Harlem World: Proud Musical Moments

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  • Duke Ellington Plays "Take the A Train"
  • The Apollo Theater
  • Minton's Jazz Club Opens
  • Harlem River Drive
  • Kurtis Blow Signs Record Deal
  • Mase Releases Harlem World
  •  Big L's The Big Picture
  • XXL's December '98 issue, "The Greatest Day In Hip-Hop History"
  • Cam'ron Drops Come Home With Me
  • A$AP Rocky

Duke Ellington Unveils "Take the A Train"

Jazz great Duke Ellington and his orchestra, who reigned the Harlem music scene with a mythical residency at the legendary Cotton Club, debuted "Take the A Train," penned especially for them by Billy Strayhorn, in 1939. The song became the band's signature and a jazz standard, and it's always been associated with Harlem: "You must take the 'A' train, to go to Sugar Hill, way up in Harlem," the most popular version of the song advises.

(Photo: Keystone/Getty Images)

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