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Six Minutes With Satch: I Gotta Right to Sing the Blues / Hustlin' and Bustlin' for Baby

RCA began releasing Louis Armstrong's January 1933 output with a pair of instrumental showcases, "High Society" and "Mahogany Hall Stomp" (discussed yesterday) but next turned its attention to some recent pop tunes. Up first was a future standard Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler's "I Gotta Right to Sing the Blues," from "Earl Carroll's Vanities" and already introduced on record by Cab Calloway. Like "High Society," Louis opens with a little monologue, asking, “What’s the matter with you, boy? Don’t you know I gotta right to sing the blues? Listen at this…look out! One…two….”

And with that, we’re off. The horns play a simple intro, eliciting a mellow “Yeah” from their leader before Teddy Wilson plays an Earl Hines-like interlude to allow Pops to get ready for his vocal close-up. I don’t know if there are any specific quotes from Harold Arlen about Louis Armstrong but clearly, he must have loved him for many of his songs seem to …

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