Edmund Anderson

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For long time fans of Duke Ellington, the name Edmund Anderson may sound familiar, since he co-penned the Ellington standard, "Flamingo." Originally a stockbroker, Anderson was working at his father's…
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For long time fans of Duke Ellington, the name Edmund Anderson may sound familiar, since he co-penned the Ellington standard, "Flamingo." Originally a stockbroker, Anderson was working at his father's brokerage company, Anderson & Company, during the late '30s - around the same time he met Ellington. The duo remained close friends throughout Ellington's life, as they would often listen to symphonic music together, which inspired Ellington to expand his own musical horizons. It was also Anderson who supposedly convinced Ellington to start performing at New York City's famed Carnegie Hall. Anderson eventually got involved in music himself, as he and Ted Grouya collaborated during the early '40s on the aforementioned composition "Flamingo," a love song which soonafter recorded by Ellington in one take. Despite the song's lovely melody and lyrics, the song did not initially impress Ellington's record label, RCA Victor (namely the label's head executive at the time, Leonard Joy). But Ellington's admiration for the song preserved and got it released during June of 1941, immediately becoming a hit. Afterwards, Anderson produced radio jazz broadcasts and also a radio program with Mario Lanza (known as "The Edgar Bergen-Charlie McCarthy Show"), plus writing music for and directing radio and television commercials. On June 29, 2002, Anderson died at his home in Quogue, N.Y., at the age of 89.