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  • 1101 N. Murtland Ave.
    Pittsburgh, PA 15208
  • Category: People
  • Sub-Category: Musicians
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William "Billy" Strayhorn (1915-1967)

Born in Ohio but is more often associated with Pittsburgh, where he spent a larger part of his childhood. Was friendly throughout his life with Lena Horne, another transplanted Pittsburgher. For three decades was the composing and arranging partner of jazz great Duke Ellington. Met Ellington in 1939 outside the Stanley Theater, now the Benedum Center; where the bandleader hired him immediately and the two worked together until Strayhorn died in 1967. His compositions alone or with Ellington include "Lush Life," "Chelsea Bridge," "Johnny Come Lately," "A Flower Is a Lovesome Thing" and "Satin Doll." His most famous composition, "Take the 'A' Train," was inspired by the subway directions to Ellington's home for their first meeting.

Condition/Architectural Notes

Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) marker