Wrote some blues…

“I merely took the energy it takes to pout and wrote some blues.” ~ Duke Ellington

Jazz legend Edward Kennedy Ellington (1899-1974), born on this day in Washington D.C., earned the nickname “Duke” because of his elegant clothes and style. An important American composer, pianist, and bandleader, he influenced jazz, blues, swing, and beyond. “It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing,” he proclaimed in his famous song. He claimed his inspiration came from love and the sacred spirit. A visionary, he experimented with odd musical intervals and pioneered the extension of jazz pieces beyond customary choruses of 12 or 32 bars.

“My mother told me I was blessed, and I have always taken her word for it,” he explained in Music Is My Mistress (1973). “Being born of–or reincarnated from–royalty is nothing like being blessed. Royalty is inherited from another human being; blessedness comes from God.”


  1. La said:

    You have to admit it- having swing makes life more fun- imagine life without Nana’s singing and dancing and music. NO THANKS!

    April 29, 2004
  2. Erin said:

    Duke Ellington was awesome (his music still is). I’m not too familiar with a lot of his stuff, but the jazz pieces I do know and have heard, I love! It is sad to see legends pass.

    April 29, 2004

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