Heart Full of Rhythm: Soundtrack to a Book

 It is September 1 meaning today is the official U. S. release date for my new book, Heart Full of Rhythm: The Big Band Years of Louis Armstrong. Hallelujah!

With friends writing in to let me know that their copies are on the way, I thought I'd cobble together some playlists to make it easier to listen along while you read. If you're still clinging to physical media, it's actually not too hard. Find the four volumes Columbia/Legacy put out in the early 1990s--Louis in New York Volume 5, St. Louis Blues Volume 6, You're Driving Me Crazy Volume 7 and Stardust--for the OKeh big band sides. Then dig out The Complete RCA Victor Recordings of Louis Armstrong for the 1932-1933 and 1946-1947 RCA sides. And if you can still find the Mosaic Records set The Complete Decca Recordings of Louis Armstrong 1935-1946, you'll have the Deccas covered.

However, I know most folks these days get their music through streaming services (this goes for me, too, but I still have all my discs). I know these companies are the devil and the royalties they pay musicians is criminal (I have spent hundreds on Bandcamp to support my living musician friends), but just about everything Louis recorded is there and is easily accessible so for the sake of keeping up with the 21st century, I've created playlists for each chapter on both Spotify and Apple Music. 

Bookmark this post as I'm going to include the links to every playlist for every chapter below but in the upcoming weeks, I'll do separate posts for the individual chapters and will go a little deeper with more content from YouTube and other sources. But for now, if you'd like to listen along as you read, here are the links!

Chapter 1 - "There's a New King" - March 1929


Chapter 2 - "If Louis Did It, It Must Be Right" - April-December 1929

Chapter 3 - "I Break It Up Everywhere I Play" - December 1929-May 1930

Chapter 4 - "He Would Just Amaze You" - June-November 1930

Chapter 5 - "Just One of the Cats" - November 1930-May 1931

Chapter 7 - "They Admit You With a Smile" - September-November 1931
(Note: no chapter 6 playlist as that tackles Louis's 1931 summer in New Orleans, a time in which he didn't record. Also, neither Spotify or Apple Music features Louis's November 1931 recording of "Wrap Your Trouble in Dreams" - find it on YouTube!)

Chapter 8 - "An Artist of Eminence" - December 1931-June 1932

Chapter 10 - "Always a Way, Man" - November 1932-June 1933
(Note: No Chapter 9 playlist as that's when Louis was England. He didn't record but he did play a narrow repertoire of "Them There Eyes," "Tiger Rag," "Confessin'," "Shine," "Chinatown" and "You Rascal You" so listen to the OKeh versions of any of those to set the mood.)

Chapter 11 - "What the Hell is Wrong with Louie Armstrong?" - July 1933-June 1935
(Note: The full November 7, 1934 Paris session is on Apple Music but is not on Spotify.)

Chapter 12 - "A Much Improved Salesman" - July 1935-December 1935
(Note: Apple Music had two tracks from Louis's "comeback" appearance on Walter Winchell's radio show in October 1935 that are not on Spotify.)

Chapter 13 - "Swing is My Bread and Butter" - January-December 1936

Chapter 14 - "A Boom to the Colored Race" - January-June 1937

Chapter 15 - "Just Glad to See Us" - July 1937-May 1938
Chapter 16 - "A Solid Man for Comedy" - May 1938-December 1939

Chapter 17 - "He is Like the Armstrong of Old Days" - January 1940-July 1941

Chapter 18 - "I Never Tried to Be God" - July 1941-July 1942

Chapter 19 - "A Little Higher on the Horse" - August 1942-December 1943

Chapter 20 - "A Great Deal Less Than Grown Up" - January-December 1944
(Apple Music had a bunch of tracks of the famous 1944 Metropolitan Opera House Esquire concert buried on some Coleman Hawkins releases but Spotify didn't have any.)

Chapter 21 - "Why Should I Go Back" - January-December 1945

Chapter 22 - "We Really Did Romp" - January 1946-February 1947
(Note: Spotify had a good chunk of Louis's February 1947 Carnegie Hall concert, but Apple Music didn't have any.)

Chapter 23 - "Ain't No Music Out of Date as Long as You Play It Perfect" - 1947
(Note: Apple Music had one extra V-Disc version of "Ain't Misbehavin'" with Louis and Jack Teagarden on April 26, 1947 that is not on Spotify.)


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