Saturday, March 27, 2010

Weekend Video: Louis on What's My Line

Louis Armstrong's 1964 appearance as the mystery guest on the popular game show "What's My Line" has been a fairly celebrated moment in the trumpeter's television career. After faking out the panel successfully for a while by disguising his voice, Louis was eventually outed and asked to sing a chorus of "Hello, Dolly" by panelist Arlene Francis. The tune was still climbing the charts and Pops delightfully offered an impromptu a capella chorus (something that cost Joe Glaser a pretty good piece of change if you've read Terry Teachout's Armstrong biography). It's a wonderful clip and has been used in Gary Giddins's "Satchmo" documentary among other places.

Alas, that clip is no longer on YouTube. However, many people might not know that Louis appeared on the show a decade earlier (literally almost to the day: March 14, 1954 and March 22, 1964). Loyal reader David Parkinson wrote in to inform me that this clip recently appeared on YouTube and believe me, it's a gassuh! Armstrong's hilarious attempts to disguise his voice aren't too successful but it's in the little interview with host John Daly where the real gold appears. Talking about Louis's failed attempts to get his voice "higher," Daly says"I wish you could have gotten higher..." I won't spoil Louis's response....enjoy!

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