Draft registrations: Famous music men (1917-1918)

Note: This article may feature affiliate links, and purchases made may earn us a commission at no extra cost to you. Find out more here.

Note: This article may feature affiliate links to Amazon or other companies, and purchases made via these links may earn us a small commission at no additional cost to you. Find out more here.

Louis Armstrong

Though the recorder misspelled his name at the top of his record, Louis Armstrong’s registration card showed that he was employed as a musician by the age of 18, and lived at home with his mom in New Orleans.

Duke Ellington

Born Edward Kennedy Ellington, Duke was 19 when he signed up for the draft, lived with his mother, and worked as a messenger for the Chief of Staff of the War Department in Washington DC.

Irving Berlin

Irving Berlin’s draft card noted that he was a Russian-born 29-year-old music composer who worked for himself in NYC, and financially supported his mother.

Cole Porter

According to his draft registration card, Cole Porter was a single 25-year-old student who worked at Carnegie Hall — and claimed an exemption from the draft due to having flat feet.


All of these draft registration cards from World War I (WWI) provided by the US National Archives, Southeast Region

PS: If you liked this article, please share it! You can also get our free newsletter, follow us on Facebook & Pinterest, plus see exclusive retro-inspired products in our shop. Thanks for visiting!

More stories you might like

Because the fun never ends

Comments on this story

Leave a comment here!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.