NYC "Takes the A-Train" - NBC New York

NYC "Takes the A-Train"

City celebrates Duke Ellington's 110th birthday

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    NYC "Takes the A-Train"
    AP
    Duke Ellington revolutionized the world of jazz and changed the face of music in the process.

    Hurry! Hurry! Hurry! Take the A-Train!

    New Yorkers were riding a 1939-era train today along the subway line made famous by Duke Ellington. The festivities marked the 110th anniversary of the jazz legend's birth -- and Mayor Michael Bloomberg will proclaim today, April 29th, Duke Ellington Day in New York.

    The restored A-Train started its run at 125th Street — home of Harlem, where the song's "Sugar Hill" is located. It kept the rails a-hummin' through Brooklyn before arriving in Howard Beach, Queens.

    Participants included Paul Mercer Ellington, who received the mayor's proclamation. He's executor of his grandfather's estate and leader of the Duke Ellington Orchestra.

    Ellington's career spanned 50 years. The Grammy winner played more than 20,000 performances worldwide.

    Ellington died in 1974, a month after his 75th birthday. He's buried at Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx. Billy Strayhorn wrote "Take the A Train" in 1941. It became Ellington's signature song and was played at his funeral.

    The A-Train's celebratory runs were sponsored by the Island of the Bahamas, according to Moda Entertainment. Click here to learn more about the event.