Sunday, 24 April 2016

Mills grind...

“In the fall of 1926, Irving Mills became Duke Ellington's manager, publisher, and business partner. Recognizing Ellington's special talents and character, Mills designed and carried out a vastly influential blueprint for marketing that made Ellington an international figure, and cemented his reputation as an important composer.”

“Irving Mills presents Duke Ellington and his Famous Orchestra” is an advertising brochure published in 1933 to promote the music and artistry of Duke Ellington and his Orchestra.   Physically, it is composed of a black faux leather cover with silver lettering, measuring 11 ¼” wide and 14 ¾” high.  Inside are 12 leaves of glossy stock, measuring 11” wide and 14” high.  These pages are affixed to the cover by three brass round-head paper fasteners.   On a back page credit is given as follows:  “The Brochure Designed and Written by K. K. Hansen, Cover by Leff.  Photographs by Wendell MacRae.  Laurel Printing Co. Inc.  New York, NY.”   On the pages is told the story of Duke Ellington and his Famous Orchestra in word and photograph.  There are eleven black-and-white photos and a page devoted to a listing of Ellington recordings on various labels -- from “Parlor Social Stomp” released on Perfect in 1926 to “Drop Me Off in Harlem” released in June of 1933.   The producer of this brochure was Irving Mills (1894-1985), a giant in the music industry of the twentieth century.  As co-founder of the publishing house, Mills Music, he helped promote the careers of many of the big band leaders of the era, including Cab Calloway, Ben Pollack, Benny Goodman and, of course Duke Ellington.  This brochure is in exceptionally fine shape with no tears, creases nor any other discernible flaws.   I obtained this item from my father who, as counsel for National Ballroom Operators’ Association until his death in 1964, had friends in the business, one of whom may have passed this Ellington document on to him   Condition as noted, VG to E.

SOLD FOR £261.07

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