Duke Ellington Billy Strayhorn
D U K E
A Duke Ellington Appreciation
With the World Wide Web now part of the mainstream, virtually every topic of popular culture is represented in some form or another. Most forms of music, in particular, are especially well-represented. That is, with one exception: while one can instantly uncover sites devoted to rock, jazz, country and classical, there remains a relatively marked paucity of quality coverage devoted to the great vocalists and bandleaders of the swing era.
Following in the spirit of their successful Ella Fitzgerald collaboration, in 1997 Will Friedwald and webchick independently created this tribute as a gift to the The Duke Ellington Society of New York in an attempt to rectify this dilemma.
Content direction and resident music maven.
Creative direction and site design.
Becknell and Lucas Media
Broadcast programming and audio production.
Site programming and coordination.
The Duke Ellington Society shows the online world how to build an appreciation site...
Don't get around much anymore? That's the only way you'd have never heard the music of the legendary bandleader, pianist and songwriter Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington. Fortunately, you can face the music here, on the 28-year-old Duke Ellington Society's maybe 28-minute-old Web site. And since it don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing, you'll happily find yourself swinging through sections about the songs, the singers, collaborator Billy Strayhorn, and the Duke himself ... you can download audio clips of vocalists with whom Ellington worked, including Bing Crosby, Ethel Waters and Rosemary Clooney. (There's also a ".wav" file excerpting Sarah Vaughan singing "Lush Life," in a section devoted to Strayhorn and to David Hajdu's recent biography of him.) Take the A train, or at least the supplied links, to jazz, discography and historical-Harlem sites. Indeed, this here's a ton of Ellington - whether you're a "Saturday Night Function" kind of guy, or can only "Come Sunday" to this site, and sing the blues when it's "Monday Every Day.
All About Jazz...
This recently launched site is an elegant tribute to the Duke by The Duke Ellington Society of New York. The legendary bandleader's career and contribution to music is recounted in ducal style, through beautiful web design, excellent essays and enlightening audio samples. Ellington's vocalists and collaborator Billy Strayhorn are featured as well in special sections of the site. You can also learn more about hooking up with other Ellington fans, either through membership in the Society or by joining a lively internet discussion group.
... Introductory essays convey the depth of Ellington's art and talent, but it is the sound samples that will truly enlighten you. Hear legendary vocalists like Ethel Waters and Bing Crosby as they pay silken tribute to Ellington's compositions. New Yorkers can learn more about attending the Society's many concerts and meetings, while all Ellington fans can learn more about the maestro by subscribing to the newsletter. Longtime fans should read more about Ellington's assistant/collaborator, Billy Strayhorn, whose own talent matched that of his mentor.
Duke Ellington hated the word 'jazz'. How do we know? Simple: Like all hip cats should, we checked out the Duke Ellington Society's audio files of Duke singers like Bing Crosby singing the "St. Louis Blues," their Great American Songbook files, and their 5- to 10-minute interviews of singers and musicians. The Society's site blinks and flashes just the right amount, without too much excessive, jazzy stuff - just the way Duke would have liked it.
Internet Underground 5-Star Site - May 1997
The Wave of the Day - May 2, 1997
Computer Currents Link of the Week - April 8, 1997
Cybersmith Hot Site of the Day - March 10, 1997
Featured at All About Jazz - March 9, 1997
Featured at NetGuide Live - March 4, 1997
Jazzheads Site of the Week - March 5, 1997
Cool Site of the Day - February 27, 1997
Cool Central's Site of the Hour - and Day Runner-Up - February 27, 1997
Gist Dazzling Web Pick - February 27, 1997
USA Today Hot Site - February 26, 1997
AdZe's Cosmic Site of the Night - February 26, 1997
A Project Cool Sighting - February 23, 1997
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