The Man  himself. Sayin' it.
The Man himself. Sayin’ it in 1952.

. . . or click on the link here for audio Player – Duke Ellington and His Orchestra – broadcast from the Town Casino, Cleveland Ohio – September 17, 1952 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection

More classic concerts this weekend. For our Jazz entry, Duke Ellington in a live broadcast from Town Casino in Cleveland on September 17, 1952.

A pivotal period for Duke Ellington and the Jazz world in general. During the years after World War 2 and in the middle of the Korean War, when the era of the Big Band was on the wane and the small group era was on the rise and Jazz had exploded in a lot of different directions, Duke Ellington weathered all of it and cemented his reputation as being one of the true mainstays in Jazz. Not that it wasn’t scary for a while. The audiences for Big Band jazz were dwindling, as were the venues to host such large aggregates. The Music business in general was going through its own set of upheavals – there was the speed change and the lp was spreading roots. There was the rise of the independent label, with small labels specializing in Jazz very much gaining in popularity. Generally, it was an era loaded with change. Luckily, radio was still the major source for hearing music live so getting the message out to a mass audience was pretty much intact.

This broadcast was part of a weekly show which coincided with 1952 being Ellington’s 25th year in show business and it featured a series of live remotes from various night clubs and theaters around the country.

And this was what the audience at Town Casino in Cleveland got to hear that September night in 1952.

Lucky them.

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