Sunday, August 21, 2011

Listening to the Book: Chapter 4

All right, good friends, after a few weeks of other business, it's time to get back to the soundtrack to my book, What a Wonderful World: The Magic of Louis Armstrong's Later Years. We're continuing onward with some of Louis's big Decca hits from the early 50s. The chapter begins with Louis chastising a disc-jockey for using the word "commercial" to describe his record of "I Laughed at Love." Louis claims there's "nothing that can outswing it" and he's right. During the Satchmo Summerfest, I talked about this incident and asked the crowd how many people knew of "I Laughed at Love." Only one person did so I played it and knocked everyone out. I did a blog on the tune, which can be found here. If you just want to listen to the song, here's the audio:



Next up, a famous session from 1950 that produced two French-themed numbers. First, "La Vie En Rose," which I commemorated in an anniversary blog last year that can be found here. Here's the audio for the original version:



I never did a blog on "C'est Si Bon," but it was another hit for Pops. In the book, I write about Louis's epic trumpet solo on the original recording and how it's so little known. Listen for yourself:




I've also somehow never written about "A Kiss to Build a Dream On." Until I right that wrong, here's the original:



And here's a hilarious duet done with Bing Crosby:




I did write a blogon "I Get Ideas" but here's the original if you're looking for it in a hurry:



Louis only made two songs with Louis Jordan but they're both astonishing. I wrote about in detail and shared the audio in a post that can be found here: Louie, Louie Blog

Every year on Valentine's Day, I share the audio and history of the song "That's For Me". If you're just looking for the audio, here it is, one of Louis's all-time great moments:



From that same session came the original "New Orleans Function." Here's the audio:

And here's a blog I did on Louis's history with that number:New Orleans Function Blog

January 1951 saw Decca record "Satchmo at Pasadena," which I blogged about here. That show is notable for having the first surviving All Stars performance of "Indiana." Louis's history with that song can be found in this blog.

Finally, the chapter ends with the furor over Louis singing the word "darkies" on "When It's Sleepy Time Down South." For the whole backstory, read the book, but for the recording, look no further:



The uproar forced Louis to go back in and substitute "people" for "darkies." The rest of the recording is the same, but the bridge is entirely new:




And that's that for chapter 4..thanks for listening along and especially thanks for reading!

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