This series consists of booking contracts and correspondence, tour receipts, personal and band bills and receipts, accounting ledgers, union dues statements, cancelled checks and bank statements, accounting records for several Ellington-owned and operated music companies, tax records and Internal Revenue Service audits, general correspondence, and miscellaneous records.
The records document Duke Ellington's career as a musician, composer, and bandleader between 1938 and 1988, and the operation of several of his and Mercer Ellington's music companies, including Tempo Music, Inc., Gaye Records, Inc., and Eighty-Eight Records, Inc. The records illustrate the complexities of maintaining a stable performing musical group when America's tastes in popular music were shifting away from large swing-style orchestras.
The records are organized into nine subseries: Subseries 3A, Performance Management Records, 1941-1974; Subseries 3B, Accounting Ledgers, 1960-1967; Subseries 3C, Work Dues Statements, 1965-1974; Subseries 3D, Bank Records, 1955-1974; Subseries 3E, Tempo Music, Inc. Records, 1961-1973; Subseries 3F, Music Company Records, 1938-1965; Subseries 3G, Tax Records and IRS Audits, 1944-1974; Subseries 3H, General Correspondence, 1941-1988; and Subseries 3I, Miscellaneous Records, 1966-1970.
Booking Contracts, boxes 1-9, page 3; Booking Correspondence, boxes 10-15, page 6; Tour Receipts, boxes 16-54, page 8; Weekly Expenditures, box 55, page 20; Miscellaneous Tour Receipts, Bills and Receipts, boxes 55-65, page 22.
Ledgers, boxes 66-68, page 27
Work Dues, box 69, page 28
Bank Checks, Check Stubs, and Statements, boxes 70-90, page 29
Tempo Music, Inc. Records, boxes 91-105, page 52
Other Music Company Records, boxes 106-111, page 61
IRS/Tax Records, boxes 112-127, page 64
Correspondence, boxes 128-129, page 68
Miscellaneous Records, boxes 130-139, page 70.
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