Feb. 2, 1947
Civic Opera House, Chicago
Here is another live performance in which Oscar Pettiford is present. Ellington played at the Civic Opera House in Chicago a few times during Pettifords tenure with the band, and once in 1967.
Brown Penny sung by Kay Davis
On Februari 2, 1947 Duke and his Men took part in a concert at the Civic Opera House in Chicago where some selections recently recorded on Musicraft and some music that had been written for the Broadway Show, Beggar’s Holiday were played. Beggar’s Holiday was based on an 18th century British theatre play called Beggar’s Opera and was said to have resulted in a co-operation between librettist John Latouche, and Duke Ellington , but in reality Duke had very little time for the project, since he was touring with his band and could not communicate directly with Latouche. Instead, Billy Strayhorn had to fill the void, and he seems to have been the key factor in the fulfillment of the show. He wrote quite a number of new tunes for the show, which only ran for 16 weeks, due to various problems, not least financial. We can here listen to the Beggar’s Holiday Medley, which consists of Take Love Easy, When I Walk With You, Tomorrow Mountain and Brown Penny. Despite his deep involvement in creating the music for the show, Strayhorn got sadly little credit for his work, instead Duke and John Latouche got all the ovations from the media.The complete playlist is as follows:
*Happy-Go-Lucky Local*Beggar’s Holiday Medley*Triple Play*Near Mess*THE BEAUTIFUL INDIANS/Minnehaha/Hiawatha*
Oscar Pettiford is heard in Happy-Go-Lucky Local as well as Procope, Nance and Carney. Marion Cox is heard in When I Walk With You and Kay Davis in Bown Penny. Triple Play, with Strayhorn at the piano, gives Hodges and Lawrence Brown some solo space, whereas Near Mess provides the only opportunity to listen to this Strayhorn original, since this is the only known recording. Here Pettiford, Taft Jordan Jimmy Hamilton and Al Sears are the soloists. The two remaining tunes are from a suite called THE BEATUFUL INDIANS, which together with Happy-Go-Lucky Local had been recorded commercially for Musicraft a few weeks before. We hear Kay Davis in Minnehaha, and Al Sears in Hiawatha.
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