Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Eve - December 31, 1954

I couldn't resist...

Here, direct from the Down Beat in San Francisco 55 years ago today, are Louis Armstrong and His All Stars performing a 15 minute broadcast for CBS. This is peak mid-50s Pops surrounded by Barney Bigard on clarinet, Trummy Young on trombone, Billy Kyle on piano, Arvell Shaw on bass, Barrett Deems on drums and Velma Middleton on vocals. This is great little set, opening with the obligatory "Sleepy Time" before a ferocious "Indiana." Louis and Velma then romp on "Butter and Egg Man" before a swinging "High Society" is cut short to squeeze in a chorus of Armstrong playing "Auld Lang Syne" on his trumpet (it never sounded better). Dig it all and have a safe, happy New Year! Or as Pops sometimes signed his letters, "Merry Swiss Kriss and Happy Bis Ma Rex!"

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