Ellington on Record: The 1950's


Duke Ellington began recording in the 1920's. Even though he made many important recordings before the 1950's, those recordings were restricted by technological limitations.

Long playing records were released in 1947, first in 10 inch format, then in 12 inch. By 1950, such albums were commonplace, and record companies were discovering the possibilities of recording longer pieces and thematically related albums. All of this technology helped Duke Ellington, who often wrote lengthy concert pieces of eight to fifteen minutes.

However, Ellington also suffered some lean years in the middle fifties. Changes in popular music tastes made him unfashionable for a while and had him groping for recording opportunities that presented his work to good advantage.

To learn more about Ellington's 1950's recordings, click on the images above.