Yale University Library


OHAM: Maria Cole on Ellington



Ellington Project                                                                                                                                 #545
Maria Cole
with Vivian Perlis
Tyringham, Mass.
July 5, 1980


Discusses her first name (Maria or Marie)--friendships with Joya Sherrill and Kay Davis-- anecdote about traveling with the band--getting into singing--joining Ellington band--type of singing she did with Ellington--touring--sang "Black, Brown and Beige" at Carnegie Hall--leaving the Ellington band-­singing at the Zanzibar/Joe Howard her manager--meeting Nat Cole-­working with Joya and Kay--her business ability and support to Nat Cole-­Gladys Hampton--Mamie Anderson--Ellington Show "Sophisticated Ladies"-­touring with Ellington and also with Nat Cole--Ellington band members-­Paul Gonsalves--Harry Carney--Toby Hardwicke and other band members-­Roosevelt's death--sitting on stage--dance with Ray Nance--specific memories and anecdotes from when she was with the band--dressing alike for a trio performance and anecdote about it--dating band members--wives of band members--Tizol's--Evie--Mercer and Ruth--Mercer--Ellington's genius in music, drawbacks as a family man--education in working with a band--Ellington's never remarrying--Edna, his wife--musical tastes and judgement--Nat Cole--Nat Cole's admiration of Ellington--opinion of Ellington's piano playing--Tom Whaley--Cress Courtney--"Queenie Pie" and Betty McGettigan--Irving Mills--Billy Strayhorn.

Side Two:

Billy Strayhorn--Harry Carney--Lawrence Brown--photo of Cole, Duke Basie, and Kay--Ellington family--Ellington's relationship to Ruth and Mercer--Ellington's dislike for aging and vanity--Ellington eating desserts for breakfast--working for Ellington--Ellington's rehearsal methods,--Ellington's leaving "dirty work" for others--following the band after she left--Sacred Services--Ellington's compositional strengths