Jackie Robinson 70th anniversary auction to benefit JRF ending April 29
It’s not often that a musical instrument once used by jazz royalty becomes available. This is a Baldwin baby grand piano - a hand crafted instrument impressive in its own right - but this one is set apart by its unique provenance. The piano comes from Jackie Robinson’s wife Rachel’s godson, Warren “Chipper” Logan. The piano was originally owned by Chipper’s parents, Dr. Arthur C. Logan, a well respected Civil Rights activist and physician, and Marian Bruce Logan, a professional singer and civil rights activist.
Among the luminaries in the Logan’s social circle were the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., jazz legend Duke Ellington, both of whom called Dr. Logan their personal physician and jazz musician and composer Billy Strayhorn, the Godfather of Chipper Logan. A September 10, 1969, New York Times article reports on Mr. and Mrs. Jackie Robinson and Duke Ellington being among the 150 surprise guests for Dr. Logan’s 60th birthday party at his West 88th Street duplex. The article goes on to relate how The Duke played a “jazzy rendition of “Happy Birthday” which Ellington merged into his famous hit “Take the A Train” - and this is the very instrument on which he played it. The piano, which was also picked out based on Ellington's recommendation, has been a part of the Logan household for many decades, remaining in its place as the apartment was rented over the years.
The piano is a Baldwin baby grand, serial number R 155763. It shows good use, with the amount of wear expected to be seen on a well used instrument. Besides being dusty from its recent inactivity, the inner workings appear intact with nothing visibly missing or amiss. The edging on the legs shows wear as do most of the edging on the piano’s body. The matching bench has a crack in it, and wear is visible on the legs. The underside of the piano has some illegible pencil markings. All in all, it’s a striking instrument, and knowing a bit of its storied past, it is not hard to hear the faint opening chords of Ellington’s “Take the A Train” tinkling across the ivories…
Please note that arrangements must be made for special delivery or pickup as this item cannot be shipped.
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