Louis Armstrong (August 4, 1901 – July 6, 1971), nicknamed Satchmo or Pops, was an American jazz trumpeter and singer from New Orleans, Louisiana. Coming to prominence in the 1920s as an "inventive" cornet and trumpet player, Armstrong was a foundational influence in jazz, shifting the focus of the music from collective improvisation to solo performance. With his instantly recognizable deep and distinctive gravelly voice, Armstrong was also an influential singer, demonstrating great dexterity as an improviser, bending the lyrics and melody of a song for expressive purposes. He was also greatly skilled at scat singing (vocalizing using sounds and syllables instead of actual lyrics). Renowned for his charismatic stage presence and voice almost as much as for his trumpet-playing, Armstrong's influence extends well beyond jazz music, and by the end of his career in the 1960s, he was widely regarded as a profound influence on popular music in general. Armstrong was one of the first truly popular African-American entertainers to "cross over", whose skin-color was secondary to his music in an America that was severely racially divided. He rarely publicly politicized his race, often to the dismay of fellow African-Americans, but took a well-publicized stand for desegregation during the Little Rock Crisis. His artistry and personality allowed him socially acceptable access to the upper echelons of American society that were highly restricted for a black man.
These two shows were made in Hollywood in 1943 to be broadcast exclusively to U.S. troops overseas during W.W.II.The two main acts on these programs are Louis Armstrong with a big band and Henry ”Red” Allen’s sextet, plus a couple of vocalists (Ivie Anderson & Jewel Paige), a couple of drum soloists (Lee Young & Paul Barbarin) and a couple of comedy skits. The 21 numbers on this one hour-long CD are being released here for the first time. The musical repertoire is largely dixieland and traditional jazz, along with some popular tunes of the day. On the first show, Louis Armstrong performs classic versions of On The Sunny Side of the Street and Dear Old Southland, as well as a hilarious comedy skit with Jack Benny and Eddie ”Rochester” Anderson. On the second show, Henry Allen performs with his long-time trombone colleague J.C. Higginbotham, together with a first-rate New Orleans rhythm section powered by Paul Barbarin and bassist Benny Moten.The show’s momentous climax teams top clarinetist Barney Bigard with Henry Allen and Paul Barbarin on Rug Cutter’s Swing.