WITH THE NAME DUKE
Duke Kahanamoku was the iconic father of modern surfing, having been a five-time Olympic swimming gold and silver medalist who almost single-handedly popularized the nascent sport of surfing. Born and raised in Waikiki in Hawaii, Duke was the original beach boy. Well, not exactly. Weâ€™d like to see some of those California boys ride the waves as Duke did: on his hand-carved, koa wood, 16 foot, 114 pound board! Write a song about that, Beach Boys! After his extraordinary success in the Olympics and other sporting venues, Duke moved to Southern California and pursued an erratic career as a movie actor, mostly in supporting and extra roles. Returning to Hawaii, Duke served as sheriff of Honolulu for 29 years and more or less eked out a living lending his name to a nightclub (where Don Ho reigned supreme). He was also a friend and surfing companion (and perhaps more) to tobacco heiress, Doris Duke, who fronted the loan for a house for him and his wife. Dukeâ€™s memory is kept affectionately alive today in Hawaii; he is unanimously agreed to have been a sincerely good person. Ultimate kudo - he has even had a stamp issued in his honor.
Edward Kennedy â€œDukeâ€ Ellington was one of the most beloved and revered figures of American jazz, whose long career encompassed composition, piano playing, radio, movie and television appearances and leading his own jazz band, with innumerable recordings testifying to his genius. Duke Ellington first gained widespread acclaim through appearances at New York Cityâ€™s famed â€œCotton Clubâ€, with its white, wealthy clientele; in the 1930s his band toured Europe, garnering even more attention. The prolific Ellington produced over 1,000 compositions in his lifetime, including the classics: â€œSatin Dollâ€, â€œDonâ€™t Get Around Much Anymoreâ€, and â€œSophisticated Ladyâ€ among others. Throughout his lifetime, Duke performed and recorded with such contemporary greats as Louis Armstrong, Coleman Hawkins, John Coltrane and Charlie Mingus. While the 1950s saw a decline in his favor, his reputation eventually was elevated to even greater prominence with his participation in the 1956 Newport Jazz Festival and with the issuance of Ella Fitzgeraldâ€™s â€œDuke Ellingtonâ€™s Songbookâ€. Among the many awards and tributes Duke received were counted the Presidential Medal Freedom and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. His fame is as great as ever today, and he is universally recognized as a musical master. His own 1973 autobiography says it all: Music is My Mistress.