Sunday, January 3, 2010

Happy Birthday to Jack Bradley!

Hello fellow Pops lovers and welcome to 2010. I'm sure you've done plenty of celebrating between the December holiday season and New Year's Eve but I ask you today to raise a glass and toast the birth of the world's greatest Louis Armstrong fan, Jack Bradley!

As longtime readers of this blog know, my current day job is serving as the project archivist for the Louis Armstrong House Museum, where my duties pretty much revolve around the arranging, preserving and cataloging of Jack's Armstrong collection. I've gotten to know Jack pretty well over the past couple of years and it's simply and honor and privilege to be in charge of his massive collection. If you don't mind, I'd like to update Dizzy Gillespie's 1970 tribute to Louis Armstrong: I'd like to thank Jack Bradley for my livelihood...literally!

If you don't know much about Jack's Armstrong collection, check out this wonderful New York Times article from 2008 by clicking here. And if you missed my personal account of visiting Jack and his wife Nancy at their Cape Cod home in October (complete with pictures), click here. And finally, if you'd like to relive one of the great moments of Jack's life, the famous, two-hour-plus "Slivovice" interview with Armstrong and Dan Morgenstern from 1965, you can listen to the whole thing by going here.

Thus, it's safe to say that I think Jack's the greatest and like, Pops, he, too, should be celebrated every day. But today, on behalf of Pops fans from around the world, I want to say happy birthday,'re the top! Here's Pops himself relaying the message in his 1957 recording of a Russell Garcia arrangement. Enjoy!

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