African American composer/ musician Duke Ellington was leader of the house band at New York's Cotton Club when talking pictures first gained popularity in 1928-1929. Ellington was one of many performers who showed up in quickie musical short subjects designed to show off the new sound system. He and his band made their feature-film debut in Check and Double Check (30), which starred radio's famed comedy duo Amos 'N' Andy. He was top-lined in such black-oriented "B" pictures as The Duke is Tops (38) and also made guest appearances in such minor musicals as Hit Parade (37), New Faces (37) and Reveille With Beverly (43). Duke Ellington was given his best movie break by director Otto Preminger, who engaged Ellington to write the now-famous jazz score for 1959's Anatomy of a Murder, and also wedged in a brief on-screen cameo for the Duke.