Friday, May 17, 2024

A Swingin' Green Key

Duke Ellington preforming in Alumni Gym
In the Spring of 1946, Dartmouth was trying to get back to normal. World War II had transformed campus into a training ground for Naval officers and the usual cycle of student life had been utterly disrupted for four years. But with the end of the War, there was a desire to bring back old traditions. One of the first to return was the Green Key Prom so they did it in style by bringing in one of music's biggest stars and among the greatest jazz composers of all time. None other than Duke Ellington regaled the students and their dates in Alumni Gym. As The D reported it:

Dartmouth has been waiting a long time for this one, and tonight Dartmouth will be amply repaid for waiting, when Dartmouth and Dartmouth's girl circle the floor or stand and sway to the mellow golden flow of Hodges' sax or the throaty warble of Kay Davis or the rippling ivories of The Duke himself.

It was a return visit for Duke Ellington and his Orchestra. They had played Green Key in 1937 as well, but this one was special--the specter of war was lifted and folks were ready for party.

To see the coverage, come in and ask for the May 4th, 1946, issue of The Dartmouth.

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