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Are these sentences correct or not with "back then"?

See, there were two types of cameras back then.

Duke Ellington got his first New York City gig at the cotton club in Harlem. Harlem was a hot spot for up and coming music and musicians back then.

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Yes, those are both correct usages.

For stylistic reasons, I would prefer the "back then" to be at the beginning of the second sentence, rather than at the end.

  • Back then, Harlem...

I would also be inclined to hyphenate "up-and-coming"; http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/up-and-coming But again, that could be considered a matter of style, and styles change. (Maybe back then, "up and coming" wasn't hyphenated!)

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