In advance of Louis Armstrong's 105th birthday later this year, Verve Records has released a compilation of the New Orleans-born trumpeter's most distinctive works. As VOA's Doug Levine tells us, it's a compilation no jazz fan should be without.
When Verve created its Definitive Collections series, there was no doubt the label would include the "Father of Modern Jazz," Louis Armstrong. With so many recordings to choose from, the producers drew from Armstrong's vocal jazz, duets and instrumentals, mixing popular standards with lesser-known orchestral pieces. The compilation features Armstrong with six different orchestras, as well as his famed Hot Seven and Dixieland Seven bands.
The Definitive Collection covers 1938-1968, the latter years of Louis Armstrong's career, which were greeted by international stardom. One feature in the collection is Armstrong at age 31, as a suave and svelte "Satchmo" singing "Ain't Misbehavin'."
Thirty years later finds Louis Armstrong and The All Stars in Las Vegas, Nevada performing "Dream A Little Dream Of Me."
Louis Armstrong was one of the world's greatest entertainers, best-known for his uplifting onstage presence. Little known was Armstrong's gift for songwriting.
Included on the Definitive Collection is the Armstrong original "Someday (You'll Be Sorry)," recorded in 1953.
No definitive Louis Armstrong collection would be complete without Armstrong's signature song, "Hello, Dolly!" At age 63, Armstrong had the distinction of being the oldest artist to have a Number One single when "Hello, Dolly!" went to the top of the pop chart in 1964.
The 105th anniversary of Louis Armstrong's birth arrives on August 4. He was 69 years old when he died at his home in Queens, New York in 1971.