05/1 April - July 2005
27th Year of Publication


Voort 18b, 2328 Meerle, Belgium
Telephone: +32 3 315 75 83

Duke's Itinerary


DEMS 05/1-7

Recent research in local newspapers has produced numerous additions and corrections to Duke Ellington’s itinerary.

Events listed in bold I believe to have happened. (DESB) refers to clippings found in the Duke Ellington Scrapbooks at the Smithsonian. (DD) refers to an item mentioned in Ken Vail’s "Duke’s Diary," with no documentation given until now.

Please feel free to join in on the fun and look up Ellington’s visits to your town. Please send additions, corrections, and comments to DEMS:

3Jul30, Bournehurst on the Canal, Buzzard’s Bay, MA. Correct date, not 2Jul. (ad, Boston Post, 3Jul30, p18).

5Jul30, Moseley’s, Boston, MA. (ad, Boston Post, 5Jul30, p4)

29Jul30, Stars’ Park, St. Louis, MO. Dance held at Negro National League baseball stadium. (ad, St. Louis Argus, 25Jul30, p3) "The musicians are on a barnstorming tour to Hollywood. St. Louis, Kansas City, and Omaha will hear the boys." ("Chicago Hears Duke Ellington," Chicago Defender, city ed., 2Aug30, p7) Local sources in Kansas City and Omaha should be checked for these engagements.

5Feb to 11Feb31, Metropolitan Theater, Boston, MA. Correct dates, not 6Feb to 12Feb. Duke Ellington and His Orchestra take to the road following the end of their three-year engagement at the Cotton Club. (ads, Boston Post, 5-12Feb31)

9Feb31, Ambassador Palace, Boston, MA. "Duke Ellington and his orchestra and Charlie Johnson and his Victor Recording orchestra from Small’s Paradise, New York, drew the largest throng of both races ever gathered in this city when they played at the Ambassador palace, Berkeley St. and Warren Ave." ("Boston Turns Out to Greet Duke, Charlie," Chicago Defender, city ed., 14Feb31, p6)

27Feb to 5Mar31, Uptown Theater, Chicago, IL. Correct dates, not 27Feb to 4Mar. (ads, Chicago Herald and Examiner, 27Feb-5Mar31)

6Mar to 12Mar31, Paradise Theater, Chicago, IL. Correct dates, not 5Mar to 11Mar. (ads, Chicago Herald and Examiner, 5-12Mar31)

13Mar to 19Mar31, Oriental Theater, Chicago, IL. Correct dates, not 12Mar to 18Mar. (ads, Chicago Herald and Examiner, 12-19Mar31) "In addition to her great singing, Ivie [Anderson] was also considered a good-luck charm. We opened at the Oriental Theater on Friday, February 13, 1931 [Ivie’s debut with Duke], and we broke the all-time house record. We returned to the Oriental on Friday, March 13, 1931, and broke that record, too." (Duke Ellington, Music is My Mistress, p124)

Events during the 8 to 14May31, Ambassador Theater, St. Louis, MO, engagement:

10May31, Cotton Club, banquet in honor of the band. ("The Duke Himself in Town," St. Louis Argus, 8May31, p5)

12May31, Pythian Hall and Cotton Club. 3137 and 3133 Pine, dance, Duke Ellington and His Cotton Club Orchestra. (ad, St. Louis Argus, 8May31, p3)

13May31, People’s Finance Auditorium. Duke and members of his orchestra were "celebrated guests" at a dance. ("Duke Ellington Guest at Shriners’ Annual Dance," St. Louis Argus, 15May31, p5)

14May31, Pythian Hall and Cotton Club. Duke Ellington a "special guest" at performance by the Walter Barnes band. (ad, St. Louis Argus, 8May31, p3)

Exact date unknown, May31, Koch Hospital auditorium. At the invitation of a hospital patient, Duke Ellington performed six tunes: Ring Dem Bells, Three Little Words (vocal by Sonny Greer), I’m a Little Blackbird (vocal by Ivie Anderson), When We Get Together (vocal by an otherwise unidentified "Mr. Harris"), Dinah (vocal again by Greer), and St. Louis Blues. ("Duke Ellington Stirs Koch Hospital Patients with his Famous Cotton Club Orchestra," St. Louis Argus, 15May31, p3)

15May to 21May31, Oriental Theater, Chicago, IL. (ads, Chicago Daily Tribune, 15-21May31) "Included on the program…are The Peanut Vendor, Ol’ Man River, Please Don’t Talk About Me When I’m Gone, I’m So In Love With You, Black and Tan Fantasy and Mood Indigo." ("Ellington and Band Back at the Oriental," Chicago Defender, city ed., 16May31, p8)

Dances during 6 to 19Jun31 Pearl Theater, Philadelphia, PA, engagement:

17Jun31, Market Arena. Blacks weren’t admitted until Sam Stiefel, owner of the Pearl Theater, intervened. "Finally they were admitted — but were forced to dance in a roped-off area set aside for them by officials." ("Jim Crow Negroes as Duke Plays," Philadelphia Tribune, 25Jun31, p1)

18Jun31, Shadowland. Return engagement from 11Jun. (ad, Philadelphia Tribune, 18Jun31, p6)

22Jun31, Rainbow Gardens, Waldameer Park, Erie, PA. "Dancing at 9:00." (ads from Erie, PA, newspapers, and ticket, in the scrapbooks of Herc Chacona who booked Ellington dances twice in 1931 and again in 1933. Thanks to his son, John Chacona, for providing copies.

13Aug31, Modernistic Ballroom, Fair Park, Milwaukee, WI. (ad, Milwaukee Journal, 13Aug31, sec L, p4)

4Sep31, Mackinaw Dells, Peoria, IL. (ad, Peoria Journal, 4Sep31, p28)

7Sep31, Modernistic Ballroom, Fair Park, Milwaukee, WI. Return engagement on Labor Day. (ad, Milwaukee Journal, 6Sep31, sec S, p7)

10Sep31, Rainbow Gardens, Waldameer Park, Erie, PA. Dancing at 9:00. (ads, Erie newspapers, and ticket, in Chacona scrapbooks)

3oct to 9oct31, Pearl Theater, Philadelphia, PA. (ad, Philadelphia Tribune, 1oct31, p6; and review, 15oct31, p6) Jersey City, NJ, has also been listed for this week due to this reference: "For the week of October 3 the orchestra is booked for the Stanley Theater, Jersey City." ("Say Ellington Gets New Plan and Higher Pay," Chicago Defender, city ed., 3Oct31, p7) This seems to be in error, and perhaps a check of local sources will locate the band in Jersey City for the open week of 23 to 29oct31.

20oct31, Mechanics Hall, Worcester, MA. (ad, Boston Post, 19oct31, p15)

22oct31, Butterfly Ballroom, Springfield, MA. (ad, Boston Post, 19oct31, p15)

Dance during the 30oct to 5Nov31, Paramount Theater, New Haven, CT, engagement:

3Nov31, Music Hall. 10 p.m. ("Duke Ellington at Music Hall Tonight," New Haven Evening Register, 3Nov31, p9)

6Nov to 12Nov31, Metropolitan Theater, Boston, MA. Venue identified. (ads, Boston Post, 6-12Nov31)

6Nov31, Copley Plaza, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA. ("Announce Plans of the Intercollegiate Ball," Harvard Crimson, 3Nov31) "Record breaking attendance of 1,500 couples." ("Harvard-Dartmouth Rooters Hear Duke," Baltimore Afro-American, 28Nov31, p9)

20Nov to 3Dec31, Oriental Theater, Chicago, IL. Correct dates; a two-week, not three-week engagement ending 10Dec. (ads, Chicago Daily Tribune, 20Nov-10Dec31) It seems likely that Ellington played a theater engagement in St. Louis the week of 4 to 10Dec31, but local sources should be checked. "Duke and his boys will leave the Oriental theater headed for St. Louis." (Walter Barnes, Jr., "Hittin’ High Notes," Chicago Defender, city ed., 5Dec31, p7)

19Dec31, Indiana Roof, Indianapolis, IN. (ad, Indianapolis Star, 19Dec31, p15) (DD)

25 to 31Dec31, Fisher Theater, Detroit, MI. (ads, Detroit News, 25-31Dec31)

23 to 29Jan32, Hippodrome, Baltimore, MD. Five shows a day, with Florence Hill, Nicodemus, Four Step Brothers. (ads, Baltimore Sun, 23-29Jan32)

During the 5 to 11Feb32 Brooklyn Paramount, New York, NY engagement:

7Feb32, Earl Carroll Theater, New York, NY. "Willie and Eugene Howard, Dave Rubinoff, Duke Ellington’s Band, Milt Gross, Ernie Bushmiller, Queenie Smith and an ensemble from the ‘Vanities’ appeared in the long show [to benefit the Broadway-Saranac Relief Fund]." ("Three Benefits Draw Large Audiences," New York Times, 8Feb32, p32)

During the 19Feb to 9Mar32, Orpheum Theater, San Francisco, CA, engagement:

16Feb32, arrives in San Francisco, CA. "Quite a number of friends, admirers, and press agents were on hand to greet the Duke…." (Joe Williams, "Stage and Screen," San Francisco Spokesman, 20Feb32, p7) The orchestra made a "unique…3,000 mile, non-stop, record-breaking jump from the [Brooklyn] Paramount to the Orpheum." (ad, Variety, 26Jan32, p64)

18Feb32, Home of Noel Sullivan. Welcome reception by the Alexander Dumas Club. "Adding to the pleasure of the evening were several selections by Mr. Ellington and soloists in his entourage." ("Duke Ellington’s Band Entertained by Dumas Club," San Francisco Spokesman, 20Feb32, p4)

29Feb32, Apex Cabaret. Duke an "honored guest" at club owned by Curtis Mosby. (ad, San Francisco Spokesman, 27Feb32, p7)

8Mar32, Apex Cabaret. Farewell night to Duke. (ad, San Francisco Spokesman, 12Mar32, p2)

26Jun32, Green Lantern, Anderson, IN. (ad, Indianapolis Star, 26Jun32, p2) (DD)

28Jun32, Miramar Ballroom, Gary, IN. Ellington ended this dance engagement early due to a "shortage in box receipts." ("Ellington Dance Brief but Big Hit," Gary American, 2Jul32, p1)

30Jun to 28Jul32, Lincoln Tavern, Morton Grove, IL. Correct closing date, not 27Jul. (radio listing, Chicago Daily Tribune, 28Jul32, p12)

29Jul32, Fernwood, Peoria, IL. "The orchestra came directly from the Lincoln Tavern, near Chicago." ("Throng of Dancers Hail ‘Duke’s’ Band," Peoria Journal, 30Jul32, p10)

8Aug to 14Aug32, Castle Farm, Cincinnati, OH. Correct closing date, not 15Aug. (ad, Cincinnati Enquirer, 14Aug32, sec3, p2)

18Aug32, Coliseum, Decatur, IL. (ad, Peoria Journal, 18Aug32, p20)

24Aug32, Wildwood Park, Mansfield, WI. (ad, Stevens Point Journal, 22Aug32, p3)

31Aug32, Riverview, Park, Des Moines, IA. (Everett Wadsworth, "Duke Ellington Thrills Crowd," Iowa Bystander, 2Sep32, p3) (DD)

16 to 22 Sep32, Tivoli Theater, Chicago, IL. This booking as reported in Variety (13Sep32, p32) was evidently canceled. Band was recording in New York on 19, 21, and 22Sep. (ads, Chicago Daily Tribune, 16-22Sep32, do not list Ellington at the Tivoli; recording dates per New DESOR)

During the 7 to 13oct32 Brooklyn Loew’s Metropolitan Theater, New York, NY engagement:

7oct32, Rockland Palace, New York, NY. "Duke Ellington’s band, the Hall Johnson choir, W.C. Handy, Jules Bledsoe, Monette Moore, and George Morton will be among the entertainers at the benefit performance for the Scottsboro Unity Defense Committee…with Bill Robinson…as emcee." ("Music Notes," New York Times, 4oct32, p26)

18Nov to 25Nov32, Pearl Theater, Philadelphia, PA. Correct closing date, not 24Nov. (ad, Philadelphia Inquirer, 25Nov32, p10)

25Dec32, Hotel Schenley, Pittsburgh, PA. Aragon Club ball at midnight, and concert at 11:00 pm, with the Doc Peyton Orchestra. Local broadcasts over WWSW at 11:30 pm and 12:00 midnight. ("Anatole Ball to Have Two Orchestras," Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph, 24Dec32, p5; and radio listing, 25Dec32, sec 1, p8).

12Mar33, Cotton Club, New York, NY. Correct opening date for Duke’s 1933 engagement, not 9Mar. "Beginning Sunday, Mar. 12th." (ad, Brooklyn Eagle, 10mar33, p18)

9Sep33, Hershey Park Ballroom, Hershey, PA. (ad, Gettysburg Times, 7Sep33, p2)

11Sep33, Rainbow Gardens, Waldameer Park, Erie, PA. (ticket from the collection of Herc Chacona)

15Sep to 17Sep33, Castle Farm, Cincinnati, OH. (ads, Cincinnati Enquirer, 15Sep33, p6; and 17Sep33, sec3, p2)

During the 30Sep to 6oct33, Majestic Theater, Dallas, TX, engagement:

30Sep and 5oct33, Ice Palace. 10 p.m. dances following daily theater appearances. ("Ellington Band to Play First Dance Engagement at Ice Palace Saturday," Dallas Morning News, 30Sep33, p8) The 30Sep dance was for whites; the 5oct for blacks.

6oct33, Peacock Terrace, Baker Hotel. 11 p.m. broadcast over WFAA. (Dallas Morning News, 6oct33, secIII, p2)

7oct to 10oct33, Worth Theater, Ft. Worth, TX. (ads, Fort Worth Star Telegram, 7-10oct33)

11oct to 13oct33, Paramount Theater, Austin, TX. (ads, Austin American, 11-13oct33)

12oct33, Tillotson College. Ellington "told about his music and played several numbers for" students at the African American women’s college. ("Duke Ellington Guest at Tillotson College," Black Dispatch, 19oct33, p3)

12oct33, Gregory Gym. 10 p.m. dance. (ad, Austin American, 12oct33, p10)

14oct to 20oct33, Majestic Theater, San Antonio ,TX. Correct end date, not 19oct. ("Duke’s Band Arrives Tomorrow, Here One Week," San Antonio Register, 13oct33, p1) San Antonio daily papers should be checked.

Exact date uncertain, oct33, Dinner at Don Albert’s House, San Antonio, TX. "Mr. and Mrs. Don Albert were hosts at a charming party in their home honoring Don’s cousin, Barney Bigard…. Mr. Ellington favored the guests with several of his own compositions, among which was Black Jazz Nocturne." ("The Don Alberts Entertain Cousin," San Antonio Register, 27oct33, p6) 3Nov33 has been given incorrectly for this event.

21oct to 27oct33, Majestic Theater, Houston, TX. (ads, Houston Chronicle, 21-27oct33).

21oct33, City Auditorium, 10 p.m. dance. (ad, Houston Chronicle, 21oct33, p6)

28oct to 31oct33, Jefferson Theater, Beaumont, TX. (ads, Beaumont Enterprise, 28-31oct33)

29oct33, Peoples Theater, 11:00 p.m. performance. "Entire theater reserved for colored." (ad, Beaumont Enterprise, 29oct33, secB, p9)

30oct33, Neophogen Hall, 10:30 p.m. dance. (ad, Beaumont Enterprise, 30oct33, p5)

1 to 3Nov33, Waco Theater, Waco, TX. (ads, Waco Times-Herald, 1-3Nov33)

1Nov33, Shrine Club, dance, 11:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m. (ad, Waco Times-Herald, 1Nov33)

2Nov33, Cotton Palace Coliseum. ("Waco Thrills to Duke Ellington’s Hot Tunes," Houston Informer, 11Nov33, p5)

4 and 5Nov33, Majestic Theater, Wichita Falls, TX. (ads, Wichita Daily Times, 4-5Nov33)

4Nov33, Wichita Club, 11 p.m. dance. (ad, Wichita Daily Times, 4Nov33)

Late-hours events during 10 to 16Nov33 Criterion Theater, Oklahoma City, OK, engagement:

14Nov33, Skirvin Hotel, private party. ("Sets Precedent," Black Dispatch, 16Nov33, p1)

15Nov33, Market Garden, dance. ("Multitudes Greet Ellington Engagement," Black Dispatch, 16Nov33, p3)

17Nov to 23Nov33, Orpheum Theatre, Tulsa, OK. (ads, Tulsa Daily World, 17-23Nov33)

18Nov33, Convention Hall, dance at 11:30 p.m. (ad, Tulsa Daily World, 18Nov33, p3).

5Jan34, Roseland Ballroom, Kansas City, MO. "[Duke Ellington] playing the entire dance. Dancing 9 Till 2." (ad, Kansas City Call, city ed., 5Jan34, p11)

16Feb34, Regal Theater, Chicago, IL. "Duke Ellington and his great band spent a few hours in the city Friday night en route to California. The Duke…came on stage at the Regal theater to greet his old pal, Lucius [Lucky] Millinder, and the house’s patrons. He was royally received." (Ellington’s Band Passes Through City," Chicago Defender, national ed., 3Mar34, p9)

27Apr34, Memorial Auditorium, Sacramento, CA. (ad, Sacramento Bee, 27Apr34, p8)

29Apr34, San Pablo Park, Berkeley, CA. Duke made an afternoon appearance at a baseball game. The game was stopped as Ellington stood on the pitchers mound; spoke to the crowd of 4,000; and threw two pitches to Earl Snakehips Tucker. ("Duke Ellington Receives Royal Welcome by Fans," San Francisco Spokesman, 3May34, p4); and Sweet’s Ballroom, Oakland, CA, dance, 7:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. (ad, Oakland Tribune, 28Apr34, p2)

During the 19 to 25May34, Music Hall, Seattle, WA engagement:

21May34, Finnish Hall. Dance in honor of "members of Duke Ellington’s band, Earl Tucker, Miss Ivy Anderson, and Gorilla Jones [boxer]." Music and floor shoe by the Harlem Club. ("Duke Ellington Band and ‘Gorilla’ Jones Guests at Dance," Northwest Enterprise, 17May34, p4)

1Jun to 3Jun34, Orpheum Theater, Salt Lake City, UT. "Four shows daily" with a movie. (ads, Salt Lake Tribune, 1-3Jun34) (DD)

7 to 13Jun34, Layover in Chicago. "Duke Ellington and his band arrived in the city Thursday from the Pacific coast for a week’s layoff. They are due to leave for the East early next week and return here for an engagement at the [Chicago] World’s Fair. ("Duke Ellington and Band Here," Chicago Defender, national ed., 16Jun34, p8) On 12Jun, writer Dan Burley sat with Ivie Anderson at amateur fight night at the Savoy, while the band was "here [Chicago] for a few days." (Dan Burley, "She Swings and She Sings and It All Comes So Easy!" Kansas City Call, city ed., 22Jun34, p8) The 7Jun to 12Jun, Orpheum Theater, Denver, CO engagement listed in Variety (29May34) was even listed in a Denver newspaper the previous Sunday ("Here is What Denver’s Theaters Offer This Week," Denver Post, 3Jun34, sec3, p7), but was evidently canceled. (daily ads, Denver Post, 7-12Jun34, do not list Ellington) Perhaps the cancellation and early return east was due to illness in the band. (DEMS 02/2, p20).

13Jul to 19Jul34, Loew’s Orpheum, Boston, MA. Correct dates, not 20 to 26Jul. (ads, Boston Post, 13-26Jul34)

20Jul to 27 Jul34, Tour of One-Nighters in the South. "Harlem’s aristocrat of jazz will be seen and heard in Roanoke, Petersburg, and Richmond, all in Virginia; in Durham and Goldsboro, North Carolina; in Columbia and Charlotte, South Carolina [Charlotte is in North Carolina] and in Charleston, W.Va." ("Duke Ellington to Tour South," Baltimore Afro-American, 4Aug34, p9) Local papers in these cities need to be checked to verify these dates.

31Jul34, City Auditorium, Atlanta, GA. (Lucius Jones, "Society Slants," Atlanta Daily World, 1Aug34, p3) Correct date; 7Aug has also been given for this gig.

30Jul34, Louisville, KY; and 1Aug34, Birmingham, AL. Following the 31Jul performance at the Auditorium in Atlanta, Duke told a reporter, "We left Louisville after playing a roadhouse there about three o’clock in the morning and got in here about 8:20. Our contract called for 9:00…. Jump to Birmingham tomorrow." (Cliff Mackay, "The Duke Can Dish it Out Plenty Hot," Atlanta Daily World, 2Aug34, p3)

2Aug34, Auditorium, Chattanooga, TN. (ad, Chattanooga Times, 2Aug34) Research courtesy of Martin Thach of Chattanooga.

16Aug34, Russell’s Point, Indian Lake, OH. "Dancing 9:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m." (ad, Lima News, 16Aug34, p11)

13oct34, Ritz Ballroom, Manchester, NH. (ad, Boston Post, 13oct34, p8)

21oct34, Earle Theater, Washington, DC. "Duke Ellington…who came to town over the weekend to see Mama Ellington, went back stage at the Earle Sunday night to visit [bandleader] Paul Ash. Ash insisted on taking him out on the stage and presenting him." (Louis Lautier, "Capital Spotlight," Baltimore Afro-American, 3Nov34, p9) [Duke] was greeted by such applause that he consented to take over one of the grand pianos and play his own fascinating composition of Sophisticated Lady. And how he played it!" (Nelson Bell, "Ellington Plays a Piece," Washington Post, 23oct34, p16)

13Jan to 19Jan35, Regal Theater, Chicago, IL. Week-long engagement, not 19 and 20Jan. (ads, Chicago Herald and Examiner, 13-20Jan35)

20Jan to 26Jan35, Shubert Theater, Cincinnati, OH. Correct dates, not 21Jan to 27Jan. (ads, Cincinnati Enquirer, 20-27Jan35)

28Jan35, Graystone Ballroom, Detroit, MI. "Played to an immense crowd Monday night." (Russell Cowan, "Round N Bout Detroit," Chicago Defender, national ed., 2Feb35, p 8)

4Apr35, Masonic Temple, Birmingham, AL. "Duke Ellington and his Orchestra played to more than 1,500 patrons here last Thursday evening…. This was Duke’s second engagement here. He played for a white group on his other appearance [1Aug34]." ("Duke Ellington in Birmingham," Chicago Defender, national ed., 20Aug35, p11)

8Apr35, Logan Hall, Tuskegee Institute, Tuskegee, AL. Duke evidently thought the 2:00 p.m. performance was canceled and went directly to Montgomery, AL, for an evening concert. Duke was located and at 4:20 began a performance for students of 15 numbers including Creole Love Call, Sophisticated Lady, Rockin in Rhythm, Cocktails for Two, Mood Indigo, Stormy Weather, and I’m Satisfied." ("Duke Ellington and His Orchestra Thrill Four Thousand," Tuskegee Campus Digest, 20Apr35, p1)

11May to 14May35, Palace Theater, Youngstown, OH. Four-day, not six-day engagement ending 16May. (ads, Youngstown Vindicator, 11-16May35)

27May35, Savoy Ballroom, Pittsburgh, PA. According to the Chicago Defender, this event was canceled. "Due to the death of Duke Ellington’s mother [that day], it made it impossible to keep engagements at the Savoy Ballroom last Monday, May 27. Money was refunded and all Pittsburgh is in sympathy with the king of jazz. Ellington will return at a later date." ("Cab Calloway in Pittsburgh," Chicago Defender, national ed., 15Jun 35, p7)

16Jun35, Miramar Ballroom, Gary, IN. "The Duke, Ivie, and the Three Flats sure gave Gary dance lovers something to think about for quite a while." ("Chatter Box," Gary American, 21Jun35, p2) 23Jun has been given for this engagement.

17Jun35, Sun Prairie Ballroom, Sun Prairie, WI. (ad, Wisconsin State Journal, 15Jun35, p9)

19Jun35, Eagles Ballroom, Oshkosh, WI. Relocated from EWECO Park due to rain. (ad, Oshkosh Northwestern, 19Jun35, p4)

7Jul35, Spanish Gardens, Fairgrounds, Oklahoma City, OK. "The band was guaranteed $1,000. 1,600 paid an admission of $1.10." (Edward Christian, "Musical Lowdown," Black Dispatch, 11Jul35)

10Jul35, San Antonio, TX. "Many hundreds of fans…literally jammed the auditorium [likely the Carver] making dancing almost impossible." ("Jo’s Jottings,"San Antonio Register, 19Jul35, p6)

15Jul to 21Jul35, Sylvan Club, Ft. Worth, TX. Ellington did play a one-nighter on 6Jul35, but the return engagement never happened. The Sylvan, known for gambling, burned to the ground early in the morning of 12Jul. ("Sylvan Club Razed by Fire," Ft. Worth Star-Telegram, 12Jul35, p1)

17Aug35, Casino, Narragansett Pier, RI. (Boston Post, 11Aug35) (DESB)

8Nov to 14Nov35, Hippodrome, Baltimore, MD. (ads, Baltimore Sun, 8-14Nov35) (DESB)

15Nov35, Convention Hall, Rochester, NY. Correct date, not 14Nov. (Rochester News, 15Nov35) (DESB)

29Nov35, Roseland State Ballroom, Boston, MA. (ad, Boston Post, 28Nov35) (DESB)

3Feb to 9Feb36, Lay over in Kansas City, MO. Before the Pla-Mor Ballroom engagement 8Feb, then back to New York. A tentative engagement for the Roby Theater, 9-11Feb, did not materialize. (Kansas City Call, city ed., 7Feb36, p3)

22Mar to 25Mar36, Lay over in St. Louis, MO. (Ben Thomas, "Footlights," St. Louis Argus, 27Mar36, p1)

12Apr36, Coliseum, St. Louis, MO. Easter Sunday dance with the Jeter-Pillars and Eddie Johnson bands. ("Duke Ellington Dance is a Big Success,"St. Louis Argus, 17Apr36, p3)

17Apr36, Miramar Ballroom, Gary, IN. "Duke himself didn’t arrive until 11 o’clock, the band played without piano." ("Chatterbox," Gary American, 24Apr36, p2)

11Jun36, Graystone Ballroom, Dayton, OH. Wilberforce University Commencement Prom. (ad, Indianapolis Recorder, 6Jun36, p13)

4Jul36, Casino, Narragansett Pier, RI. (ad, Boston Post, 3Jul36, p15)

24Jul36, Ocean Pier, Old Orchard Beach, ME. (ad, Boston Post, 19Jul36, p29)

30Jul36, Colonial Casino, Onset, MA. The band was advertised there for 23Jul while on a short tour of New England. This date has been incorrectly listed in the references due to an inaccurate reading of an ad in the DESB. There is no ad in the 30Jul36 Boston Post.

2Feb37, Rainbow Gardens, Sacramento, CA. (ad, Sacramento Bee, 2Feb37, p8)

3Feb37, Cocoanut Grove, Stockton, CA. "From 7:30 to 8 o’clock [Ellington] will be heard in a special broadcast from the studio of KWG." ("Duke Ellington Band Plays on Air, for Dance," Stockton Daily Evening Record, 3Feb37, p14)

4Feb37, Civic Auditorium, San Jose, CA. (ad, San Jose Mercury News, 4Feb37, p8)

7Feb37, Oakes Ballroom, Tacoma, WA. (ad, Tacoma News-Tribune, 7Feb37, p4) I cannot find any mention if this engagement was canceled. An advertised 6Feb37 dance at the Trianon Ballroom, Seattle, was canceled when the band’s train was caught in a snowstorm in Northern California. ("Hi De Ho! Duke’s Marooned in Snow," Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 7Feb37, p4) The 8Feb37 dance at the Armory, Bellingham, WA, did occur. ("Duke Ellington Big Drawing Card in Sound Cities," Oregon Daily Journal, 13Feb37, p5) A different snow storm caused the orchestra to arrive late, and perform in their street clothes, for the first performance on 9Feb37 at the Palomar Theater, Seattle, WA. ("Duke Ellington’s Band Makes Hit," Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 10Feb37) Later that night a dance was given "in honor of Duke Ellington and his band and entertainers" at Finnish Hall. Music was provided by Gene Coy and His Eleven Black Aces. ("Leader of ‘Black Aces’ Band," Northwest Enterprise, 5Feb37)

15Feb37, McArthur Court, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR. Concert at 7:30 p.m. followed by dance at 9:00 p.m. (Oregon Daily Emerald, 16Feb37, p1)

28Feb37, train station, Kansas City, MO. 30-minute layover en route from Los Angeles to New York. ("Duke Ellington and His Band Here between Trains," Kansas City Call, city ed., 5Mar37, p14)

29Jul37, Fox Pavilion, McHenry, IL. (ad, Arlington Heights Herald, 23Jul37, p8)

6Sep37, Coliseum, St. Louis, MO. Labor Day Night dance. (ad, St. Louis Argus, 3Sep37, p5)

8Sep to 14Sep37, Orpheum Theater, Minneapolis, MN. Correct dates, not 7Sep to 13Sep. (ads, Minneapolis Tribune, 7-14Sep37)

11oct37, Roseland Ballroom, Taunton, MA. Dance 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. (ad, Boston Post, 11oct37, p14)

14oct to 20oct37, Metropolitan Theater, Boston, MA. Correct dates, not 15 to 21oct. (ads, Boston Post, 14-21oct37)

9Dec37, Dreamland, Little Rock, AR. (ad, Arkansas Democrat, 8Dec37, p4)

16Dec37, Carioca Ballroom, St. Louis, MO. (ad, St. Louis Argus, 10Dec37, p5) Danceland in Cedar Rapids, IA, has also been listed for this date (Variety, 24Nov37, p42), but there is no mention in the Cedar Rapids Gazette.

11Aug38, Bal-a-l’Air, Shrewsbury, MA. (ad, Boston Post, 11Aug38, p12)

9Nov38, Roseland Ballroom, Kansas City, MO. Dance with Harlan Leonard and His Kansas City Rockets. (ad, Kansas City Call, city ed., 11Nov38, p9)

15Jun39, Meadowbrook, North Adams, MA. ("At Ballrooms," Boston Post, 11Jun39, p15)

19Jun39, Lowell House, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA. Senior Dance. ("No More ‘Senior Spread,’" Harvard Crimson, 19Jun39)

2oct39, Coliseum Ballroom, St. Paul, MN. ("Hundreds Acclaimed Duke Ellington at Coliseum Ballroom Last Monday," Minneapolis Spokesman, 6oct39, p1)

20Apr40, Sweet’s Ballroom, Sacramento, CA. (ad, Sacramento Bee, 20Apr40, p2)

25Feb41, El Patio Ballroom, Reno, NV. (ad, Nevada State Journal, 23Feb41, p2) (DD)

26Feb41, Cocoanut Grove, Stockton, CA. (ad, Stockton Daily Evening Record, 26Feb41, p15)

27Apr41, Trianon Ballroom, Oklahoma City, OK. "Ivie Anderson, singing star with Ellington, is an Oklahoma product. Her grandmother still lives in Chickasha, just a stones throw from Oklahoma city." ("Harlem’s Aristocrat of Jazz to Play Dance at Trianon," Black Dispatch, 19Apr41, p8) "Duke Ellington pulled them in 1,200 strong. Still the peer in his field, Ellington gave a great program." (Jimmy Stewart, "Jimmy Says," Black Dispatch, 3May41, p8)

29Apr41, Masonic Temple, Pine Bluff, AR. Concert and dance. (ad, Pine Bluff Commercial, 28Apr41, p2)

4May41, Palace Theater, Peoria, IL. (ad, Peoria Journal-Transcript, 4May41) (DD)

18Jun41, Capri, Los Angeles, CA. After closing night at the Trianon:

The Capri jumped last Wednesday night after hours. Every musician of note in town was there. Lunceford and Duke men had a chance to cut each other and knock everyone else out. Nellie Lucher, piano; Slam Stewart, bass; George Reed, drums; Joe Lewis, guitar; and Jackie Porter, trumpet; got the session going with Lady Be Good.
Late Ben Webster, Joe Thomas, Lester Young and Bumps Myers, all tenor saxes, battled for a while. Bumps sent everybody in the joint, including Lester. He did everything but whistle into his horn. Webster, as always, went six stories below the basement, to dish up his particular brand of dirty tone. Young honked away and played some magnificent breaks. Really producing volume, Thomas was in unusually good form.
Rex Stewart ranked Gabriel with his expressive cornet choruses and Doutsie Williams wasn’t far behind. Proving his master touch Jimmie Blanton plucked bass on Body and Soul while Al Norris riffed a bit of gutter guitar.
Lee Young deserves a big pat on the back and four roses (bottle variety) for getting together such a fine group of musicians. (Wilma Cockrell, "Jam Session," California Eagle, 26Jun41)

11oct41, Sweet’s Ballroom, Sacramento, CA. (ad, Sacramento Bee, 11oct41, p9)

12oct and likely 13oct41, Sweet’s Ballroom, Oakland, CA. (ad, Oakland Tribune, 12oct41, sec B, p11) Sweet’s had a policy of booking the same band Sunday nights for whites (advertised in the Oakland Tribune) and Monday nights for blacks (advertised in the California Voice), as for Jimmie Lunceford (8 and 9Jun41) and Earl Hines (31Aug and 1Sep41). Unfortunately the mid-October 1941 issues of the California Voice are missing.

When did Junior Raglin start filling in for ailing Jimmie Blanton? Blanton was mentioned in a review of an opening day performance at the Golden Gate Theater, San Francisco, CA, 5 to 11Nov41. (Kevin Wallace, "Duke Ellington’s Band Hailed at Golden Gate," San Francisco Examiner, 6Nov41, p24)

Raglin’s joining the Orchestra was reported in the 28Nov41 California Voice:

One evening about eighteen months ago myself and a few of the gang were sitting around a table at Frisco’s Dawn Club. The occasion was merely one of the Hot Club’s monthly jam sessions. About all we heard all evening was a gang of untalented kids who were disgracing the noble name of swing. Some tenor man had just "butched" up a chorus in the prolific "Lady Be Good" and we were about to leave in disgust when some obscure kid named Alvin "Junior" Raglin surged into a guitar solo. He hadn’t progressed past the first phrase before every swing fan in the jernt was on the edge of his seat waiting to be "knocked out." It was a beautiful item that Junior created that night and he was rewarded with fervent "all—reets" and "all—roots" that constitute swingdome’s highest tribute. And it was thus before Bay Region swing fans. Soon after he hooked up with Wilbert Barranco and Jerome Richardson out at the Alabam. While there he displayed marked ability in both guitar and string bass. But regardless of his unmistakable talent any gambler would have given you at least One Thousand to One Against the unknown Raglin being a permanent fixture with Duke Ellington by November 1941! The thing that couldn’t happen here — did!!! The peerless Jimmie Blanton, who incidentally has no equal as a creative bassist, health gave out on him. Boss Duke had him examined by the greatest lung specialist on the West Coast. The medico recommended that the kid be placed in a sanitarium and be allowed to rest for at least two years. And so he had only one alternative, and that was to retire Blanton and secure adequate substitution. And as the band was all signed sealed and delivered for Southern California’s Trocadero starting on November 27th, he could not wait for John Kirby, Israel Crosby, Vernon Alley, or any other great name to come from the East Coast and he was confined to Northern California for a choice.
And so by process of elimination he arrived at his only logical choice, the versatile ex-Modesto boy Alvin "Junior" Raglin. (Ken Freeman, "Music and Musicians," California Voice, 28Nov41, p5)

18Nov41, Civic Auditorium, San Jose, CA. 8:30 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. (ad, San Jose Mercury Herald, 18Nov41, p18)

During the 15 to 21Dec41, Palomar Theater, Seattle, WA, engagement:

18Dec41, Owls’ Club, Seattle, WA. "The beautiful rooms of the Owls’ club were the scene of a gay pre-Christmas dinner party, honoring the members of Duke Ellington’s band Thursday evening." (Northwest Enterprise, 26Dec41, p4) I have been unable to determine the location of the Owls’ Club. More research is needed.

Itinerary additions © Kenneth R. Steiner 2005. Please feel free to contact me at: