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April 29, 2013

TT: A birthday present for the Duke

washingtonians_1925.jpgDuke Ellington was born on this day in 1899. To celebrate the occasion, the Library of Congress announced that it has located in its collection a nitrate print of Ellington's very first film appearance, a nightclub scene from a 1925 silent film called Headlines.

The possibility that Ellington and his band, the Washingtonians, appeared in Headlines, however fleetingly, was established by Ken Steiner, a noted Ellington scholar who (I'm proud to say) went out of his way to help me with Duke: A Life of Duke Ellington. Following Ken's cue, archivists at the Library of Congress tracked down the scene and have now restored the entire film.

To read about the discovery and watch the clip, go here.

Posted April 29, 2013 12:50 PM

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