Many of the greets of American music gathered in New York on Monday (27 May) for the funeral of the nation's peerless jazz musician, Duke Ellington.
GV EXT Cathedral with crowds outside (2 shots)
SV Count Basic arrives
SV Manhattan Borough President Sutton
CU Pearl Bailey speaking
CU Drummer Louis Belson speaks
SV Coffin carried into cathedral
SV INT Family seated
GV Clerics seated
SCU Ellington biographer Ray Dance reads eulogy
SV Altar (Congregation singing)
BELSEN: "You can't put any kind of a classification on him because he was the total. he was not only the greatest musician I met in my life, but he was the greatest humanitarian which is very important. He knew how to live, he knew how to love, and he knew what peace was."
DANCE: "He was loved throughout the whole world by all members of society. By Greeks, by Germans, by English, by the Irish, by Arabs and Jews, by Europeans, by Indians, by Pakistanis, by atheists and devout Catholics -- even by communists and fascists alike. SO not only in this city, which as he said, he played many (INDISTINCT). Not even in this city can he claim exclusively for his own."
Initials BB/1745 RJ/MR/BB/1757
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Many of the greets of American music gathered in New York on Monday (27 May) for the funeral of the nation's peerless jazz musician, Duke Ellington. He died last Friday at the ago of 75 of pneumonia brought on by lung cancer.
Among those attending the funeral service were Ella Fitzgerald. Count Basic, Al Hibbler, Joe Williams and Michele LeGrande. Drummer Louis Belsen was also in the congregation. He spoke about Duke Ellington's standing in the world of jazz.
The funeral service was held in the Episcopal Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine -- the largest house of worship in New York.
The eulogy was delivered by Duke Ellington's biographer, Ray Dance.
The blue suit in which Ellington was buried bore the rosette of the French Legion of Honour and the Tibbon of the Star of Ethiopia. Ellington was the first musician to receive the French honour. The Ethiopian star was given to him by Emperor Haile Selassie last November.