The Legends of the Rocking Dutchman - episode 251
The Cotton Club had a strict segregation policy - whites at the front door only, blacks for the artist's entrance. Bands like Duke Ellington's were supposed to play jungle music, fitting to the imagery of savages in the African jungle, or the darkies in the Southern cotton fields. Now the Duke had his own artistic way to handle that, and he let his horn blowers Bubber Miley and Tricky Sam Nanton develop their growling, rattling, wah-wahing sounds and the audience - not only in the Cotton Club - loved it.
These were the days of the Harlem Renaissance, the first wave of urban African-American pride and awareness. And so, in that strictly segregated venue, Duke Ellington and Cab Calloway gave Black culture a touch of cool it never lost. They both come by in today's show.
Today also a wonderful gem of the swing era, and I wonder if you heard enough of my shows to immediately recognize what I mean because I let it go by a bit unnoticed. Of course you can let me know if you did.