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        Duke Ellington Plates | History Detectives

        THE DETECTIVE: Tukufu Zuberi.

        THE PLACE: Brooklyn, New York.

        THE CASE: 1941, Manhattan bustles, and New York City’s newest subway line – the "A" train – is moving people in more ways than one. A new instrumental "Take the 'A' Train," rolls up the charts and will become the signature song of pianist Edward Kennedy Ellington. The song, written by Billy Strayhorn, will bring financial success to a pioneering music publishing venture, owned by Duke Ellington. More than half a century later, Garfield Gillings, of Brooklyn, New York, has made a discovery, boxes of sheet music in a dumpster. Among the paper scores are metal sheets that look like printing plates for “Take the 'A' Train." History Detectives sets out to find the story behind these plates and to determine the role they played in this jazz classic.


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