January 25, 1896 - November 1, 1927


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Musical feature

Duke Ellington's Black Beauty (Portrait of Florence Mills) was written in 1928, around the time Florence Mills comemmorations were being held widely in New York and elswhere.  Ellington recorded it three times in 1928 and for the short film Black and Tan in 1929.  The next Ellington version didn't occur till 1939, with the group Cootie Williams & His Rug Cutters.
However in late 1928 a white group called the Lumberjacks recorded it in this nice version:

Black Beauty by the Lumberjacks

The Lumberjacks included Tommy Dorsey in their line-up but apparently not on this track
It can be found on a compilation "Pathé & Cameo Jazzbands 1924-1928" (Timeless Holland)

See also News above about interesting new book with Florence Mills coverage

             Florence Mills: Month by Month
    1919    With Panama Trio @ Pantages, Portland Oregon
    1920    With Tennessee Ten in show Folly Town at Pittsburgh
    1923    Returns home to USA after holiday in Paris with U S Thompson and Willie Covan
    1924    Broadcasts over Station WGN, Chicago, with Dixie to Broadway cast
    1924    Dixie to Broadway starts two week run @ Academy Theatre, Baltimore
    1926    Visa for entry to UK granted at Paris; enters UK by sea at Dover
    1926    Blackbirds opens at London Pavilion. Florence attends celebratory party @ Kit Kat Club
    1927    Attends American Legion function in Paris with Alberta Hunter & Nettie Compton
    1927    Performs on Ile de France liner in shipboard Gala Concert for Mayor Jimmy Walker
    1927    Arrives home to New York for last time to tumultous reception, bigger than Jimmy Walker

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Off topic message
 If any of you Florence Mills fans are  interested in chess you may like to check out my other book
See: The Doeberl Cup: Fifty Years of Australian Chess History