A Date with the Duke
Volume Number: 1

Episode Count: 8

Catalog # V-ADWD-1

Radio always played a significant role in the popularity of Ellington's orchestras, whether it was the early 1930s weekly broadcasts from the Cotton Club, 1940s late-night remotes from ballrooms and hotels, or a string of guest appearances on popular network variety shows. However, toward the end of World War II, to promote the Seventh War Loan drive, the United States Treasury Department sponsored a series of broadcasts featuring live in-person performances by Ellington and his orchestra. Aired for one hour each week, "Your Saturday Date with the Duke" proved to be a popular feature on the fledgling ABC Radio Network. Broadcast from a variety of locations - usually night clubs or theaters where the Ellington band was being featured - and always attended by a wildly enthusiastic audience, the programs featured a wide array of compositions old and new. Listeners enjoyed classics from Ellington's band book, popular songs, familiar Duke Ellington/Billy Strayhorn compositions, excerpts from many of Ellington's longer compositions, and many rarely heard pieces - some of which were never commercially recorded.