from Washington DC
March 11, 1919 - February 8, 1996 (age 76)
Mercer Ellington had the impossible task of trying to escape from his father Duke Ellington's shadow and he never really succeeded, perhaps not trying hard enough. He studied music early on and made several attempts to lead his own band (1939, 1946-1949, and 1959) that were all ultimately unsuccessful. During the ASCAP strike of the early '40s when Duke was desperate for new material, Mercer wrote several notable songs, including Things Ain't What They Used to Be, Jumpin' Punkins, Moon Mist, and Blue Serge, but nothing he composed since then approached their stature. Among his many other jobs was working as road manager for Cootie Williams' Orchestra, musical director for Della Reese, a salesman, a record company executive, and a disc jockey. Finally in 1965, he gave up trying to be independent and became Duke Ellington's road manager and a non-soloing section trumpeter. After Duke's death in 1974, Mercer took over the band but within a couple years it had greatly declined. Mercer wrote a biography in 1978 (-Duke Ellington in Person), directed the so-so musical +Sophisticated Ladies (1981-1983), supervised the release of many previously unavailable Ellington recordings and led the inaccurately titled Duke Ellington Orchestra on an occasional basis, recording a few dates that often had all-stars as ringers. ~ Scott Yanow, Rovi
Mercer Ellington - Digital Duke ( Full Album )
Mercer Ellington and The Danish Radio Big Band doing BigBand Battle
MERCER ELLINGTON "Caravan" - 1984 Tribute to Duke
Mercer Ellington – Stepping Into Swing Society ( Full Album )
Mercedes Ellington on Duke Ellington
Ring Dem Bells
Radio Interview with Mercer Ellington, son of Duke Ellington.
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