City Hall reception for Duke Ellington

Monday, August 02, 1965

This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.

Opens with two musical numbers, followed by a period of silence.

Mr. Bob Darling (?) welcomes the crowd and introduces the event's first speaker.

Dr. Arthur Logan, Chairman of the New York City Council Against Poverty honors Ellington, noting his limitless imagination.

Next, Billy Taylor speaks. He compares Ellington to Beethoven and Debussy. He speaks of Ellington's great work in bringing American music into the lives of so many. Billy Taylor's band then plays, accompanied by three members of Ellington's band: Clark Terry on trumpet; Jerome Richardson on baritone sax; Benny Powell on trombone, Grady Tate on drums; and Ben Tucker on bass. Billy Taylor is on piano.

Joe Williams is introduced and sings later in the program.

Several musical numbers are performed.

Reverend Ray John Gensal speaks. He discusses Ellington's ability to sew together music, and his travels all over the world and speaks of the ways that he has blessed us.

A message from ASCAP is read.

Paul Screvane, acting mayor, speaks as well. Introducing notables present, then discussing seeing Ellington perform at the Philharmonic on the previous Saturday night. There is a reference to Ellington "missing out on a prize he should have earned." This seems to be a reference to the Pulitzer Prize for music. He notes that Ellington has never lost himself to fads. He presents the city's Bronze Medal to Ellington.

Duke Ellington speaks. He praises the band and thanks the audience. Makes jokes about being a "night cat" and this unusual exposure to daylight.

Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection

WNYC archives id: 71923
Municipal archives id: T1372


Duke Ellington, Arthur Logan, Benny Powell, Jerome Richardson, Paul R. Screvane, Grady Tate, Billy Taylor, Clark Terry, Ben Tucker and Big Joe Williams


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About Miscellaneous

Programs ranging from the 1930s to the 1970s covering a variety of cultural and political topics.

From archival broadcasts of sewer plant openings to single surviving episodes of long-defunct series, "Miscellaneous" is a catch-all for the odds and ends transferred as part of the New York Public Radio Archives Department's massive NEH-funded digitization project, launched in 2010.

Buried in this show you will find all sorts of treasures, from the 1937 dedication of the WNYC Greenpoint transmitter to the 1939 lighting of the City Hall Christmas tree and the 1964 reception for Nobel Prize recipient Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

This collection includes some unique “slice-of-life” productions that provide a telling portrait of America from the 1940s through the 1950s, such as public service announcements regarding everything from water conservation to traffic safety and juvenile delinquency and radio dramas such as "The Trouble Makers" and "Hate, Incorporated."



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