Tag Archives: Duke Ellington

Woodlawn Cemetery Memorial Tells A Coney Island Story Of Unusual Death

Brighton Beach Lightning Strike Felt By Thousands, Kills Six – July 30, 1905

When walking through Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx, you can come across fancy mausoleums and simple grave markers of the famous and infamous. F.W. Woolworth, Fiorello LaGuardia, Duke Ellington, Bat Masterson and Herman Melville are among the half million souls interred in this historic place.Demmerle Memorial

Then out of the blue you may stumble across the lives of ordinary New Yorker’s memorialized in an extraordinary way. Such is the Demmerle monument.

Unlike many other tombstones which record a name and birth and death years with a short epitaph, the Demmerle memorial is an ornate series of carved monuments which tells and shows the story of one family’s tragedy.

Demmerle Charles and EmilieSunday July 30, 1905 started out as a beautiful, sun-filled, hot day Continue reading

Classic Hollywood #15

Mad Men, Murder And The Duke – 1967

Before Robert Morse became known to a generation of television viewers as Mad Men agency head Bertram Cooper, he had a distinguished stage and movie career. The Loved One (1965) a disturbing black comedy about the funeral industry has Morse at his best.

Next to Morse is Angela Lansbury, who at the age of 19 in her first movie role, was nominated for Best Supporting Actress playing the tarty maid Nancy in Gaslight (1944). Lansbury would go on to other great roles, her best being the domineering mother, Eleanor Shaw Iselin, in The Manchurian Candidate. Eventually she would be known to most people by starring in the long running TV series Murder She Wrote. Lansbury, now 86,  is still an active performer.

The final member of this triumvirate is the legendary Duke Ellington. Ellington is still regarded as one of the most important figures in American music as a composer and performer.

So what were they gathered for?

The opening of the Rainbow Grill on August 7, 1967.