Two posts in one day! This will be a short one, but still one full of disbelief. My friend from Germany Uwe Zanisch just wrote me to tell me about this video that popped up on YouTube. Brace yourself: Louis Armstrong doing "Hello, Dolly"....backed by Duke Ellington's orchestra with Duke conducting....and Ray Charles playing piano! (Plus Wild Bill Davis on organ...thanks Joao for correcting me!) It's from Madison Square Garden but it's not from 1969 as I originally reported. My thanks to Håkan Forsberg and Bernt Thunè who both wrote me this morning to tell me it's actually from February 23, 1970. The concert was titled "Soul On Soul" and was a tribute to Ellington and an NAACP benefit. Louis apparently made a presentation to Duke before they joined forces on "Dolly" (and Charles had just sung Ellington's "Satin Doll"...video please!).
I have the best readers in the world, huh? Thanks for straightening everything out. Now all that's left is to just enjoy the video again...and thank Uwe!
[For those who saw this posting on Monday, the video had been taken down. But fortunately, it was uploaded again today...and it's 30 seconds longer, now with Louis telling the punchline to his famous "hamburger" joke. Also, if Armstrong, Ellington and Ray Charles weren't enough, you can now glimpse B.B. King. Thanks to Lounisproduction on behalf of music lovers everywhere!)