Fun Facts about Truman Capote's Black and White Ball



The ball was inspired by Cecil Beaton's black and white designs for the Ascot Scene in My Fair Lady and Beaton was angry at Capote for stealing his idea.


To keep the party both traditional and contemporary, Capote hired the Peter Duchin Orchestra and an all black rock band called the Soul Brothers of Detroit to spell them during breaks.


Capote banned any critic who dared to give In Cold Blood a bad review.


Capote invited first daughter Lynda Bird Johnson, but not her steady beau, George Hamilton.


Capote slighted Tiffany's because he felt he gave them enough publicity when he wrote Breakfast at Tiffany's.


Capote invited 11 people from the Kansas town where he did all his In Cold Blood research. They all stayed at the Plaza and partied till 3:30 AM.


The Black and White Ball commanded more media attention than the Beatles did when they stayed at the Plaza in February 1964 to tape The Ed Sullivan Show.


Duchin's band played show tunes by guests: Alan Jay Lerner, Comden and Green, Harold Arlen, all while Jerome Robbins danced with Lauren Bacall.


Among the invitee not in attendance were Edward Kennedy, Jacqueline Kennedy, Mayor John Lindsay, Nelson Rockefeller, Mike Nichols, and Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, who thought "frugging with Kay Graham was in bad taste while the Vietnam War raged."


It rained the night of the ball. Weather was the only thing Capote could not control.