Take the A Train
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Duke Ellington performs “Take the A Train” in this scene from the 1943 film “Reveille with Beverly.”
“Take the A Train” was written by composer, arranger, pianist, and longtime Ellington collaborator Billy Strayhorn in 1939. Duke’s son first brought the song to the band, having recovered the chart from a trash bin after a frustrated Strayhorn discarded it. Despite its composers initial unease, the song quickly became the Ellington Orchestra’s signature number.