DJANGO’S TIMETABLE ON NOV 24th,1946
On the previous night Django had played with Duke Ellington and his orchestra at the Carnegie Hall and it had been for sure a big success but on Nov the 24th Django did arrived late at the show, more less around 11 :00PM when he was supposed to play around 10 :30 PM. Duke had in fact to add some numbers before Django, announced to be absent, finally appeared.
According to Charles Delaunay, Django met Cerdan casually that day in Time Square and they had a few drinks together until Django suddenly remembered he had a concert, jumped in a taxi and arrived at the Carnegie Hall, without any guitar, went directly on stage and began immediately to play with a borrowed guitar. It has been also reported that Django explained his delay to Ellington saying he had overslept that day.
Here’s an attempt to have a reconstitution of his timetable during this day and by the way an opportunity to follow Django in New York on that whole day. Main facts come directly from Marcel Cerdan Biographies.
- Django awakes before 12 :00 at the Henry Hudson Hotel situated at 356 W 58th Street
- Django goes to the CYO Center on 353 W 17th street to meet boxer Marcel Cerdan who is training in a gymnasium to prepare his fight on Dec 6th against Georgie Adams.
- The information that Cerdan had changed his mind at the last moment and chosed that CYO (Catholic Youth Organization) gymnasium to train instead of the famous Stillman’s Gym on the 8th Avenue where he was originally booked was probably given to Django by singer Jean Sablon that was himself in New York on those days to grab some records and to sing on CBS radio. Sablon in fact had already welcomed Cerdan on his arrival on November 20 at NYC harbor.
- At 1:00PM Django decided to invite Cerdan and his managers Jo Longman and Lucien Roupp to have a lunch in a renown small French restaurant called « DU MIDI » that was situated on 311 W 48th and was managed by Ida Balocco a french women born in Marseille France in 1905. Ida’s speciality was the « Coq au vin ». Also famous was Ida’s shaggy dog Coco as being kind of member of honour of the Rotary Club.
- After having lunch round 3:00PM, they all went to the Paramount Theater on 345 W 35th Street where there was a big show « BLUE SKIES » where both the film and a live concert on the stage were programmed with the Stan Kenton Orchestra and the Nat King Cole Trio. Apparently, they arrived late during the film and had only seen the end of the film so Cerdan insisted he absolutely wanted to wait to see the film from the beginning (it lasted 4 hours).
- Round 7:00PM Cerdan and Django decided they wanted now to visit the Empire State Building situated on 20 W 34th Street
- Round 8:00PM Django probably turns back to the Henri Hudson Hotel on 356 W 58th Street to have some rest
- Round 10:30PM Django awakes and hurries in a taxi to go to the Carnegie Hall on 881 7th Avenue
- Round 11:00 PM Ellington introduced Django and explains that Django is not used to speak English specially on stage and he announces that Django will play a composition of his own called “Improvisations number one”.
Should be great to hear some of the tunes he played that night to complete happily that day with Django!