“What a Wonderful World” (B. Thiele & G.D. Weiss)
George Adams (1940-1992; tenor saxophone) & Don Pullen (1941-1995; piano), live, Japan (Mt. Fuji Jazz Festival), 1989
Louis Armstrong (1901-1971), live (TV show), England, 1967
this morning, Chicago (Columbus Park)
what we’re about to lose
Michelle Obama, speaking to a gathering of school counselors at the White House (excerpt), yesterday
Our glorious diversity—our diversities of faiths, and colors, and creeds—that is not a threat to who we are; it makes us who we are.
Let’s celebrate by remembering three giants.
Ralph Stanley, singer, banjo player, February 25, 1927-June 23, 2016
“Little Maggie,” live (TV show), Austin, Tx., 1980
Bernie Worrell, keyboard player, April 19, 1944-June 24, 2016
Live (with George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic), Switzerland (Montreux Jazz Festival), 2004
Scotty Moore, guitar player, December 27, 1931-June 28, 2016
“Blue Suede Shoes” (with Elvis Presley), live, 1956
Today, Louis Armstrong’s adopted birthday, it’s all Louis all day at WKCR (Columbia University).
Happy 4th of July!
This country has gotten a lot of things wrong—music it got right.
The Blasters, “American Music,” live, Champaign, Ill., 1985
Bruce Davidson (1933-), Chicago (south side blues bar), 1962
radio: WKCR (Columbia University)
What better way to celebrate Louis Armstrong’s adopted birthday than to play his music around the clock?
Offstage she may be quiet, even shy. Onstage? That’s a different story: she’s filled with the Spirit.
Chicago Mass Choir (feat. Pam Crawford), “He’s Gonna Work It Out”
Today, his 112th birthday, it’s all Louis Armstrong all day at WKCR-FM (Columbia University).
Happy 4th of July!
It’s easy, sometimes, to take even great blessings for granted, like, for instance, living within walking distance—yes, walking distance—of a wonderful club (FitzGerald’s), where, last night, at their annual American Music Festival (three stages, four days), now in its thirty-third year, I saw these folks.
Joe Hall & The Louisiana Cane Cutters, live, Louisiana (Breaux Bridge), 2009
Sleepy LaBeef, “Strange Things Happening Every Day” (plus interview), TV show (Late Night with Conan O’Brien), 1994
The Paladins, “Kiddeo,” live, Netherlands, 2007
Today, celebrating one of his birthdays (a long story), WKCR-FM (Columbia University) will be playing Louis Armstrong—and nothing but—all day.
a week in New Orleans: day three
Louis Armstrong and His Hot Five
“West End Blues” (Joe “King” Oliver), 1928
King Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band
“Dipper Mouth Blues” (Joe “King” Oliver), 1923
America, to me, should be shouting all the time, a bunch of shouting voices, most of them wrong, some of them nuts, but please, not just one droning glamorous reasonable voice.
—George Saunders, “My Flamboyant Grandson” (In Persuasion Nation)
One click of the computer and thousands of miles disappear.
Baro, Guinea, 2010
Today, Louis Armstrong’s real birthday (as determined, many years after his passing, by New Orleans music historian Tad Jones), my ears will be tuned to WKCR-FM (broadcasting from Columbia University), which will be all Pops, all day.
rock ’n’ roll
A world without American music: what would it sound like?
The Blasters, “American Music,” Champaign, Ill., 1985
(Originally posted 7/5/10.)
Merle Haggard, “Lonesome Fugitive,” Buck Owens Ranch Show, 1966
(Originally posted 4/6/12.)
Slim and the Victory Aires, “Alright Now,” Paducah, Ky., 2008
(Originally posted 3/11/12)
Johnny Shines (1915-1992), vocals, guitar; David “Honeyboy” Edwards (1915-2011), guitar; Big Walter Horton (1917-1981), harmonica; “For The Love of Mike,” 1978
(Originally posted 10/4/11.)
Von Freeman, tenor saxophone; Clifford Jordan, tenor saxophone (first solo); Willie Pickens, piano; Dan Shapera, bass; Robert Shy, drums; “Oleo” (S. Rollins), Chicago (Chicago Jazz Festival), 1988
(Originally posted 5/3/12.)
All Pops, all day:
Tune in on July 4th, Independence Day . . . as we celebrate the professed (although according to historians, not actual) birthday of Jazz great and American Hero, the trumpeter and vocalist Louis Armstrong, by playing 24 hours straight of his music, from midnight to midnight.
Dave Alvin with the Blasters, “4th of July,” Berwyn, Ill. (Fitzgerald’s), 2010
*By popular demand (see Comments).
Bertha “Chippie” Hill (with Louis Armstrong, cornet), “Trouble In Mind”
Rec. 2/23/1926, Chicago
Growing up in the 1960s, the 1920s seemed as far away as the other side of the moon. No more—time changes your perspective on time. The distance between, say, 1926 and 1966 is smaller than that between 1966 and today.
The 1920s? They’re just down the block and around the corner.
The porchlight coming on again,
Early November, the dead leaves
Raked in piles, the wicker swing
Creaking. Across the lots
A phonograph is playing Ja-Da.
An orange moon. I see the lives
Of neighbors, mapped and marred
Like all the wars ahead, and R.
Insane, B. with his throat cut,
Fifteen years from now, in Omaha.
I did not know them then.
My airedale scratches at the door.
And I am back from seeing Milton Sills
And Doris Kenyon. Twelve years old.
The porchlight coming on again.
—Weldon Kees (1914-1955)