Well, as the title of this posting says, it's official! As of today, I have a book deal with Pantheon to publish my work on Louis Armstrong's later years! You could say I've been researching the book since I bought my first Armstrong disc at the age of 15. I've officially been writing it since it began as my thesis when I went for my Master's in Jazz History and Research at Rutgers a few years back and, with the help of my fearless agent Tony, we began sending proposals out two years ago. After a solid year of nothing but rejections, I grew pretty discouraged. Needing some outlet to get my thoughts on Pops out, I started this blog last summer. The blogging life doesn't exactly pay but that never stopped me from devoting hours to analyzing things like every surviving Armstrong version of "Indiana." Thus, instead of money, I was paid with new relationships and friendships with other Armstrong nuts from around the world. Their insights and generous offerings turned my book into something different and completely exciting and it always felt good to know how many people out there love Pops as I do.
Finally, though, I'll be able to get some of my research out in book form, a life-long goal. And the Pantheon people are terrific (hey, they put out Dan Morgenstern's book and that's good enough for me!). My finished manuscript is due in October 2009 and the final product should (hopefully) be out at the end of 2010. Of course, I'll continue the blog until then. I've never exactly been the greatest in terms of regular posting and that trend, alas, is probably going to remain unchanged. And of course, with the baby due in April...ay yi yi, it's going to be crazy. But I'll still continue to post frequently because I love the nature of the blog. It allows me to be silly, it allows me to go into graphic details on little things and it allows instant feedback from you, my loyal readers. The book is going to be pretty thorough, but obviously not as crazy with the details as the blog. Thus, even when the book comes out, I'll tie it in to the blog. Say I only have room to write one paragraph on a certain song in the book. I'll make sure to blog about such a song in a little more detail, complete with sound samples, so you can read the book and listen to the music on the blog for the ultimate Pops experience.
But that's obviously a long ways away. For now, it's back to celebrating with the wife and hopefully, I'll be able to get another post out by the end of the week (looks like "Skokiaan" but I also want to do something "Indiana"-like on "Royal Garden Blues"). Thanks, as always, for your interest and always feel free to write me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And now, to celebrate, Pops, Edmond Hall and Trummy Young tearing "Muskrat Ramble" to pieces in 1958. Enjoy!