Sorry for the hideous title, folks, but I just wanted to announce that the paperback edition of my book, What a Wonderful World: The Magic of Louis Armstrong's Later Years, will be released this Tuesday, June 5! I had other choices I could have went with:
Lover, Come (Paper)Back to Me
(Paper)Back O'Town Blues
(Paper)Back Home Again in Indiana
(Paper)Back and Blue
Walkin' My Baby (Paper)Back Home
Carry Me (Paper)Back to Old Virginny
I'll quit while I'm behind. If you're new here and don't know what I'm talking about, I pretty much devoted half my life to a book on Satchmo's last 25 years. It began as a Master's thesis and grew and grew until the good folks at Pantheon published it last year. Now another imprint of Random House, Vintage, is handling the paperback and I couldn't be any more excited.
If you weren't with me last summer when the book first came out, you missed an ongoing series I titled "Listening to the Book," something I'm actually pretty proud of. I went chapter by chapter and posted just about all the relevant audio links I could find, whether famous commercial recordings, private stuff from my secret stash or rare interviews. All you have to do is search "Listening to the Book" plus a chapter number and Blogger will do the rest. Here's the link to the first edition.
I don't think I'm going to be going on another official book tour this time, but I do have some stuff lined up. In July, I'll be back at the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, talking about Pops and showing rare footage every Tuesday evening, with a special afternoon panel on July 14 featuring Louis-inspired trumpeters (Bria Skonberg is already confirmed and I have some other big names possibly joining!). Then I'll be at the Satchmo Summerfest in New Orleans from August 2-5. And in late September, I'll be at the Monterey Jazz Festival for the first time, taking part in a panel discussion on Louis and Dave Brubeck's masterpiece, "The Real Ambassadors."
So with all this exciting book stuff lined up in the future--and the fact that this is my first new blog since May 14--you might be saying, "Well, that's the end of Riccardi's blog." No, I promise, it's not! Remember, I'm all Louis, all the time. For the last couple of months, almost all of my free time outside of work and my family has been devoted to a super secret Armstrong-related project that will be cause for celebration once I can announce it. If you've been with me for a while, you might know what it is (hint: think of my frequent complaint about Miles Davis's recordings), but until it gets the official green light (which could be in a week or two), I must stay mum. But trust me, this is going to be big. Save some money if you can...
That's all for now, friends. Thanks to all of you who have supported me and my book over the past year. Enjoy the paperback!