The Legends of the Rocking Dutchman - episode 258

Legends Mix

In today's mixed bag the making of a classic - take the 'A' Train. Originally it was an instrumental composed by Billy Strayhorn - hired by Duke Ellington because of troubles with fees for radio broadcast that the music licensing company ASCAP had raised. The title was chosen when Ellington had given directions how to get to his home - with that new subway line that ran from Brooklyn to Harlem. The lyrics came later in two versions - one for the Delta Rhythm Boys and another, by a talented young singer and a fan, that were adopted by Ellington.

There's more - a second Bessie Smith, an obscure band with a hunch their name would be used by others, and the self-proclaimed inventor of jazz.



  1. Four Blazes - Mood Indigo
  2. J.B. Lenoir - The Mountain
  3. Buster Bennett - Let Me Love You, Baby
  4. Andrew Tibbs - Going Down Fast
  5. Walter 'Fats' Pichon - Deep South Boogie
  6. Savannah Churchill - He's Commander-In-Chief Of My Heart
  7. Erskine Butterfield & His Blue Boys - Boogie De Concerto
  8. Bill Samuels - Ghost Of A Chance
  9. Duke Ellington - Take The A Train
  10. Al Cooper - Sophisticated Jump
  11. Streamline Mae (St. Louis Bessie Mae Smith) - Blues Blues
  12. Alice Moore - Hand In Hand Women
  13. Anna Bell - Shake It, Black Bottom
  14. Original Yellow Jackets - My Blue Heaven
  15. W.C. Handy - Yellow Dog Blues
  16. Jelly Roll Morton - Dr. Jazz


  • Wild Bill Moore Sextette - Bongo Bounce
The following music served as background music during the spoken parts:
  • Kirk Kirkland - The Saxaphone Rag
  • Andy Kirk - Blue Clarinet Stomp
  • Eddie Durham - Moten's Swing
  • Georgia Washboard Stompers - Farewell Blues
  • King Brady's Clarinet Band - Embarressement Blues (Sidewalk Blues)
  • Tiny Bradshaw - Heavy Juice
  • Todd Rhodes - Chicken Strut