By Nathan Moss
"Take The 'A' Train" Significance
Duke Ellington and American Culture
Duke Ellington was born on April 29, 1899 in Washington DC. When he was only 7, he was rewarded the nickname "Duke", for being very nice and polite. When Duke was 15, he was inspired by his job as a soda jerk to write his first composition called, "Soda Fountain Rag". Duke was awarded a art scholarship to the Pratt Institute. There, Duke followed his passion for ragtime and started to play professionally at the age of 17.