Sunday, September 9, 2007

Duke Ellington speaks

Lately I’ve been filling my shopping carts with spoken-word material... especially of a historical nature.

And you can’t get more historically worthwhile than Duke Ellington.

I got pieces of a radio interview Ellington recorded around the time of a 1965 performance with Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops. (Yeah, I know. What was that about?)

I say “pieces” because the questions have been edited out. There are only Ellington’s disconnected answers.

But in the 3-minute segment I’ve uploaded to my Vox blog, Ellington discusses why he, in his mid-sixties, performs so often; how he acquired his nickname; and his early talent for painting.

Just by the sound of his voice, Duke Ellington was one of the coolest people who ever lived. Click here to see what I’m talking about.

More of this 1965 interview is available on a 3-CD Ellington set called “Live and Rare.” It’s downloadable from iTunes.


Jim Meadows said...

My guess as to why the questions were edited out is that this may have been a promotional record sent out by the record company to radio stations. The deejay would read the questions and play the recorded answers, and thus appear to "interview" Ellington. This was once a common practice.

Undercover Black Man said...

^ Wow, really? Thank you, Jim. I guess shadier things were done back then in the record business, but still... that's weird.

bill said...

Jim is almost definately correct. I did some radio DJing in the 90s at a small college and Jim's answer reminded me that we received a CD like that for Sting's "Ten Summoner's Tales." Of course we edited his answers and made up our own questions.

I love the internet, music stack has it for $12.50: Ten Summoner's Tale Interview Disc

Undercover Black Man said...

^ The potential for mischief and hilarity is infinite.