Ellis Larkins

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  
(Results 1-25 of 100 records)

Citation

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

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/106913

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