Duke Ellington's stay at the Cotton Club has become one of the enduring legends of Jazz. Movies, songs and books have celebrated the orchestra's residency at the club which was located on the second floor of 644 Lexington at the corner of West 142nd Street in the Harlem section of New York City. It all began late in May of 1927 when Andy Preer who had been leading the house band at the Cotton Club died. In looking for a replacement the first choice was King Oliver's band, but they were not offering enough money for Oliver's taste and he turned down the job. The gig went to Duke Ellington and his men. The Cotton Club was owned by a consortium of mobsters led by bootlegger Owney Madden. The club's decor was modelled after the old South of plantations and slavery, hence the name The Cotton Club. The club was also segregated, only Whites were allowed in the audience, while the waiters and entertainers were all African-American, with the exception of occasional guest star appearances. The show was a musical revue which featured dancers, singers, comedians and variety acts, as well as Duke's band which supplied music for the floor show and singers. The Orchestra also played independently for dancing pleasure of the audience. There were two floor shows a night at midnight and 2am. What made Duke Ellington and his Cotton Club Orchestra famous were the weekly broadcasts on radio station WHN. These broadcasts were heard all over the country and gave Ellington national exposure. The band's first stay at the club began on December 4th, 1927 and continued until June 30th, 1930. They returned in September and October of 1930 and again in January of 1931. They were at the club in February of 1932 and in the spring of 1933 and appeared there for the last time in 1937 and 1938 in the club's new location downtown.

Title Recording Date Recording Location Company
A Night At The Cotton Club Part 1
Cotton Club Stomp / Misty Morning

(Johnny Hodges / Harry Carney / Duke Ellington)
(Arthur Whetsel / Duke Ellington)
4-12-1929 New York, New York Victor
741029
A Night At The Cotton Club Part 2
Goin' To Town / Freeze And Melt

(Bubber Miley / Duke Ellington)
(Dorothy Fields / Jimmy McHugh)
4-12-1929 New York, New York Victor
741029
Arabian Lover
(Dorothy Fields / Jimmy McHugh)
5-3-1929 New York, New York Victor
V-38079
Awful Sad
(Duke Ellington)
10-20-1928 New York, New York Brunswick
6805
Bandanna Babies
(Dorothy Fields / Jimmy McHugh)
11-15-1928 New York, New York Victor
V-38007-B
Black Beauty
(Duke Ellington)
8-1929 New York, New York Anthologie du Jazz
Black And Tan Fantasy
(Bubber Miley / Duke Ellington)
8-1929 New York, New York Anthologie
du Jazz
Black And Tan Fantasy (With Choir)
(Bubber Miley / Duke Ellington)
8-1929 New York, New York Anthologie du Jazz
Blue Again
(Dorothy Fields / Jimmy McHugh)
11-26-1930 New York, New York Victor
22603
Breakfast Dance (Every Day)
(Duke Ellington)
11-14-1929 New York, New York Victor
V-38115
Cotton Club Stomp
(Duke Ellington / Johnny Hodges / Harry Carney)
5-3-1929 New York, New York Victor
V-38079
Diga Diga Doo
(Dorothy Fields / Jimmy McHugh)
11-15-1928 New York, New York Victor
V-38008-B
Doin' The Frog
(Dorothy Fields / Jimmy McHugh / Dan Healy)
12-29-1927 New York, New York Vocalion
1153
Doin' The Voom Voom
(Bubber Miley / Duke Ellington)
1-8-1929 New York, New York Brunswick
4345
Doin' The Voom Voom (1)
(Bubber Miley / Duke Ellington)
1-16-1929 New York, New York Victor
V-38035
Doin' The Voom Voom (2)
(Bubber Miley / Duke Ellington)
1-16-1929 New York, New York Victor
V-38035
Double Check Stomp
(
Barney Bigard / Wellman Braud / Johnny Hodges)
4-11-1930 New York, New York Victor
V-38129-A
Echoes Of The Jungle 6-16-1931 Camden, New Jersey Victor
22743
Flaming Youth (1)
(Duke Ellington)
1-16-1929 New York, New York Victor
V-38035
Flaming Youth (2)
(Duke Ellington)
1-16-1929 New York, New York Victor
V-38035
Goin' To Town
(Bubber Miley / Duke Ellington)
11-20-1928 New York, New York Okeh
8675
Harlemania
(Dorothy Fields / Jimmy McHugh)
2-18-1929 New York, New York Victor
V-38045
High Life
(Duke Ellington)
1-16-1929 New York, New York Victor
V-38036
Hittin' The Bottle
(Ted Koeler / Harold Arlen)
10-2-1930 New York, New York Victor
23016

63360-1
Hittin' The Bottle
(From Earl Carroll's "Vanities")
Vocal refrain by Dick Robertson

(Ted Koeler / Harold Arlen)
10-2-1930 New York, New York Victor
23016-A

63360-2
Hot Feet
(Dorothy Fields / Jimmy McHugh)
3-7-1929 New York, New York Victor
V-38065-A
I Can't Give You Anything But Love
(Dorothy Fields / Jimmy McHugh)
10-30-1928 New York, New York Victor
V-38008-A
I Can't Give You Anything But Love
(Dorothy Fields / Jimmy McHugh)
11-10-1928 New York, New York Victor
V-38008-A
I Must Have That Man
(Dorothy Fields / Jimmy McHugh)
11-15-1928 New York, New York Victor
V-38007-A
I'm So In Love With You
(Duke Ellington / Irving Mills)
11-21-1930 New York, New York Victor
23041
I'm So In Love With You
(Duke Ellington / Irving Mills)
1-8-1931 New York, New York Clarion
5391-C
I Was Made To Love You
(Charles Tobias / Harold Veo / Doris Tauber)
4-11-1930 New York, New York Victor
V-38130
Japanese Dream
(Dorothy Fields / Jimmy McHugh)
2-18-1929 New York, New York Victor
V-38045
Jazz Lips (Zonky Blues)
(Duke Ellington)
11-14-1929 New York, New York Victor
V-38129-B
Jungle Nights In Harlem
(Duke Ellington)
6-4-1930 New York, New York Victor
23022-B
Keep A Song In Your Soul
(Fats Waller / Alex Hill)
1-16-1931 New York, New York Victor
22614-A
Limehouse Blues
(Douglas Furber / Philip Braham)
6-16-1931 Camden, New Jersey Brunswick
22743
Louisiana
(Andy Razaf / Harry Brooks / J.C. Johnson)
10-17-1928 New York, New York Brunswick
4110
March Of The Hoodlums
(Hoagy Carmichael)
11-14-1929 New York, New York Victor
V-38115
Memories Of You
(From Lew Leslie's "Blackbirds of 1930")
Vocal refrain by Dick Robertson

(Andy Razaf / Eubie Blake)
10-2-1930 New York, New York Victor
23017-A
Mississippi
(Vincent Youmans)
9-16-1929 New York, New York Victor
V-38089
Misty Mornin'
(Duke Ellington Arthur Whetsol)
11-22-1928 New York, New York Okeh
8662
Misty Morning
(Duke Ellington Arthur Whetsol)
5-3-1929 New York, New York Victor
V-38058-A
Mood Indigo
(Barney Bigard / Duke Ellington / Irving Mills)
12-10-1930 New York, New York Victor
22587-A
My Gal Is Good For Nothing But Love
(Fats Waller / Andy Razaf)
4-11-1930 New York, New York Victor
V-38130
Nine Little Miles From Ten-Ten-Tennessee
(Al Sherman / Al Lewis / Con Conrad)
11-21-1930 New York, New York Victor
22586

64812-1
Nine Little Miles From Ten-Ten-Tennessee
(Al Sherman / Al Lewis / Con Conrad)
11-21-1930 New York, New York Victor
22586

64812-2
No Papa No
(Victoria Spivey)
10-30-1928 New York, New York Victor
26310

48103-1
No Papa No
(Victoria Spivey)
10-30-1928 New York, New York Victor
LPV-568

48103-2
Old Man Blues 6-4-1930 New York, New York Victor
23022-A
Red Hot Band
(Dorothy Fields / Jimmy McHugh / T. Healy)
12-29-1927 New York, New York Vocalion
1153
Rockin' In Rhythm
(Duke Ellington / Irving Mills / Harry Carney)
1-16-1931 New York, New York Okeh
8869

404804-1
Rockin' In Rhythm
(Duke Ellington / Irving Mills / Harry Carney)
1-16-1931 New York, New York Okeh
8869

404804-2
Sam And Delilah
(From the musical comedy "Girl Crazy")

(George Gershwin / Ira Gershwin)
1-16-1931 New York, New York Victor
23036-B
Same Train 8-1929 New York, New York Anthologie
du Jazz
Saratoga Swing
(Barney Bigard)
5-3-1929 New York, New York Victor
V-38058-B
Saturday Night Function
(Barney Bigard / Duke Ellington)
1-16-1929 New York, New York Victor
V-38036
Shout 'Em, Aunt Tillie
(Duke Ellington / Irving Mills)
7-4-1930 New York, New York Victor
23041
Sloppy Joe (1)
(Barney Bigard)
3-7-1929 New York, New York Victor
V-38065-B

49769-1
Sloppy Joe (2)
(Barney Bigard)
3-7-1929 New York, New York Victor
V-38065-B

49769-2
Stevedore Stomp
(Duke Ellington / Irving Mills)
3-7-1929 New York, New York Victor
V-38053-A
Swanee Shuffle
(Irving Berlin)
9-16-1929 New York, New York Victor
V-38089
Sweet Dreams Of Love
(Duke Ellington / Irving Mills)
7-4-1930 New York, New York Victor
V-38143

62192-1
Sweet Dreams Of Love
(Duke Ellington / Irving Mills)
7-4-1930 New York, New York Victor
V-38143

62192-2
Sweet Jazz Of Mine
(Duke Ellington)
7-4-1930 New York, New York Victor
V-38143

62194-1
Sweet Jazz Of Mine
(Duke Ellington)
7-4-1930 New York, New York Victor
V-38143

62194-2
That Lindy Hop
(From Lew Leslie's "Blackbirds of 1930")

(Andy Razaf / Eubie Blake)
10-2-1930 New York, New York Victor
23016-B
The Blues With A Feeling
(Duke Ellington)
11-20-1928 New York, New York Okeh
8662
The Dicty Glide
(Duke Ellington)
3-7-1929 New York, New York Victor
741029

49767-1
The Dicty Glide
(Duke Ellington)
3-7-1929 New York, New York Victor
V-38053-B

49767-2
The Duke Steps Out
(Duke Ellington / Johnny Hodges / Cootie Williams)
8-1929 New York, New York Anthologie
du Jazz
The Mooche
(Duke Ellington / Irving Mills)
10-17-1928 New York, New York Brunswick
4122
The Mooche
(Duke Ellington / Irving Mills)
10-30-1928 New York, New York Victor
V-38034-A
The River And Me
(Harry Warren / Al Dubin)
1-16-1931 New York, New York Victor
22614-B
Tiger Rag (Part 1)
(Nick LaRocca)
1-8-1929 New York, New York Brunswick
4238-A

E-28940-A
Tiger Rag (Part 1)
(Nick LaRocca)
1-8-1929 New York, New York Brunswick
4238-A

E-28940-B
Tiger Rag (Part 2)
(Nick LaRocca)
1-8-1929 New York, New York Brunswick
4238-B

E-28941-A
What Good Am I Without You
(Duke Ellington)
11-26-1930 New York, New York Victor
741068
What Good Am I Without You
(Duke Ellington)
12-10-1930 New York, New York Victor
22586
When A Black Man's Blue
(Duke Ellington)
11-26-1930 New York, New York Victor
22587-B
When A Black Man's Blue
(Duke Ellington)
12-10-1930 New York, New York Victor
22587-B
You're Lucky To Me
(From Lew Leslie's "Blackbirds of 1930")
Vocal refrain by Dick Robertson

(Andy Razaf / Eubie Blake)
10-2-1930 New York, New York Victor
23017-B
Artist Instrument
Smith Ballew Vocals
Barney Bigard Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone
Wellman Braud Bass
Chick Bullock Vocals
Teddy Bunn Guitar
Harry Carney Clarinet, Alto and Baritone Saxophone
Baby Cox Vocals
Duke Ellington Piano
Sid Garry Vocals
Goody Goodwin Vocals
Sonny Greer Chimes, Drums, Vocals
Fred Guy Banjo
The Hall Johnson Choir Vocals
Otto Hardwick Alto and Soprano Saxophone
Johnny Hodges Clarinet, Alto, and Soprano Saxophone
Rudy Jackson Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone
Freddy Jenkins Trumpet
Lonnie Johnson Guitar
Joe Nanton Trombone
Frank Marvin Vocals
Louis Metcalf Trumpet
Bubber Miley Trumpet
Irving Mills Vocals
Benny Paine Vocals
Dick Robertson Vocals
Billy Smith Vocals
Billy Taylor Tuba
Juan Tizol Valve Trombone
Ozzie Ware Vocals
Arthur Whetsel Trumpet
Cootie Williams Trumpet, Vocals
Harry White Trombone
Title Director Year
Black And Tan Fantasy Dudley Murphy 1929
The Cotton Club by Jim Haskins, Hippocrene Boooks, 1977


A special thanks to Dave Dixon for his help with this discography and Wayne Brandtner for his contributions to this page.