The First Electronic Church of America

S A I N T S   &   B I R T H D A Y   P A G E

April 29, 1997

Saint Of The Day:

Edward Kennedy Ellington

Edward Kennedy Ellington better known as Duke Ellington, is widely considered to be the foremost exponent of American jazz, but he considered the term demeaning and restrictive. He defined the music he composed (and he composed more than 1,000 tunes) as "music with an African foundation which came out of an American environment," while recognizing that it stood for "freedom of expression." Ellington started out playing the piano in little bars in Harlem, then won national recognition on CBS Radio for performances at the highly regarded Cotton Club in Harlem, and then toured the U.S. and Europe with his own band. He was one of the founders of "big band jazz." In the early 1930s, Ellington began to write extended orchestral jazz compositions, and he subsequently treated all challenges and problems as opportunities for the fresh deployment of his skills, whether in film scores (he had an Academy nomination for scoring the movie, "Paris Blues), in concert performances of his own band, and, ultimately, what he, a religious man, regarded as his greatest achievement, in concerts performed in the churches, cathedrals and temples of the world. For the record, four of Ellington's most famous songs were: "Mood Indigo," "Sophisticated Lady," "In a Sentimental Mood," and "Don't Get Around Much Any More." In 1959, his soundtrack for the movie, "Anatomy of a Murder," was the first commissioned from an African-American composer for a major Hollywood movie. He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1969, and in 1971, he became the first jazz musician inducted into the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm. In 1973, he published his autobiography, Music Is My Business. He died of cancer in 1974.

MODEL: Ellington's piety. He was a man of his time. But he was also a deeply religious man. He knew where he came from, and he knew where he was going. From God. To God. Amen.

Your Birthday Today:

April 29
Day of Projection

Faithful Self-aware

Vain Solemn

Mirror mirror. If you were born on April 29, you are very concerned with the impression you present to others so you try to shape it to your advantage. Clothes, hairstyle, manner, speech, posture are all important to you. Ruled by the number 2 and the moon, your concern with projecting may make you unable to act when the time comes.

Unchangeable. Your dominant tendencies don't arise from any great desire to lead, but a desire to occupy a solid, impenetrable position. Change is difficult for you, so you stick with this position for a long time. When you finally get a bug up your pants and change, it may be hard for others to grasp the new you.

Good ol' you. Others turn to you for dependability, so you often find yourself in positions of responsibility. This can become quite a load to bear, since you can never let your hair down and just be goofy. You may be able to lighten up and be yourself with only select friends or family. These people are very special to you.

Some advice: Don't worry so much about what people think of you. Let loose once in a while. Listen to your hunches more often. What feels right to you?

Also born on this day: Duke Ellington (jazz composer, pianist, bandleader) Luis Aparicio (baseball shortstop) Toots Thielemans (jazz harmonica player) Hirohito (Japanese WWII emperor) William Randolph Hearst (newspaper magnate) Michelle Pfeifer (actress) Andre Agassi (tennis champ) Harold Urey (Nobel Prize, deuterium) Sir Thomas Beecham (British conductor) Dale Earnhardt (auto racer) George Allen (Rams, Redskins coach)