Six Minutes With Satch: I Can't Give You Anything But Love / No One Else But You

Welcome to the inaugural edition of Six Minutes With Satch! Every weekday for roughly the next 135 days, I will post the Spotify links to a Louis Armstrong single as recorded and/or issued between 1929 and 1947, the years covered in my next book, Heart Full of Rhythm: The Big Band Years of Louis Armstrong, due out from Oxford University Press in September.

This music is infrequently reissued in this fashion so I feel it's a good way to get a feel for how it was original heard. Everything was originally on 78, two songs, A side and B side, no more and no less. So thanks to modern technology, I'll share the links to both sides of an original 78 release. All you have to do is carve out about six minutes of your day, listen and enjoy (and feel free to leave a comment or share on social media).

The song that really gets the book started is "I Can't Give You Anything But Love." Tommy Rockwell of OKeh Records saw a jump in sales when "West End Blues" was issued in the fall of 1928. He had the notion that Armstrong should be making more than just "race" records and set about refashioning him in more of a pop mode. Rockwell's fingerprints could be felt on Armstrong's December 1928 Chicago sessions, with the expanded personnel, sharp arrangements by Don Redman and Alex Hill, and even a pop tune in "No One Else But You." (The song perhaps best known in jazz circles from the December sessions is "Weather Bird" and that was shelved for two years.)

But Rockwell really wanted Louis to come to New York so he could supervise his recording dates more closely. When the opportunity presented itself in March 1929, Rockwell put everything into having Armstrong record "I Can't Give You Anything But Love," a top pop tune of the day, with backing by Luis Russell's big band. When that masterpiece was waxed on March 5, Rockwell sprung into action and had it in stores by April. For the flip side, he chose one of the December songs, the charming "No One Else But You."

Rockwell then performed an experiment, releasing it on OKeh's race series--OKeh 8669--but also its pop series at OKeh 41204, promoting it for all audiences (Louis saved many of the original ads for his scrapbook).

Thus, here's the audio and personnel information for the 78 single that really kicks off my next book--enjoy!

Louis Armstrong (tp, voc), J.C. Higginbotham (tb), Albert Nicholas (cl), Charlie Holmes (as), Teddy Hill (ts), Luis Russell (p), Eddie Condon (bj), Lonnie Johnson (g), Pops Foster (b), Paul Barbarin (d).
OKeh recording session - New York City, NY March 5, 1929

Louis Armstrong (tp, voc), Fred Robinson (tb), Don Redman (as), Jimmy Strong (ts), Earl Hines (p), Dave Wilborn (bj), Zutty Singleton (d).
OKeh recording session - Chicago, IL December 5, 1928

And for those who don't use Spotify, here's some YouTube links:


Popular Posts