February 2024

Page A16 february 2024 By Jim Kurtz Last Writes Indigo,” that changed jazz. In the 1930s, the band raised the roof on commercial swing events featuring saxophonist Johnny Hodges. The 1940’s, a musical high point for the band was reinventing jazz with unexpected outcomes of success. More music included “Concerto for Cootie,” “Harlem Air Shaft,” and the wildly popular “Take the A Train.” He continued to perform with his favorite musician soloists including Sonny Greer, Barney Bigard “Bubber” Miley, Billy Strayhorn and Harry Carney. Later in life, Duke composed religious music, and in the 1970’s he performed at The White House. He represented the boldest, most openhanded, and creative face of American culture to audiences the world over. On May 24, 1974, Duke died in New York City of lung cancer and pneumonia. His last words were, “Music is how I live, why live and how I will be remembered.” His remains laid in state at the Walter B. Cooke, Inc. Funeral Chapel, located at Third Ave. and 85th St. in Manhattan’s Upper East Side. His body was dressed in a black tuxedo, blue tufted shirt reposing in a 660 lb. Silver Plated Copper Deposit (20700) made by the National Casket Co. The deposit had a full top with two raised inner panels for the viewing at the funeral home. The next day, twelve thousand people attended his funeral at the Episcopalian Cathedral Church of St. John the Devine in Manhattan’s Upper East Side. His casket weighing approximately 800 pounds was shouldered down the steps of “Take the A Train” with Duke Ellington One of the finest composers and pianists to have emerged from America in the 20th century. He did not learn his art in a conservatory or the encouragement of wealthy patrons, but as a Harlem bandleader, where the closest species to a patron was a Mobster. Duke Ellington’s wonderful music proves him to be one of the most expressive explorers of jazz orchestra’s palette of sounds of unique melodies and rhythms, and the personalities of his musician-soloists. Duke was born Edward Kennedy Ellington in Washington, D.C. April 29, 1889. His childhood was based on Victorian principles. His father was a coachman, his mother, the daughter of a police captain and a real “Victorian lady” gave Duke a rich vision of the good life. He learned sophistication, manner of speech, elegant clothes, and a self-worth which led to his nickname. Duke did not compose in a study with a piano, but furiously scribbled his great works in airport lounges and the back seats of cars. He was endlessly on the road. His band was called the “Washingtonians”. When he realized that some dance musicians were getting rich, his band moved to Harlem where their fortunes rose on the wave of the Harlem Renaissance of African American culture as the Ellington Orchestra. He had a five-year stint at New York’s Cotton Club backing the “jungle” dance theater routines, which developed Ellington’s musical style. His classics included “The Mooch,” “Rockin in Rhythm,” and “Mood Jim Kurtz is a funeral director, funeral historian, author and archivist. He recently achieved a 50-year recognition as a licensed funeral director and embalmer in Texas. He also received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Texas Funeral Directors Association in 2023. He resides in Fairview (Dallas), Texas. He can be reached at jimkurtz6800@yahoo.com. Photos collection of Jim Kurtz funeral archinves. FUNERAL HOME & CEMETERY NEWS www.NomisPublications.com Monthly Columnsonline at the church by eight pallbearers. The funeral procession then traveled up Broadway and across 125th St. to pass by The Cotton Club one last time. The burial took place on Memorial Day at Woodlawn Cemetery in The Bronx. His burial was the same day he visited his parents’ graves every year. Author’s Note: Not everyone knows what a copper deposit is. The deposits are rare as they are no longer manufactured, but some still exist in several premier funeral homes. National Casket Co. no longer exists. The construction of the deposit is made by electricity. The pattern, two moulds are made, one for the casket body and the other for the top. These moulds, together with a quantity of pure copper, are submerged in a solution of copper sulphate charged with electricity. Ion by ion, the pure copper is dissolved, and the particles carried through the solution to be deposited against the moulds. After eighty hours of submersion, the pure copper has been built up to the desired thickness. The moulds are removed, the two parts of the casket are solid, one-piece deposits of pure copper without joints or seams of any kind. The casket has a hammered effect on the sides and top. Ornamentation, handle decorations and fixtures are all integral parts of the casket itself. National Casket Company made 6 distinct designs and finishes ranging from 410 to 660 pounds. 2023 NFDA General Price List Study Shows Inflation Increasing Faster than the Cost of a Funeral survey (474 mail and 335 online), which accurately reflects NFDA’s total membership (with 95% confidence) within a range of +/- 3.4%. Responses also accurately reflect NFDA’s membership by United States census district. NFDA is the world’s leading and largest funeral service association, serving more than 20,000 individual members who represent nearly 11,000 funeral homes in the United States and 49 countries around the world. NFDA is headquartered in Brookfield, WI and has an office in Washington, DC. For more information, visit www.nfda.org. Continued from Page A14 2023, to gather general price list and other related data. Members also had the option of completing the survey online. A link to complete the survey was emailed to all main contacts with a valid email address, posted three times in the NFDA Bulletin (electronic newsletter), and a reminder to complete the survey was emailed to all main contacts as well. Of the potential respondents, 809 members anonymously completed the We welcome news of the industry! Send us information on your Firm today! info@NomisPublications.com CALL 1-800-321-7479 FAx 1-800-321-9040 PO Box 5159, Youngstown, OH 44514 www.NomisPublications.com Send Us Your News! FUNERAL HOME & CEMETERY News

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