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A Look At The Historic Queens Jazz Trail

February 9, 2011 11:19 AM

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Count Basie's House (Photo: Huffpo.com)

Count Basie’s House (Photo: Huffpo.com)

In early February, the Landmarks Preservation Commission marked Black History Month by granting landmark status to the Queens neighborhood of Addisleigh Park. The section of St. Albans was once home to jazz greats like Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie and Lena Horne – along with baseball legends Jackie Robinson and Babe Ruth. While the area’s jazz community had disintegrated by the early 1970s, the homes of the iconic residents still stand. The Queens Jazz Trail Walking Tour offers a look at the neighborhood’s rich history. 1010 WINS’ Terry Sheridan reports on the lives and legacy of some jazz greats.

Ella Fitzgerald

ella fitzgerald 179 07murdockavenue hdc org A Look At The Historic Queens Jazz Trail

Ella Fitzgerald's home on 179-07 Murdock Ave in Addisleigh Park (Photo: HDC.org)

Two historic female jazz voices, Lena Horne and Ella Fitzgerald, lived in Addisleigh Park – but it was the parties Horne threw on her property that were also legendary. Louis Armstrong, also a resident of the neighborhood, was among the attendees.

Fitzgerald lived in a modest cape on Murdock Ave, where the current residents say they still get mail addressed to the woman who is known as “The First Lady Of Song.”

LISTEN: 1010 WINS’ Terry Sheridan Reports On The Ladies Of Addisleigh Park


Fats Waller

fats waller house flickr photo A Look At The Historic Queens Jazz Trail

Fats Waller's House (Flickr Photo)

Thomas Wright “Fats” Waller was the first of the jazz greats to move into the neighborhood. Both a pianist and an organist, the music legend was born in Harlem before coming to Addisleigh Park in the early 1930s. After his death, several of his recordings were inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame.

LISTEN: 1010 WINS’ Terry Sheridan Reports On Why Fats Waller Moved In


Milt Hinton

milt hintons house A Look At The Historic Queens Jazz Trail

Milt Hinton's House

Milt Hinton died in 2000, but his widow and daughter still live in his house on 113th Ave. He moved into the neighborhood in the late 30s, when many jazz musicians, especially those who were starting families, started to follow suit.

LISTEN: 1010 WINS’ Terry Sheridan Speaks To Hinton’s Wife


Babe Ruth

babe ruth pace for news A Look At The Historic Queens Jazz Trail

Babe Ruth's home in Addisleigh Park. (Photo: Pace For News)

Baseball great liked to play golf, and according to a tour guide on the Jazz Trail, the location of Queens home allowed him easy access to local golf courses – and to the LIRR, which took him close to his other home: Yankee Stadium.

LISTEN: 1010 WINS’ Terry Sheridan Reports On Babe Ruth & Other Baseball Greats


Count Basie

count basies house huffpo com A Look At The Historic Queens Jazz Trail

Count Basie's House (Photo: huffpo.com)

Count Basie was perhaps the most famous, and possibly the most well-liked of the the Addisleigh Park residents. The New Jersey native played New York locations like Roseland Ballroom and Harlem’s Savoy Ballroom. Remembered for his kindness and hospitality, one tour guide on the Jazz Trail said Count Basie would often invite his neighbors over for parties – and even let them use his pool while he was away on tour.

LISTEN: 1010 WINS’ Terry Sheridan Reports On The Life Of The Jazz Pianist


For more information on the Queens Jazz Trail or to buy tickets for the walking tour, visiting the Flushing Town Hall Web Site, or check out EphermaPress.com. For more on Black History Month, check out CBSNewYork’s Black History Month Page.
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