Recently, the street sign near the cul-de-sac on West 63rd street also known as Thelonious Monk Circle spelled the late jazz musician’s name wrong. Monk, who is the second most recorded artist after jazz great, Duke Ellington, was honored with the street sign almost a year after his death in 1983. At that time, the sign was originally spelled correctly, but, in the past months, the street sign bore the name “Thelonius,” missing the second “o.”
According to an e-mail response from Phil Schaap, a jazz historian, to New York Time’s City Room Blog, the street sign, which is near the house Monk grew up in, was not always misspelled.
Schaap stated “I was at the street naming and for many years it appeared correctly as “Thelonious Sphere Monk Circle.” It has become one of the more often stolen NYC official signs and a replacement eventually carried the misspelling of his given name.”
Monk is known for his unique piano strokes and improvisation. Some of his famed songs include “Straight, No Chaser” and “Round Midnight.” He is noted as one of the first creators of modern jazz.