1)  The band broadcast from the Pythian Temple locally over WCAE at 10:00 pm, opening a special two-and-a-half hour WCAE Dedication Program (as a member of NBC), but did not participate in the 10:30 to 11:30 portion of the broadcast carried nationally as had been announced in the Courier. (Darnell V. Martin, “We Now Present,” Pittsburgh Sun Telegraph, 4Jan32, p15; “Duke in Nat’l Broadcast from Temple Monday,” Pittsburgh Courier, 2Jan32, pA1; NBC Radio Logs, WEAF, 4Jan32)


6Jan and 7Jan32, Snell’s, Syracuse, NY.  The daily press only advertised one night for “Wednesday, Jan. 6.” (ad, Syracuse Herald, 5Jan32, p17)  The African American press reported “Wednesday and Thursday nights,” indicating a second night for African Americans.  (“Duke Ellington in Syracuse, N.Y.,” Washington Tribune, 15Jan32, p14)


8Apr to 14Apr32, Publix Allyn Theatre, Hartford, CT.  (daily ads, Hartford Daily Courier).  A portion of the broadcast on 11Apr over WTIC from 11:30 pm to 12:00 mid is the earliest recording of an Ellington broadcast extant.


21May32, Hershey Park, Hershey, PA.  “8:30 p.m.”  (ad, Reading Eagle, 15May32, p15)


1Jun32, Crystal Ballroom, Riverside Park, Springfield, MA.  “Dancing 8:30 to 1.” (ad, Springfield Union, 31May32, p14)


2Jun32, Lakewood, East Mahanoy Junction, PA.  “Everyone within a fifty mile radius is on tip toe eagerly awaiting the Thursday Dance….”  (“Duke Ellington and Ivie Anderson May Top the Lakewood Attendance Record,” Mt. Carmel Item, 1Jun32, p8)


2Aug32, Woodward’s Pavilion, Paw Paw Lake, MI, (ad, South Bend Tribune, 1Aug32, p8)


3Aug32, Waldorf Hotel, Toledo, OH.  (Fred Avendorph, “Michigan City Dances to the Duke’s Music,” Chicago Defender, nat. ed., 6Aug32, p5)  This engagement could not be confirmed in the Toledo News-Bee.


5Aug32, Dreamland Ballroom, Conneaut Lake, PA.  (ad, New Castle News, 2Aug32, p5)  Avendorph’s article in the 6Aug Chicago Defender gave Washington, PA, at the George Washington Hotel for this date.


6Aug32, Valley Dale, Columbus, OH.  “Duke (Whataband) Ellington gave us one of the pleasantest evenings we ever enjoyed in a ballroom.”  (H.E. Cherrington, “Ellington Offers Dancers Pure Delight,” Columbus Dispatch, 8Aug32)


15Aug32, Armory, Louisville, KY.  “Admission 75 cents.  A limited number of bandstand seats, 99 cents.  Includes admission and dancing.”  (ad, Louisville Courier-Journal, 14Aug32, sec2, p2)


19Aug? to 23Aug32?  Layover in Chicago.  (“Ellington’s 14 Now in Chicago for a Lay-Over, Chicago Defender, nat.ed., 27Aug32, p5)  A 19Aug date for Sun Prairie, WI was advertised nine days prior, but evidently did not take place.  (ad, Wisconsin State Journal, 10Aug32, p6)


26Aug32, Eveleth Recreational Building, Eveleth, MN.  “Interest … has been rapidly manifesting itself among music and dance lovers of the Mesabi Range….” (“Duke Ellington Here Tomorrow,” Eveleth Clarion, 25Aug32, p8)


29Aug32, Electric Park Ballroom, Waterloo, IA.  “Dancing 9 to 1.”  (ad, Waterloo Daily Courier, 29Aug32, p9)


26Dec32, Hotel Cleveland, Cleveland, OH.  “Duke Ellington and his famous band have been engaged by the Ching Tang Club of Lakewood to furnish music at their ninth annual Christmas dance….”  (“Plan Christmas Dance,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, 19Dec32, p14)


28Dec32, Valley Dale, Columbus, OH.  “[T]hey will formally open the new Valley Dale Color room, designed by Dick Ashbaugh.”  (“Harlem Duke Plays Dale Opening,” Columbus Dispatch, 27Jan32, p8A)





9Jan33, Pythian Temple, Pittsburgh, PA.  A one-nighter.  For the second year in a row, Ellington was crowned “King of Jazz” by the Pittsburgh Courier.  “The entire Ellington household came over from New York, especially for the coronation….”  (Floyd Snelson, “Duke Ellington Praises Hospitality of Pittsburgh After Gala Coronation,” Pittsburgh Courier, 14Jan33, sec2, p7)


10Jan to 12Jan33, Cincinnati, OH?  “Duke Ellington puffed on a mild Havana cigar in the drawing room of the special Pullman that was bringing his band to Pittsburgh, thence to Cincinnati and afterwards, to St. Louis, where they will fill dance and vaudeville engagements.”  (Ted Yates, “Courier Columnist Makes Trip to Pittsburgh with Duke and Band,” Pittsburgh Courier, 14Jan33, sec2, p6)


13Jan33, Venue unknown, Evansville, IN.  “A large crowd attended the dance in Evansville, Ind., Friday night where Duke Ellington’s band played.”  (Lee L. Brown, “Kentucky State News,” Chicago Defender, nat. ed., 21Jan33, p21)


14Jan to 30Jan33?, Club Avalon, St. Louis, MO.  Closing night uncertain.  For this engagement, unadvertised in St. Louis newspapers, it was reported that “booking is for two weeks with an option.  Ellington’s is the first colored band to play the spot.”  (“Ellington at Avalon,” Variety, 10Jan33, p50)  In a confusing report in the Chicago Defender of Ivie Anderson leaving the band twice during this engagement and flying to Chicago, the Avalon management was said to have sent a telegram to the Defender stating that the band closed “Saturday night” [28Jan].  (“Ivy Anderson Spikes Rumor of Split With Duke Ellington 14,” Chicago Defender, city ed., 4Feb33, p6)  Perhaps a less reliable source, the last radio listing of one of Ellington’s nightly broadcast over KMOX appeared in the St. Louis Globe-Democrat on 30Jan.


31Jan to 1Feb 33, in St. Louis?  The same telegram suggested that the band “might well have playing elsewhere in the Mound city.” (Chicago Defender, above)


2Feb33, exact venue unknown, Carbondale, IL.  A “breakfast dance given at the shoe factory.”  (“Illinois News,” Chicago Defender, nat. ed., 18Feb33, p22)


18Feb33, Mealey Auditorium, Allentown, PA.  “Dancing 8:30 pm to 12:00.”  (ad, Allentown Morning Call, 18Feb33, p11)


11Aug33, Lafayette Theatre, New York, NY.  Personal appearance upon return from Europe.  “Duke Ellington and his orchestra, with their wives or sweethearts, were Ted Balcman’s guests of honor at his Lafayette midnight show.”  (“New York City Gives ‘The Duke’ Royal Welcome,” Pittsburgh Courier, nat. ed., Sec. 2, p6)


13Aug33, Roton Point, Norwalk, CT.  “First American ballroom engagement since their return this week from a brilliant European tour.”  New Haven Evening Register, 12Aug33, p5)


13Aug33, Small’s Paradise, New York, NY.  Social event.  “Sunday after midnight they enjoyed Arthur Hammerstein’s popular Small’s Paradise Breakfast.”  (Pittsburgh Courier , see 11Aug)


16Aug33, Riverside Park, Springfield, MA.  “Dancing 8:30 to 1.”  This engagement was also advertised as “First American Appearance Since Returning From His Sensational European Trip.”  (ad, Springfield Republican, 16Aug33, p12)


26Aug33, Ocean Pier, Old Orchard Beach, ME.  (ad, Portland Press Herald, 26Aug33, p4)


7Sep33, Lakewood, Mahanoy City, PA.  (ad, Mt. Carmel Index,  7Sep33, p8)


8Sep33, Black Cat Ballroom, Chester, PA.  “Dancing 9 to 2,” sponsored by the Sigma Kappa Delta fraternity.  (“Duke Ellington at the Black Cat,” Chester Times, 8Sep33, p5)


13Sep33, Valley Dale, Columbus, OH.  “About 1500 in the crowd….”  (H.E. Cherrington, “Duke Ellington Edifies the Dale,” Columbus Dispatch, 13Sep33, p4B)


14Sep33, unknown location, Huntingdon, WV?  According to the above review in the Columbus Dispatch, “if you go down West Virginia way you’ll find the boys at Huntingdon.”


18Sep33, Armory, Louisville, KY.  Over 100 African Americans and three whites walked out in protest of 75 cent prices for blacks and 55 cent prices for whites.  (“Citizens Resent Segregation at Duke Ellington Armory Dance,” Louisville Leader, 23Sep33, p1)


24Nov to 26Nov33, Pulaski Theatre, Little Rock, AR.  Four shows daily.  (daily ads, Arkansas Democrat)


  24Nov33, Nut Club, Little Rock, AR.   Dance at 10 pm for whites.  (ad, Arkansas Democrat, 24Nov33, p3)


  25Nov33, Mosaic Temple, Little Rock, AR.  Dance at 10 pm for blacks.  (ad, Arkansas Democrat, 25Nov33, p3)





21Jan to 24Jan34, Keith’s Palace Theatre, Akron, OH.   (daily ads, Akron Beacon Journal) “Duke Ellington, … whose regular performances at the Palace do not begin until Sunday [22], will be presented … in a special Saturday stayup performance.” (“This, That About Shows,” Akron Beacon-Journal, 19Jan34, p17)


28Apr34, Rainbow Ballroom, Fresno, CA.  (ad, Fresno Bee, 27Apr34, p4)


1May34, Fox Theatre, Bakersfield, CA.  “Shows at 5:00, 7:00, 9:00, 11:00.”  (ad, Bakersfield Californian, 1May34, p8)


15Jun to 18Jun34, Loew’s Theatre, Canton, OH.  Four days only.  (daily ads, Canton Repository)


20Jun34, Market Auditorium, Wheeling, WV.  (ad, Wheeling Intelligencer, 18Jun34, p7)


20Jul34, Lakemont Park, Petersburg, VA.  The first of a series of “seven dance engagements;” for the band’s “first southern appearance” including 21-26Jul34 below.  (ad, Norfolk Journal and Guide, 14Jul34, p15)


21Jul34, Pepper Warehouse, Winston-Salem, NC.


22Jul34, Banner Warehouse, Durham, NC.


23Jul34, Big Brick Warehouse, Goldsboro, NC.


24Jul34, Township Auditorium, Columbia, SC.


25Jul34, City Armory, Charlotte, NC. 


26Jul34, City Auditorium, Roanoke, VA.  “Admission $1.00, White Spectators, 75 cents.” 


27Jul34, Armory, Charleston, WV. “Admission $1.25, White Spectators $1.00.” (ad, Charleston Gazette, 27Jul34, p10)


5Aug34, Tomlinson Hall, Indianapolis, IN.  “More than four thousand people jammed Tomlinson Hall ….”  (“Duke Ellington, Ivie Anderson Win Palm for Attracting the Largest Dance Crowd,” Indianapolis Recorder, 11Aug34, p1).


7Sep to 13Sep34, Majestic Theatre, Bridgeport CT.  Correct dates.  (daily ads, Bridgeport Post)


16oct34, Wilbur’s Ballroom, Somerset, MA.  City identified.  (ad, Providence Journal, 12oct34, p20)


30oct to 1Nov34, Colonial Theatre, Allentown, PA.  Correct dates.   (daily ads, Allentown Morning Call)





27Jan35, Danceland, Cleveland, OH.  (ad, Cleveland Plain Dealer, 27Jan35, sec W, p9; and “Musical Notes,” Cleveland Call and Post, 2Feb35, p7)  The Shubert Theatre, Cincinnati, OH, engagement ended on 26Jan, not on this date.  (ad, Cincinnati Enquirer, 26Jan35, p10)


12Mar35, Palais Royale Casino, Norfolk, VA.  Dance.  “We have just finished a movie short to be titled Black Rhapsody or Rhapsody in Black.  It is a composition of Negro moods from a highly artistic standpoint.  Special scenes of it are still being photographed.”   (P. Bertrand Young, “Talk to Duke Ellington About Anything You Want to, But He Will Talk About Music to You,” Norfolk Journal and Guide, 16Apr35, p1)


13Mar35, Roycroft’s Warehouse, Durham, NC.  “9:00 ‘till 1.” (ad, Norfolk Journal and Guide, 9Mar35, p15)

14Mar35, Tantilla Gardens, Richmond, VA.  Correct date.  “Music 9:30 - 2 A.M.”  (ad, Richmond News-Leader, 14Mar35, p22)  The listing for 11Mar at Tantilla Gardens is based on an incorrect reading of the 11Mar35 Peterson (VA) Progress (DESB) which indicates the engagement was for “Thursday” (the 14th).


15Mar35, Central Warehouse, Johnson City, TN.  “It is anticipated the warehouse which has ample dancing space for 7,000 people will be none too large to accommodate the dance–minded of this section…”  (“Duke Ellington in Johnson City Tonight,” Kingsport Times, 15Mar35, p5)  The 15May35 Public Auditorium, Cleveland, OH engagement was incorrectly listed for this date in some sources.


1Apr35, Woodland Auditorium, Lexington, KY.  Venue identified.  “Concert from 8 till 9:00 P.M., Dance 9:30 Until ---.”  (ad, Lexington Herald, 1Apr35, p2)


15Apr35, National Guard Armory, Bluefield, WV.  Dance sponsored by the Spade Club.  (“News of the Colored People,” Bluefield Daily Telegraph, 9Apr35, p10)


16Apr35, Armory, Charleston, WV.  One night only.  Dance sponsored by the Dice Club.  “For White People Only. … 10 until 2 o’clock.”  (ad, Charleston Gazette, 16Apr35, p4)


24Apr35, The Plantation, Philadelphia, PA.  One-night club engagement.  (“Famous Jazz Leaders are Headline Attractions at City’s Night Clubs this Week,” Philadelphia Inquirer, 24Apr35, p6)


25May35, Coliseum Gardens, Mansfield, OH.  (ad, Columbus Dispatch, 25May35, p8B)


30May35, Lakeside, Hazleton, PA.  Memorial Day dance. (“Duke Ellington at Lakeside May30,” Hazleton Standard, 29May35, in DESB)


2Jun35, Memorial Hall, Columbus, OH.  This incorrect date evidently resulted from a misreading of an article in the DESB for the 2May35 engagement.


23Jun35, Melody Mill, Dubuque, IA.  (ad, Cedar Rapids Gazette, 23Jun35, p6)  A Gary, IN, engagement is incorrectly listed for this date, evidently due to a reference in the 29Jun35 Chicago Defender, (“The band played a dance date in Gary, Ind., Sunday night”).  The band was in Gary the previous Sunday, 16Jun35.  (“Duke Ellington played to Packed House Sunday,” Gary American, 21Jun25, p2)


26Jun35, Roof Garden, Arnolds Park, IA.  (“Duke Ellington at Roof Garden June 26,” Lake Park News, 20Jun35, p3)


27Jun35, Sylvan Ballroom, Capitol Beach, Lincoln, NE.  Correct city.  “nearly 4,000 people at Capitol Beach, a few trying to dance, but most preferring only to listen to the heated rhythms.”  (Lincoln Morning Journal, 30Jun35, in DESB)


1Jul35, Windmoor Gardens, Chillicothe, MO.  (“Duke Ellington is Known as Composer,” Chillicothe Constitution Tribune, 26Jun35, p1)


8Jul35, City Auditorium/Nat Dance Palace, Amarillo, TX.   Concert at City Auditorium 8:15 to 10:00 pm.  “The entire balcony reserved for colored people. … Dance 10:30 to 1:30 am at Nat Dance Palace.”  (ad, Amarillo Globe, 8Jul35, p10)


9Jul35, venue unknown, San Angelo, TX.  “The Ellington party, including 15 members of the orchestra and Ivie Anderson, torch singer will arrive from San Angelo at 3 p.m. over the Texas and Pacific Railway… .. The cars were en route from Amarillo, where the band played to 2,200 concert patrons and 500 dance couples Monday night, to San Angelo for last night’s engagement.”  (“Ellington to Play Tonight, Abilene Daily Reporter, 10Jul35, p12)


10Jul35, Fair Park Auditorium/Hilton Hotel, Abllene, TX.  “Throughout the two hours of the concert at Fair Park auditorium and the four hours of dancing at the Hilton Hotel last evening, the Duke sat at a baby grand and played that piano.”  (Mary McKenzie, “Famous Negro Band and ‘Blues’ Singer Make Hit at Concert and Dance,” Abilene Daily Reporter, 11Jul35, p8)


14Jul35, Shell Beach Club, Lake Charles, LA.  (ad, Port Arthur News, 10Jul35, p8)


15Jul35, City Auditorium, Houston, TX.  “Being a Negro gives you license to do certain things that you just couldn’t do otherwise.”  (John Stokes Holley, “Brown Skin May be an Asset, Says Duke Ellington,” Houston Informer, 15Jul35, p11).


16Jul to 17Jul35, unknown venues, San Antonio, TX.  “Duke Ellington will play here for dances July 16 and 17.”  (Renwicke Cary, “Around the Plaza,” San Antonio Light, 24Jun35, SecB, p1)  The second night was presumably for blacks.  “The Duke Ellington dance Wednesday [17] evening was the major attraction of many weeks.”  (“Jo’s Jotting’s,” San Antonio Register, 19Jul35)


19Jul or 20Jul35, Duke is mistakenly listed as having played the Golden Dragon, New Orleans, LA, due to a mis-reading of the following report: “The Duke is scheduled to spend two days at the City Park, playing one night [19] for whites and one [20] for his own people.  Louis Armstrong … is to play to anybody and everybody at the Golden Dragon on Sunday, July 21, and the following night at the same place.”  (“New Orleans Host to Two Great Orchestras,” Chicago Defender, nat. ed., 13Jul35, p7)


26Jul35, Tomlinson Hall, Indianapolis, IN.  (“Duke Ellington Kept His Word,” Indianapolis Recorder, 3Aug35, p8)


27Jul to 1Aug35, Eastwood Park, Detroit, MI.  (ad, Detroit Free Press, 1Aug35, p17)


29Jul35, Sylvan Lake, Detroit, MI.  “The famous band leader, who opened a week’s engagement at  Eastwood Park Saturday, will take his orchestra to the Free Press Fresh Air Camp at Sylvan Lake Monday.”  (“To Play at Camp,” Detroit Free Press, 29Jul35, p12)


21Sep35, Pythian Temple, Jacksonville, FL.  “The famous orchestra will play for a dance engagement at the Pythian Temple Saturday night, 9 ’til 12.”  (“Duke Ellington Booked for Jacksonville Dance,” Atlanta Daily World, 18Sep35, p3)


30Sep35, Cherokee Casino, Augusta, GA.  Return to the same venue following 26Sep appearance.  (ad, Augusta Chronicle, 29Sep35, p10


29Nov35, Roseland State Ballroom, Boston, MA.   One night only, grand opening of the “New” Roseland State ballroom.  (ad, Boston Post, 29Nov35, p17)


6Dec35, Pratt Gymnasium, Amherst College, Amherst, MA.  Annual fall prom.  “Music from 9 to 3.”  “Ellington Band to Play Tonight,” Springfield Daily Republican, 6Dec35, p9)


22Dec35, unknown location, Detroit, MI?  “When Duke Ellington brings his boys into Paradise Valley, Sunday, Dec. 22….”  Paradise Valley is the African American club district.  (Rollo S. Vest, “The Lowdown,” Pittsburgh Courier, 14Dec35, sec2, p6) 





16Jan36, De Lisa Winter Gardens, Chicago, IL.  Correct date for social event, a dinner sponsored by Earl Hines.  (“Celebrated Pianist Has Unique Fete,” Chicago Defender, nat. ed, 25Jan36, p6)


17Jan36, Louis-Retzlaff fight, Chicago Stadium, Chicago, IL.  “Duke Ellington who has never seen Joe Louis in action cancelled three important engagements the past week and the first of next week in order to remain in Chicago and see the Bomber face Retzlaff.”  (“Duke Forgets Stage; Stays for Joe Bout,” Chicago Defender, city ed., 18Jan36, p8)


18Jan36, Appomattox Club, Chicago, IL.  Social event.  (“The Duke Ellingtons are Feted by Four Horseman,” Chicago Defender, nat. ed., 25Jan36, p7)


22Jan36, left Chicago for Kansas City.  (“Duke Forgets Stage, Stays for Joe Bout,” above)


25Feb36, Commodore Ballroom, Lowell, MA.  (ad, Boston Post, 25Feb36, p14)


1Mar to 12Mar36, band inactive?  No gigs have been identified during this period.  Perhaps because was Ellington was resting an injured finger:  “Displaying a bandaged index finger on his left hand, ‘Tonight [13Mar] is the first time I’ve played piano in three weeks….’  Ellington explained that the finger became mysteriously infected while he and his band were making recordings [27-28Feb] in New York recently.”  (“Ellington Refuses to Tempt the Fates,” Saginaw News, 14Mar36, in DESB)


13Mar36, Naval Armory, Detroit, MI.  Hoodoo Dance sponsored by Youth, Inc.  (“The Motor City Buzzes Again,” Atlanta Daily World, 12Mar36, p2) 


16Mar36, Palace Theatre, Cleveland, OH.  Duke made a guest appearance on-stage during a Cab Calloway performance, and played piano accompanying Cab Calloway over WGAR at 6:15 pm.  (“Duke, Cab Meet Here,” Cleveland Call and Post, 19Mar36, p3; “The Duke and Cab,” Cleveland Press, 16Mar36, p24)


18Mar36, Wheeling, WV. (cancelled)  According to the Cleveland Call and Post (“Duke, Cab Meet Here,” above), Duke was to head to Wheeling from Youngstown, OH (17Mar), but the gig would have certainly been cancelled by flooding of the Ohio River that left much of downtown Wheeling underwater.


28Mar36, Fair Grounds, New Orleans, LA, should be deleted.  The correct date is 5Apr36 (ad, Louisiana Weekly, 28Mar36, in DESB)


24Apr36, Babylon High School, Babylon, NY, should be deleted.  The event was a variety show featuring Ford, Marshall and Jones, dancers who had previously worked with Duke Ellington. (“Night of Fun to be Staged Tonight by Babylon Masons,” Babylon Eagle, 24Apr36, in DESB)  Due to a mis-reading of this clipping, this date has been incorrectly listed in some sources as an Ellington date.


13Jun36, Trianon Ballroom, Cleveland, OH.  “Presented by the B.A.T. Club.”  (ad, Cleveland Plain Dealer, 13Jun36, p13)


19Jun36, Louis-Schmeling fight, New York, NY.  ?


30Jul36, Onset Casino, Onset, MA, should be deleted.  The correct date for this engagement is 23Jul36 (ad, Boston Post, 23Jul36, p14)


15Aug and 16Aug36, Castle Farm, Cincinnati, OH.  Two nights.  “Tonight and Sunday.”  (ad, Cincinnati Enquirer, 15Aug36, p2) 


19Aug36, Armory, Louisville, KY.  (ad, Louisville Courier-Journal, 19Aug36, p15)


9oct36, Armory, Welch, WV.  “By popular request the Duke Ellington engagements [in Welch and Charleston] have been changed….”  (“Change of the Duke Ellington Dates,” McDowell Times, 9oct36, p10)


10oct36, Armory, Charleston, WV.  (ad, Charleston Gazette, 10oct36)


11oct? to 13oct36?, one-nighter in Fayetteville, NC?  “Duke Ellington and his famous orchestra …will play single engagements in Charleston, W.Va.; Keystone, W.Va.; Fayetteville, N.C.; Greenville, S.C.; and Memphis, Tenn.; en route to Dallas….”  (“Duke Ellington Headed for Texas,” Pittsburgh Courier, sec2, p11)


14oct36, Textile Hall, Greenville, SC.  (“Duke Ellington to Greenville,” Pittsburgh Courier, 3oct36, sec2, p7)


15oct36, Ft. Worth, TX, needs to be deleted.  This date has been listed with no citation. 


15oct? to 17oct36? One-nighter in Memphis, TN?  (see “Duke Ellington Headed for Texas,” above)


21oct? to 23oct36?  One nighter in Tulsa, OK?  “After concluding the current engagement at the Texas Exposition in Dallas, will play engagements in Tulsa, Okla.; Springfield, Mo.; Terre Haute, Ind.; St Louis, Chicago and Kansas City.”  (“Duke Treks West,” Chicago Defender, nat. ed., 31oct36, p24.


24oct36, Municipal Auditorium, Shreveport, LA.  L.S.U.-Arkansas Football Dance.  KWKH broadcast, 10:00 – 10:30pm.  (ad and radio listing, Shreveport Times, 24oct36, p2)


28oct36, unknown location, Springfield, MO.  (“Locals,” Miami News-Record, 30oct36, p5)


29oct36, lay-over in St. Louis, MO.  (“Hayes Alvis ‘Chi’ Visitor,” Chicago Defender, nat. ed., 7Nov36, p25)


25Nov36, Tillotson College, Austin, TX.  Duke gave a talk to the students and played two piano solos. Ellington also appeared at two other schools, and “because the race people were unable to attend the dances for which the band played, Duke and his ace trumpeter, Art Whetsel, played a benefit performance at Metropolitan AME church, including such favorites as Mood Indigo and Stardust.”  (William A. Haley, “Timely Topics,” Chicago Defender, nat ed., 5Dec36, p5)


27Nov36, City Auditorium, Houston, TX.  Junior League dance “playing to a crowd of 900.”  (Walter Barnes, “Houston is a Great City, a $30,000 Theatre is Being Built, Says Walter Barnes,” Chicago Defender, nat. ed., 12Dec36, p20) 


1Dec36, Pecos, TX?  “After the Houston engagement which bids fair to be another triumph, the band’s itinerary includes Pecos, Texas; Albuquerque, N.M.; Salt Lake City, Utah; Denver, Colo.; Oakland, Cal., arriving in Los Angeles on Dec. 9  (“Ellington Plays for Texas U. Prom, Chicago Defender, nat. ed., 5Dec36, p21)


3Dec36, Casino, Denver, CO.  Dance for blacks.  (T.S. Williams, “Denver,” Chicago Defender, nat. ed., 5Dec36, p19)


8Dec36, Oakland, CA?  Date reported in the 5Dec36 Chicago Defender, above, cannot be verified in Oakland newspapers.





13Feb37, McElroy’s Spanish Ballroom, Portland, OR.  “The snowfall Saturday night may have kept some folks home, but apparently not many of those who desired to dance to the music of Duke Ellington’s internationally known band….”  (“Duke Ellington Wins Capacity Throng at McElroy’s,” Oregon Daily Journal, 15Feb37, p17)  KOIN broadcast 11:00-11:30pm.  (Oregonian, 13Feb37, p13)


26Feb37, departs Los Angeles for New York.  “   Duke Ellington’s band just finished Hit Parade and they left last Friday night for the return trip East for a new tour out of their headquarters in New York.  All week, the boys and their featured singer, Ivy Anderson, have had to virtually work day and night in order to finish by then, so as to depart on schedule.”  (Harry Levette, “Behind the Scenes…,” California Eagle, 5Mar37)


28Feb37, 30 minute stop in Kansas City, MO.  (“Duke Ellington and His Band Here Between Trains,” Kansas City Call, city ed., 5Mar37, p14)


1Mar37, changes trains in Chicago.  “The Ellington aggregation arrived in the Windy City on the crack Santa Fe at 8:50 a.m., quickly transferred to the Pennsylvania Station, hopped the Manhattan Limited and left for New York at 10:30 a.m.  (“Duke Elington Pauses Here Enroute to N.Y.,” Chicago Defender, nat. ed., 6Mar37, p20)


25Jun37, Canobie Lake Park, Salem, NH.  “Only New England appearance. … Although on previous trips to New England Duke has been warmly welcomed for his fine interpretations of sweet and sentimental tunes and especially for the brilliant arrangements of the scores of hits he has composed himself, this visit really finds him famous as one of the really great swing bands in America.”  (“At Ballrooms,” Boston Post, 20Jun37, p21)


25Jul37. Arabian Gardens, Columbus, OH.  First night of three-night engagement cancelled due to rain storm.  (“Ellington Will Start Local Run Monday Evening,” Columbus Dispatch, 26Aug37, p4B)


13Aug37, Joyland Casino, Lexington, KY.  “Dancing 8:30 till 2.”  (ad, Lexington Herald, 13Aug37, sec2, p6)  WLAP broadcast 8:30-9:00 pm. 


15Aug and 16Aug37, Arabian Gardens, Columbus, OH.  “The more than 760 Columbus persons who gathered at the Gardens had the privilege of hearing the latest Ellington effort, Crescendo in Blue.  Sunday night’s rendition of the crescendo was the second since its composition.”  (“Ellington Starts Two-Day Date at Arabian Gardens,” Columbus Dispatch, 16Aug37 pA10)


25Aug37, Ideal Beach, Shafer Lake, Monticello, IN.  “Nine to One.”  Kokomo Tribune, 20Aug37, p13.


2Sep37, Milwaukee Country Club, Milwaukee, WI.  Private party.  “Duke Ellington’s orchestra played for dancing in the east living room….”  (“Debutantes’ Flowers Go to Help Shut-ins,” Milwaukee Journal, 3Sep37, sec4, p20).  A 3Sep37, engagement in Milwaukee can’t be verified in the Milwaukee Journal.  Stratemann’s source was a clipping in DESB that can’t be located.   (Check DESB microfilm).


15Sep37, Idora Park, Youngtown, OH.  “One Nite Only.”  (ad, Youngstown Vindicator, 14Sep37, p10.)  A second night, 16Sep37, can’t be verified.


8oct37, Cocoanut Grove, Reading, PA.  (ad, Reading Eagle, 29Sept37)


10oct37, Lake Compounce, Bristol, CT.  (ad, Hartford Daily Courant, 9oct37, p12)


30oct37, Memorial Hall, Columbus, OH.  Correct date.  (ad, Columbus Dispatch, 29oct37, secB, p4)


1Nov37, Graystone Ballroom, Detroit, MI.  (“Duke’s Father Dies,” Detroit Tribune, 6Nov37, DESB)


6Nov37, IMA Auditorium, Flint, MI.


14Nov37, Danville Armory, Danville, VA.  Actually occurred early morning of 15Nov37:  “12:45 to 4:15.  Colored Dance - $1.00; White Balcony – 80c.”  (ad, Danville Bee, 8Nov37, p11)


15Nov37, City Auditorium, Norfolk, VA.  “An audience of both races [certainly segregated] conservatively estimated at 4,000 ….”  (“As Maestro of Swing Charmed Norfolkians,” Norfolk Journal and Guide, 27Nov37, p18)


20Nov37, Trianon, Ft. Lauderdale, FL.  “9 P.M. Till ??”  (ad, Ft. Lauderdale Daily News, 20Nov37, p3)





16Aug38, Ocean Pier, Old Orchard Beach, ME.  “The Composer of ‘I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart.’”  (ad, Portland Press Herald, 16Aug38, p12)


25Aug38, Fifth Regiment Armory, Baltimore, MD.  “[U]nder the sponsorship of the Gunther Beer company to play a freebie. … The Duke has recently added a new singer, Delores Brown, whose voice is a different type from that of Ivy.  She made a big hit with the crowd, doing Music, Maestro Please….”  (“Duke and Lunceford Jammed, and the Elks Had the Swing,”  Washington Afro American, 3Sep39, p10)


28Sep38, Sussex Avenue Armory, Newark, NJ.  Dance given by the Rho Sigma Rho Fraternity.  (ad, Newark Herald, 24Sep38, p8)


14oct38, Memorial Hall, Dayton, OH.  “Dancing, 8:30 to 2.”  (ad, Dayton Forum, 7oct38, p7)


19oct38, Tennesee A&I State College, Nashville, TN.  Ellington “spoke briefly at the chapel exercises and obliged a small group [of faculty and students] afterwards by performing a few numbers at the piano.”  (“Duke Ellington Is Tenn. State Guest,” Chicago Defender, nat. ed., 29oct38, p6)


21oct to 25oct38, Orpheum Theatre, Memphis, TN.  Correct closing date.  (daily ads, Memphis Commercial Appeal)


2Nov38, Municipal Auditorium, Jackson, MS.  “The Duke gave a concert for members of the Race early in the evening and later played for a white dance, also at the auditorium.”  (J.E. Conic, “Mississippi State – Jackson,” Chicago Defender, nat. ed., 12Nov38, p23)


8Nov38, Arrives Kansas City.  “Ellington arrived in Kansas City Tuesday night and spent part of the night and most of the following day working on a few of his new compositions.  Wednesday afternoon [9Nov] he made personal appearances at the R.T. Coles school and the Lincoln high school.  He gave talks and played a few of his selections at both schools.”  (“Duke Ellington Still a Favorite with Kansas City’s Jitterbugs,” Kansas City Call, city ed., 11Nov38, p6)




26Nov38, Graystone Ballroom, Detroit, MI.  Correct venue.  “Saturday Swing Session,” with 12:00 midnight broadcast over WXYZ. (radio listing and ad, Detroit News, 25Nov38, pp 4, 18)





14Feb39, Roseland Ballroom, New York, NY.  “First New York Ballroom Appearance.”  (ad, New York Daily News, 13Feb39, p28)


3Mar39, Krueger Auditorium, Newark, NJ.  “The Pals of Pleasure Present Its Primer Baile.”  (ad, New Jersey Herald News, 25Feb39, p7)


18Mar39, Ricker Gardens, Portland, ME.  With broadcast over WGAN, 8:15 pm.  (ad and radio listing, Portland Press Herald, 38Mar39, p13)


2Jun to 8Jun39, Flatbush Theatre, Brooklyn NY.  Engagement listed in Billboard and Variety was evidently cancelled. Ellington was replaced by Ina Ray Hutton. (daily ads, Brooklyn Eagle)  Ellington recorded three times this week.


18Jun39, Lake Compounce, Bristol, CT.  (M. Oakley Christoph, “For Your Information,” Hartford Courant, 17Jun39, p8)


18Jul39, Tomlinson Hall, Indianapolis, IN.  Correct date.   (ad, Indianapolis Star, 16Jul39, p6A)  19Jul has been listed for this date due to a story in Variety.  (”Fists Fly at Dance,” Variety, 26Jul39, p140)    Equipment manager “Jack [Boyd] recalls the occasion, before the Union limitation on hops, when the band played one night in Sioux Falls, S.D., and the next in Indianapolis – traveling via Chicago, a total of 875 miles!  The band traveled from 2 a.m. to 9:45 p.m. to make it, played from 10 to 2, and was in St. Louis, Mo. next morning at 7 for another date.  (“Boyd Has Traveled A Million Miles With Duke,” Orchestra World, Jan43, p18)


19Jul39, Forest Park Highlands, St. Louis, MO.  “Tonite Only. … Five hours dancing.”  Correct date.  (ad, St. Louis Star-Times, 19Jul39, p10)  Stratemann had the Indianapolis and St. Louis dates gigs in incorrect order, although the source he cited had them correct.  (“Band Bookings,” Variety, 12Jul39 p40)


28Jul39, Revere Plaza, Boston, MA.  Dance with Erskine Hawkins and his Orchestra.  “Dancing 9 Until 3.”  (ad, Boston Guardian, 22Jul39, p8)


1oct39, Savoy Ballroom, Pittsburgh, PA, should be deleted.  This gig has been mis-dated due to a DownBeat article about a 3Sep39 dance  “White and colored patrons stood around 30 deep for five hours watching the show.”  (“Ellington’s New Mark,” DownBeat, 1oct39, p1)


14Nov39, City Auditorium, Great Bend, KS.  (ad, Great Bend Tribune, 14Nov39, p3)  “Duke Ellington and his swingwaits were lauded by more than 1,500….”  (“Music Notes,” Chicago Defender, nat. ed., 9Dec39, p20)


23Nov39, Armory Ballroom, Dixon, IL.  “The Biggest Thanksgiving Dance Attraction in the State.”  (ad, Dixon Evening Telegraph, 22Nov39, p10)


11Dec39, Public Auditorium, Cleveland, OH.  “8:30 Until.”  (ad, Cleveland Call and Post, 7Dec39, p11)





30Jan40, Mishler Theatre, Altoona, PA.  (ad, Altoona Daily Mirror, 29Jan40, p11)  Afterward, the band played at a ball in honor of President Roosevelt’s birthday at the Penn Alto Hotel.  “[T]he visit was its contribution to the paralysis fund.”  (“City’s Birthday Ball is Largely Attended Affair,” Altoona Daily Mirror, 31Jan40, p1)


17Mar40, Jayhawk Theatre, Topeka, KS.  “5 Stage Shows, 1:45 – 3:55 – 6 - 8:45 – 10:15.”  (ad, Topeka Daily Capiital, 17Mar40, p10)


25Jun to 27Jun40Lake Milton Dog Track, Lake Milton, OH.  “Covered Grandstand.  On Ohio Route 18 From Youngstown.”  (ad, New Castle [PA] News, 20Jun40, p21)


14Aug40, West Side Park, Berwick, PA.  (“To West Side Park Ellington Band Comes,” Wilkes-Barre Sunday Independent, 11Aug40, p19)


1Sep40, Modernistic Ballroom, Milwaukee, PA.  (ad, Milwaukee Journal, 1Sep40, p7)


25Dec40, Hotel Cleveland, Cleveland, OH.  Christmas Prom of the Ching Tang club.  (Glenn C. Pullen, “Andy Hardys About Town Shoot as High as the Moon for Holiday ‘Jive’ Favorites,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, 20Dec40, p18)





22Feb41, Civic Auditorium, San Jose, CA.  “8:30 P.M.”  (ad, San Jose Mercury Herald, 22Feb41, p5)


5May41, Layover in Chicago, IL.  “Duke Ellington’s troupe will spend a few hours in Chicago Monday [5May].  And believe it or not, they are due to jump back to the coast within a few weeks.”  (Al Monroe, “Swingin’ the News,” Chicago Defender, nat. ed., 3May41, p13)


11May to 16May41, Layover in Chicago, IL.  “Duke Ellington, who spent Monday [5May] in Chicago, returns Sunday [11May from a tour of Wisconsin] for a five-day stay.”  (Al Monroe, “Swingin’ the News,” Chicago Defender, nat. ed., 10May41, p11)  During this five-day period, Ellington traveled to New York to record piano solos of Dear Old South and Solitude for Victor on 14May.


18May41, Stopover in Chicago, IL.  “Duke Ellington’s engagement at Wabash college [17May] in Indiana was a wow.  Your ‘Swinging’ made the trip by motor with Cutie [sic] Williams.  On the way back we were accompanied by Harry Carney, Ben Webster, Young and Rex Stewart.  We reached Chicago on the return trip Sunday morning [18May] at 5.  Two hours later the band was en route to California where a show is to be staged featuring his music.” 


20Jun41, New Memorial Auditorium, Fresno, CA.  “9:00 P.M. – 1:00 A.M.”  (ad, Fresno Bee, 19Jun41, p17).


16Nov and 17Nov41, Sweet’s Ballroom, Oakland, CA.  (ad, Oakland Tribune, 15Nov41, p2)  The Tribune advertised Sunday [16] night only; Sweet’s customarily held Monday [17] night dances for the African American community.  Junior Raglan likely made his debut at Sweet’s the previous month (12-13oct41).  Journalist Thomas Fleming recalled that, “One night, when Duke came through San Francisco, he stopped at Jack’s Tavern and saw a local bass player, Junior Raglan, playing in a group.
Duke hired him for his band.  I was there the first night he got up and played bass with Duke, at Sweet’s Ballroom.”  (expanded version of Reflections on Black History, Part 49, by Thomas C. Fleming, posted by Bill Egan on duke-lym, 07Dec06)  Collections of the California Voice, an African American newspaper based in Oakland, are unfortunately spotty.  One surviving issue stated that “Any gambler would have given you at least One Thousand to One Against the unknown Raglan being a permanent fixture in the band by November 1941!”  (Ken Freeman, “Music and Musicians,” California Voice, 28Nov41, p5)


25Dec to 30Dec41, Detroit, MI. 

© Ken Steiner

Seattle, WA