Yale University Library


OHAM: Bernice Wiggins and Juanita Middleton on Ellington


Bernice Wiggins and Juanita Middleton

Talking with Mark Tucker

New York, N.Y.

September 6, 1983


Tape C:                                                                                                                                  Pg. 1

Growing up in Washington with the family‑‑Edward's interest in show business--in his childhood‑‑Edward beginning music lessons at age 5 with Mrs. Clinkscales‑-piano‑‑High school friends Toby Hardwicke, Sonny Greer, Whetsol, Doc Perry‑-the Serenaders at Dunbar High and Armstrong High School‑‑working as a messenger at the War Department in WWI‑‑Duke getting his band together‑‑playing at the Oddfellows Hall, True Reformer's Hall and Oriental Gardens‑‑Lewis Thomas, Russell Wooding‑‑hearing him at the Democrats' Club‑‑playing in Virginia‑-Edward's marriage in 1918‑‑Ewell Conway, Floyd Adams‑‑musical abilities of Duke's family‑‑Florence Robbins‑‑magician friend‑‑Duke's devotion to his family, his grandmother‑‑attending the John Wesley A.M.E. Zion and the 19th St. Baptist Churches‑‑Bernice Wiggins' prophetic dreams about Duke‑‑Duke's uncanny memory‑-Edward's nickname, Duke‑‑Duke's autobiography‑‑the death of Duke's Aunt Florence‑-Duke's sickness.

Tape D:                                                                                                                                  Pg. 20

Juanita Middleton on her mother's special relationship with Duke‑‑Duke's protectiveness over his family‑‑Johnny Hodges, Harry Carney‑‑hearing Duke play at Hurricane's, Basin St. East, the Cotton Club, the Howard Theater‑-the Baker's Dozen, 75,000 people hearing Duke on a barge on the Potomac River‑-the doors Duke opened for the Negro‑‑Duke's fondness of his Aunt Florence‑-Mario's Casino, True Reformer's Hall, Apollo Theatre‑‑Gertie Wells‑‑Willie "The Lion" Smith‑‑Lewis M. Brown‑‑William Beazley‑‑Les Dishman‑‑the tight circle of people in Washington‑‑Rev. Walter H. Brooks‑‑Rev. Gerry A. Moore‑‑Harry Grant, teacher at Dunbar‑‑Duke learning to read music‑‑Billy Strayhorn‑‑photo of Duke as a child‑‑Henry Letcher‑‑Charles Drew, Mercer Cook, Sterling Brown‑-the Kennedy side of the family‑-Kate Smith‑‑conservatory‑trained pianists, Doc Perry and Lewis Thomas‑‑Henry Grant‑‑Duke with the Prince of Wales‑‑Duke's father as a butler in the White House‑‑the passing of the Ellington family.