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Duke Ellington: Making Records

Duke
Following my post on Monday detailing films made by RCA and Capitol in the 1940s and '50s to tout the miracle of records and the recording process, Carl Woideck of the University of Oregon sent along a link to a short film, Ellington Makes a Record, produced in June 1937 by Paramount Pictures. Ellington recorded for the Variety label at the time, which had been set up by his manager Irving Mills to promote him and other signed acts. As Melody News reported in July '37: "Last month, a crew of cameramen, electricians and technicians from the Paramount film company set up their paraphernalia in the recording studios of Master Records, Inc. for the purpose of gathering 'location' scenes for a movie short, now in production, showing how phonograph records are produced and manufactured. Duke Ellington and his orchestra was employed for the studio scenes, with Ivie Anderson doing the vocals." By September, when the short came out, Mills' had already shuttered his short-lived venture. For a terrific article on Mills and his Variety and Master labels, go hereHere's Duke Ellington in the short recording Oh Babe, Maybe Someday, with the vocal by Ivie Anderson...