Saturday, August 05, 2017

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase:
Happy birthday, Louis Armstrong!

This week, StLJN is celebrating the legacy of the iconic trumpeter and singer Louis Armstrong with some vintage videos, for a couple of reasons.

First, yesterday (Friday, August 4) was the 116th anniversary of Armstrong's birth. During his lifetime, he claimed to have been born on July 4, 1900, but years after after his death, researchers uncovered information showing that Armstrong's true date of birth was in fact August 4, 1901. As a result, fans now celebrate on both days.

Second, there's an Armstrong-related event coming up next week in St. Louis, as a band led by trumpeter Randy Holmes will be presenting the second annual "Louis Armstrong Festival of St. Louis" next Friday, August 11 and Saturday, August 12 at the Webster Groves Concert Hall.

Holmes will be joined by fellow trumpeter Robert Souza, Brett Stamps (trombone), Scott Alberici (clarinet), Mary Ann Schulte (piano), Kevin Gianino (drums), Bob Lowe (bass) and Dan Stevens (banjo, guitar) for two nights of performances of music associated with Armstrong.

To commemorate both occasions, here's a selection of Armstrong videos, starting up above with a 1964 show from Australia that recently surfaced online.

Continuing after the jump with some "editor's picks" of personal favorites, the second video represents one of Armstrong's earliest filmed appearances, as he performed "I Cover The Waterfront", "Dinah" and "Tiger Rag" in 1933 in Copenhagen, Denmark.

That's followed by performances of "Up A Lazy River," "Old Rockin' Chair," and "When The Saints Go Marching In" from the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival, as filmed for the popular documentary Jazz on A Summer's Day.

Below that, there's a clip from 1959 that may be the only footage of Armstrong in the recording studio, re-discovered and made available last year by the Louis Armstrong House Museum, the official repository of the trumpeter's archives and keepers of his legacy. It was shot while Armstrong was recording the album Satchmo Plays King Oliver, and shows him and the band recording the master take of "I Ain't Got Nobody," plus silent footage of them listening to the playback.

The penultimate video is from 1962, and was made as an episode of "Goodyear Jazz Concert," a series of short films for television produced by the Goodyear tire company. Since it originally was shot on 35mm film and recorded in stereo, it offers a more high fidelity look and sound than a lot of the available video of Armstrong.

The final clip features Armstrong and Mahalia Jackson teaming up to perform "Just A Closer Walk With Thee" at the 1970 Newport Jazz Festival.

For more about Louis Armstrong, check out the Louis Armstrong House Museum official site, Armstrong's page at and the tribute site For an historic appreciation of his musical and cultural significance, there's also "The Artistry of 'Pops': Louis Armstrong at 100", a presentation put together back in 2000 by the Center for Jazz Studies at Columbia University that features trumpeter Wynton Marsalis and critic Stanley Crouch.

You can see the rest of today's videos after the jump...

No comments: