Jimmy Jones also took part in the birthday party

The first part of Bob Udkoff’s birthday party ended with Duke at the piano playing New World A-Comin’, an important composition of his from the first part of the 1940’s. After a number of attemped intros, the second part of the celebrations starts with New York City Blues, a sweet little tune that was introduced at Carnegie Hall in 1947 and very seldom played in later years. Jimmy Jones joins Ellington at the piano in Fats Waller’s Just Squeeze Me, and then Johnny Hodges plays in his usual solo style Drag, Prelude To A Kiss and Things Ain’t What they Used To Be, the latter being cut short because the tape ran out.

New York City Blues and birthday chatter

After Johnny Hodges’ performances, it is Cootie Williams’ turn to handle I’m Beginning To See The Light and then Satin Doll is played yet another time as background to Duke’s introduction of Bob Udkoff and his wife Evelyn which is followed by a speech by Udkoff and a joint performance of the band and guests of Happy Birthday.

Marian Logan, wife of Ellington’s personal physician, sings I Got It Bad and Tenderly and this time Jimmy Jones is at the piano with the band. He stays at the piano while Joe Williams sings Every Day I Have The Blues and Jump For Joy. Harry Mills (of Mills Brothers fame) was urged to sing Paper Doll, but Lawrence Brown played a nice solo instead. As for what was coming up as the next tune, there was a lot of discussion between Harry Mills and Patty Andrews (of Andrew Sisters fame) which ended in the whole community singing Shine On Harvest Moon.

Trish Turner, next, sang Misty and Tony Watkins in Come Sunday, before Duke and the reed trio performed in Monologue. Part 2 of the birthday party ends with Harry Carney’s rendition of Sophisticated Lady.


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