The Duke Steps Out!

Here’s a slight puzzle – no year or city are mentioned on this garish little flyer, promoting a Fraternity Dance featuring Duke Ellington and His Cotton Club Orchestra.ImageImage

A quick Google search reveals that the other band, led by Johnny Brown, often played in the Philadelphia area and was listed on a flyer from 1931 promoting Cab Calloway at a similar Fraternity Dance in 1931. ImageLikely at the same Elk’s Club, same $3.00 price and a confirmation of Philadelphia as the location.  Since research shows that the Duke played New York’s Roseland on this date in 1930 and was in Boston from October 14-20, 1932, my best guess for this engagement is 1931. Tough Depression times to spend $3.00 for a Hallowe’en Frolic!

3 thoughts on “The Duke Steps Out!

  1. Rick, I have a copy of the Ellington handbillI, too, and have long wondered about the location and year of this event. The Philadephia clue is great, and my guess is this dates from 1931. Perhaps Duke cut his engagement at the Howard Theatre (October 10-16) a day short to make it to Philadelphia for this dance? Duke was advertised for Harrisburg, PA, the 17th. Thanks for posting this!! Ken Steiner.

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