Ellis Larkins (May 15, 1923 – September 30, 2002) was an American jazz pianist born in Baltimore, Maryland, perhaps best known for his two recordings with Ella Fitzgerald: the albums Ella Sings Gershwin (1950) and Songs in a Mellow Mood (1954). He was also the leader in the first solo sides by singer Chris Connor on her album Chris (1954).
Larkins was the first African American to attend the Peabody Conservatory of Music, a well-known institute in Baltimore. He began his professional playing career in New York City after moving there to attend the Juilliard School. Following school Larkins performed jazz piano with Billy Moore and Edmond Hall. He recorded with Coleman Hawkins, Mildred Bailey, and Dicky Wells in the 1940s. In the 1950s he recorded with Ella Fitzgerald, Ruby Braff, and Beverly Kenney. His 1960s work included recordings or performances with Eartha Kitt, Joe Williams, Helen Humes, Georgia Gibbs and Harry Belafonte.
Though he was best known as an accompanist, Larkins recorded several solo albums in the 1950s. In the 1970s he performed regularly at several New York venues, including Gregory's, a small bar on the Upper East Side.
Birth and Death Data: Born May 15th, 1923 (Baltimore), Died September 29th, 2002 (Baltimore)
Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1943 - 1959
Roles Represented in DAHR: piano, celeste
Recordings (Results 1-25 of 100 records)
|Company||Matrix No.||Size||First Recording Date||Title||Primary Performer||Description||Role||Audio|
|Decca||72177||10-in.||5/25/1944||Hurry hurry||Lucky Millinder Orchestra||Performer, piano|
|Decca||72178||10-in.||5/25/1944||Darlin'||Lucky Millinder Orchestra||Performer, piano|
|Decca||72179||10-in.||5/25/1944||I can't see for lookin'||Lucky Millinder Orchestra||Performer, piano|
|Decca||72180||10-in.||5/25/1944||Who threw the whiskey in the well||Lucky Millinder Orchestra||Performer, piano|
|Decca||72181||10-in.||5/25/1944||Lover man||Lucky Millinder Orchestra||Performer, piano|
|Decca||72733||10-in.||2/8/1945||You must be blind||Ida James||Performer, piano|
|Decca||72734||10-in.||2/8/1945||I won't say but I won't||Ida James||Performer, piano|
|Decca||73128||10-in.||11/14/1945||I left a good deal in Mobile||Josh White||Performer, piano|
|Decca||73129||10-in.||11/14/1945||Did you ever leave a woman?||Josh White||Performer, piano|
|Decca||76823||9/11/1950||Looking for a boy||Ella Fitzgerald||Performer, piano|
|Decca||76824||9/11/1950||My one and only love||Ella Fitzgerald||Performer, piano|
|Decca||76825||9/11/1950||How long has this been going on?||Ella Fitzgerald||Performer, piano|
|Decca||76826||9/11/1950||I've got a crush on you||Ella Fitzgerald||Performer, piano|
|Decca||76834||9/12/1950||But not for me||Ella Fitzgerald||Performer, piano|
|Decca||76835||9/12/1950||Soon||Ella Fitzgerald||Performer, piano|
|Decca||76836||9/12/1950||Someone to watch over me||Ella Fitzgerald||Performer, piano|
|Decca||76837||9/12/1950||Maybe||Ella Fitzgerald||Performer, piano|
|Decca||81109||6/1/1951||Tonight you belong to me||Tamara Hayes||Performer, piano|
|Decca||81110||6/1/1951||These things I offer you||Tamara Hayes||Performer, piano|
|Decca||81195||6/21/1951||Between the devil and the deep blue sea||Ellis Larkins||Performer, piano|
|Decca||81196||6/21/1951||I gotta right to sing the blues||Ellis Larkins||Performer, piano|
|Decca||81197||6/21/1951||Blues in the night||Ellis Larkins||Performer, piano|
|Decca||81198||6/21/1951||One for my baby (and one more for the road)||Ellis Larkins||Performer, piano|
|Decca||82089||1/9/1952||Over the rainbow||Ellis Larkins||Performer, piano|
|Decca||82090||1/9/1952||Stormy weather||Ellis Larkins||Performer, piano|
Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Larkins, Ellis," accessed September 20, 2020, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/106913.
Larkins, Ellis. (2020). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved September 20, 2020, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/106913.
"Larkins, Ellis." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2020. Web. 20 September 2020.
DAHR Persistent Identifier
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