Swinging In the Thirties (1932 - 1942)

Now comes a plateau in Louis' career, a decade when he embraced his career, his popularity, and most of all his musical groove. Though some are quick to malign this period, in actuality there is much to enjoy and little to dislike. Armstrong was experiencing an admirable smoothing out of his talents, a broadening of his support, and never once does he exhibit anything but the happiest enjoyment in his recordings.

Not only was he finding acclaim in the popularity of his records, but was becoming one of America's most recognizable personalities through his many appearances in short jazz films and full length features. Everyone seemed to know and love Louis.

This prolific period began with a short, two-year association with Victor, and continued with an extended contract with Decca. RCA has collected their entire Armstrong catalog in a standout 4-disc set, which also assembles several sets of late 40's work. Decca, however, has missed the point, following the admirable Columbia series of complete OKeh reissues with a haphazard mish-mosh of discs, hopelessly spotty and incomplete. The Classics label from Europe seems to have plugged the holes with a series of eight discs spanning 1928-42; unfortunately, they are more difficult to come by.

With the outbreak of World War II, the musicians' union went on strike, leading to a nearly total cessation of recording. Armstrong's recording career, too, was affected by this ban, with the exception of sporadic "V-Discs" for the troops overseas. Following the war, however, he was ready to move to a fresh stage of his career.

Louis Armstrong And His Orchestra
December 8, 1932, Camden, New Jersey

That's My Home (Rene, Leon; Rene, Otis; Ellison, Ben) [master BS-74820-1] -- Victor 24200
That's My Home (Rene, Leon; Rene, Otis; Ellison, Ben) [master BS-74820-2] -- Bluebird B-10236
Hobo, You Can't Ride This Train (Armstrong, Louis) [master BS-74821-1] -- Victor 24200
Hobo, You Can't Ride This Train (Armstrong, Louis) [master BS-74821-2] -- RCA SP DMM4 0456
I Hate To Leave You Now (Dick, Dorothy; Link, Harry; Waller, Thomas) [master BS-74822-1] -- Victor 24204
I Hate To Leave You Now (Dick, Dorothy; Link, Harry; Waller, Thomas) [master BS-74822-2] -- Victor 40-0102
You'll Wish You'd Never Been Born (Armstrong, Louis) [master BS-74822-1] -- Unissued
You'll Wish You'd Never Been Born (Armstrong, Louis) [master BS-74822-2] -- Victor 24204

Armstrong, Louis (Trumpet, Vocal)
Bacon, Louis (Trumpet)
Hunt, Louis (Trumpet)
Hicks, Billy (Trumpet)
Green, Charlie (Trombone)
Clark, Pete (Clarinet, Alto Saxophone)
Sampson, Edgard (Alto Saxophone, Violin)
Williams, Elmer (Tenor Saxophone)
Kirkpatrick, Don (Piano)
Trueheart, John (Guitar)
James, Elmer (Bass, Tuba)
Webb, Chick (Drums)

Louis makes his first Victor recordings with these four smooth but unmemorable songs, two of them self-penned. For this 18-month period of records for Victor, his band goes through constant personnel changes; the lineup on this set is actually the Chick Webb Orchestra. Mezz Mezzrow is likely on "bells" onHobo.You'll Wish You'd Never Been Born is a direct copy ofYou Rascal You.You couldn't get away with that these days!

Louis Armstrong And His Orchestra
December 21, 1932, Camden, New Jersey,

Medley Of Armstrong Hits (part II): When You're Smiling, St. James Infirmary, Dinah [master CS-74877-3] -- Victor 36084
Medley Of Armstrong Hits (part II): When You're Smiling, St. James Infirmary, Dinah [master CS-74877-4] -- Unissued
Medley Of Armstrong Hits (part I): I'll Be Glad When You're Dead, You Rascal You, When It's Sleepy Time Down South, Nobody's Sweetheart [master CS-74878-2] -- Victor 36084

Armstrong, Louis (Trumpet, Vocal)
Gaines, Charlie (Trumpet)
Unknown (Trumpet)
Unknown (Trombone)
Jordan, Louis (Alto Saxophone)
Davey, Arthur (Alto Saxophone)
Blake, Ellsworth (Tenor Saxophone)
Robinson, Wesley (Piano)
Unknown (Guitar, Banjo)
Hayes, Ed (Tuba)
Hill, Benny (Drums)

Something else you couldn't get away with today, is to sign with a new record company and immediately re-record your biggest hits. But here's Pops doing just that, with a two-sided medley. This one-time aggregation includes a 24-year-old Louis Jordan on sax, long before his headlining days of the '40s.

Louis Armstrong And His Orchestra
January 26, 1933, Chicago, IL

I've Got The World On A String (Koehler, Ted; Arlen, Harold) [master BS-75891-1] -- Victor 24245
I Gotta Right To Sing The Blues (Koehler, Ted; Arlen, Harold) [master BS-75892-1] -- Victor 24233
Hustlin' And Bustlin' For Baby (Woods, Harry) [master BS-75893-1] -- Victor 24233
Sittin' In The Dark (Adamson, Harold; Greer, Jesse) [master BS-75894-1] -- Victor 24245
High Society (Piron, A.J.; Williams, Clarence) [master BS-75895-1] -- Victor 24232
He's A Son Of The South (Razaf, Andy; Davis, Joe; Forsythe, Reginald) [master BS-75896-1] -- Victor 24257

Armstrong, Louis (Trumpet, Vocal)
Whitlock, Elmer (Trumpet)
Randolph, Zilner (Trumpet)
Johnson, Keg (Trombone)
Brown, Scoville (Clarinet, Alto Saxophone)
Oldham, George (Clarinet, Alto Saxophone)
Johnson, Budd (Clarinet, Alto Saxophone)
Wilson, Teddy (Piano)
McKendrick, Mike (Guitar, Banjo)
Oldham, Bill (Bass, Tuba, Trombone)
Porter, Yank (Drums)

Louis Armstrong And His Orchestra
January 27, 1933, Chicago, IL

Some Sweet Day (Rose, Ed; Jackson, T.; Olman, Abe) [master BS-75102-1] -- Victor 24257
Basin Street Blues (Williams, Spencer) [master BS-75103-1] -- Victor 24351
Honey, Do! (Razaf, Andy; Johnson, J.C.) [master BS-75104-1] -- Victor 24369

Armstrong, Louis (Trumpet, Vocal)
Whitlock, Elmer (Trumpet)
Randolph, Zilner (Trumpet)
Johnson, Keg (Trombone)
Brown, Scoville (Clarinet, Alto Saxophone)
Oldham, George (Clarinet, Alto Saxophone)
Johnson, Budd (Clarinet, Alto Saxophone)
Wilson, Teddy (Piano)
McKendrick, Mike (Guitar, Banjo)
Oldham, Bill (Bass, Tuba, Trombone)
Porter, Yank (Drums)

Louis Armstrong And His Orchestra
January 28, 1933, Chicago, IL

Snowball (Carmichael, Hoagy) [master BS-75105-1] -- Victor 24369
Mahogany Hall Stomp (Williams, Spencer) [master BS-75422-1] -- Victor 24363
Swing You Cats (Randolph, Zilmer T.) [master BS-75107-1] -- Bluebird B-10225

Armstrong, Louis (Trumpet, Vocal)
Whitlock, Elmer (Trumpet)
Randolph, Zilner (Trumpet)
Johnson, Keg (Trombone)
Brown, Scoville (Clarinet, Alto Saxophone)
Oldham, George (Clarinet, Alto Saxophone)
Johnson, Budd (Clarinet, Alto Saxophone)
Wilson, Teddy (Piano)
McKendrick, Mike (Guitar, Banjo)
Oldham, Bill (Bass, Tuba, Trombone)
Porter, Yank (Drums)

Back in Chicago and accompanied by a few of his old sidemen, Louis gets down to business with some genuinely swinging tunes. Except for a few awkward moments(Snowball,for instance), these are prime examples of Pops at his height in the thirties -- in particular,I've Got the World on a String, Hustlin' and Bustlin', and the positively enchantingHoney, Do!

Louis Armstrong And His Orchestra
April 24, 1933, Chicago, IL

Honey, Don't You Love Me Anymore (Meadows, Fred; Shand, Terry) [master BS-75420-1] -- Victor 24335
Mississippi Basin (Razaf, Andy; Foresythe, Reginald) [master BS-75421-1] -- Victor 24321
Mississippi Basin (Razaf, Andy; Foresythe, Reginald) [master BS-75421-2] -- Unissued
Laughin' Louie (Gaskill, Clarence) [master BS-75422-1] -- Bluebird 9759-2
Laughin' Louie (Gaskill, Clarence) [master BS-75422-2] -- Victor 24363
Tomorrow Night (after Tonight) (Mathews, Ralph; Armstrong, Lil; Williams, Clarence) [master BS-75423-1] -- Victor 68-0774
Tomorrow Night (after Tonight) (Mathews, Ralph; Armstrong, Lil; Williams, Clarence) [master BS-75423-2] -- Unissued
Dusky Stevedore (Razaf, Andy; Johnson, J.C.) [master BS-75424-1] -- Victor 24320

Louis, Armstrong (Trumpet, Vocal)
Whitlock, Elmer (Trumpet)
Randolph, Zilner (Trumpet)
Johnson, Keg (Trombone)
Brown, Scoville (Clarinet, Alto Saxophone)
Oldham, George (Clarinet, Alto Saxophone)
Johnson, Budd (Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone)
Beal, Charlie (Piano)
McKendrick, Mike (Guitar, Banjo)
Oldham, Bill (Bass, Tuba, Trombone)
Catlett, Big Sid (Drums)

Louis Armstrong And His Orchestra
April 26, 1933, Chicago,

There's A Cabin In The Pines (Hill, Billy) [master BS-75476-1] -- Victor 24335
Mighty River (Baskette, Billy) [master BS-75477-1] -- Victor 24351
Sweet Sue, Just You (Harris, Will J.; Young, Victor) [master BS-75478-1] -- Victor 24321
I Wonder Who (Barbarin, Sid) [master BS-75479-1] -- Victor 24425
St. Louis Blues (Handy, W.C.) [master BS-75480-1] -- Victor 24320
Don't Play Me Cheap (Randolph, Zilner; Dial, Harry) [master BS-75481-1] -- Victor 24320

Armstrong, Louis (Trumpet, Vocal)
Whitlock, Elmer (Trumpet)
Randolph, Zilner (Trumpet)
Johnson, Keg (Trombone)
Brown, Scoville (Clarinet, Alto Saxophone)
Oldham, George (Clarinet, Alto Saxophone)
Johnson, Budd (Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone)
Beal, Charlie (Piano)
McKendrick, Mike (Guitar, Banjo)
Oldham, Bill (Bass, Tuba, Trombone)
Dial, Harry (Drums)

With this third set of sessions, Armstrong wraps up his commitment to Victor. On top of that, these are his last studio recordings for a year and a half (except for a Paris set sometime in October 1934). An inconceivable break for such an incomparable star at the pinnacle of his craft.

Louis Armstrong and His Harlem Hot Band (film)
October 21, 1933, Copenhagen, Denmark

I Cover The Waterfront
Dinah
Tiger Rag

A fabulous, oft-played short film of Armstrong in concert in Copenhagen. Lamentably brief, but you can see what all the shouting was about. A portion of "Dinah" is available online from leechvideo.com.

Louis Armstrong and His Hot Harlem Band
October 28, 1933, Vinterpalatset, Stockholm, Sweden

On The Sunny Side Of The Street
Chinatown, My Chinatown
You Rascal, You (I'll Be Glad When You're Dead)

Armstrong, Louis (Trumpet, Vocal)
Johnson, Charles (Trumpet)
DuConge, Peter (Clarinet, Alto Saxophone)
Tyree, Henry (Alto Saxophone)
Allen, Fletcher (Tenor Saxophone)
Baretto, Justo (Piano)
Arago, German (Bass)
Tynes, Oliver (Drums)

"Chinatown" and "You Rascal, You" were released on the Sonora label in a very limited pressing in 1934. All three tracks were later released on LP and CD: Musicmouth AL1900, Classic Jazz CJ1001, SR RHLP1238. Tracks are also included on the Musicdisk Jazz Anthology (F) JA5238.

Louis Armstrong And His Orchestra
October 1934, Paris, France

St. Louis Blues (Handy, W.C.) [master 1478wpp] -- Brunswick 500490
Tiger Rag (Rocca) [master 1479wpp] -- Brunswick 500490
Will You, Won't You Be My Baby (Quickell; Nesbitt) [master 1480 1/2wpp] -- Brunswick 500492
On The Sunny Side Of The Street Part 1 & 2 (McHugh, Jimmy; Fields, Dorothy) [master 1481 1/2wpp] -- Brunswick 500491
On The Sunny Side Of The Street Part 1 & 2 (McHugh, Jimmy; Fields, Dorothy) [master 1482 1/2wpp] -- Brunswick 500491
St. Louis Blues (Handy, W.C.) [master 1483wpp] -- Brunswick 500490
Song Of The Vipers (Armstrong, Louis) [master 1484wpp] -- Brunswick 500492

Armstrong, Louis (Trumpet, Vocal)
Hamilton, Jack (Trumpet)
Thompson, Leslie (Trumpet)
Guimaraes, Lionel (Trombone)
Conge, Pete De (Clarinet, Alto Saxophone)
Tyree, Henry (Alto Saxophone)
Pratt, Alfred (Tenor Saxophone)
Chittison, Herman (Piano)
Jefferson, Maceo (Guitar)
Arango, German (Bass)
Tines, Oliver (Drums)

This unusual session took place in Paris during Armstrong's second European tour. The band was made up of American expatriates, West Indians and Africans; they also toured with Louis through France, Belgium and Switzerland. A reputed first take of Will You, Won't You Be My Baby remains lost.

Louis Armstrong And His Orchestra
October 3, 1935, New York, NY

I'm In The Mood For Love (Fields, Dorothy; McHugh, Jimmy) [master 60021-AA] -- Decca F-5785
You Are My Lucky Star (Brown, Nacio H.; Freed, Arthur) [master 60022-A] -- Decca 580
La Cucaracha (Savion, Dominico; Washington, Ned) [master 60023] -- Decca 580
Got A Bran' New Suit (Dietz, Howard; Schwartz, Arthur) [master 60024-A] -- Unreleased
Got A Bran' New Suit (Dietz, Howard; Schwartz, Arthur) [master 60024-B] -- Decca F-5836/579

Armstrong, Louis (Trumpet, Vocal)
Davis, Leonard (Trumpet)
Aiken, Gus (Trumpet)
Bacon, Louis (Trumpet)
White, Harry (Trombone)
Archey, Jimmy (Trombone)
Jones, Henry (Alto Saxophone)
Holmes, Charlie (Alto Saxophone)
Madison, Bingie (Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone)
Walton, Greely (Tenor Saxophone)
Russell, Luis (Piano)
Blair, Lee (Guitar)
Foster, Pops (Bass)
Barbarin, Paul (Drums, Vibrophone)

Shell Chateau Radio Show (radio)
October 5, 1935, New York, NY

On The Sunny Side Of The Street
Ain't Misbehavin'

The earliest available radio appearance for Louis, hosted by Walter Winchell.

Louis Armstrong And His Orchestra
November 21, 1935, New York, NY

I've Got My Fingers Crossed (Koehler, Ted; McHugh, Jimmy) [master 60155-A] -- Decca 623
Old Man Moze (Armstrong, Louis; Randolph) [master 60156-A] -- Decca G-5895
Old Man Moze (Armstrong, Louis; Randolph) [master 60156-B or C] -- Unreleased and unavailable

Armstrong, Louis (Trumpet, Vocal)
Davis, Leonard (Trumpet)
Aiken, Gus (Trumpet)
Bacon, Louis (Trumpet)
White, Harry (Trombone)
Archey, Jimmy (Trombone)
Jones, Henry (Alto Saxophone)
Holmes, Charlie (Alto Saxophone)
Madison, Bingie (Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone)
Walton, Greely (Tenor Saxophone)
Russell, Luis (Piano)
Blair, Lee (Guitar)
Foster, Pops (Bass)
Barbarin, Paul (Drums, Vibrophone)

Louis Armstrong And His Orchestra
November 22, 1935, New York, NY

I've Got My Fingers Crossed (Koehler, Ted; McHugh, Jimmy) [master 60155-D] -- Decca 623
Old Man Moze (Armstrong, Louis; Randolph) [master 60156-D] -- Decca 622
Old Man Moze (Armstrong, Louis; Randolph) [master 60156-E] -- Decca 622
I'm Shooting High (Koehler, Ted; McHugh, Jimmy) [master 60157-C] -- Decca 623
Falling In Love With You (Young; Newman; Kahn) [master 60158-D] -- Decca 622

Armstrong, Louis (Trumpet, Vocal)
Davis, Leonard (Trumpet)
Aiken, Gus (Trumpet)
Bacon, Louis (Trumpet)
White, Harry (Trombone)
Archey, Jimmy (Trombone)
Jones, Henry (Alto Saxophone)
Holmes, Charlie (Alto Saxophone)
Madison, Bingie (Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone)
Walton, Greely (Tenor Saxophone)
Russell, Luis (Piano)
Blair, Lee (Guitar)
Foster, Pops (Bass)
Barbarin, Paul (Drums, Vibrophone)

Louis Armstrong And His Orchestra
December 13, 1935, New York, NY

Red Sails In The Sunset (Grosz, Wilhelm; Kennedy, James B.; Williams) [master 60227-A] -- Decca 648
On Treasure Island (Burke, Joseph A.; Leslie, Edgar) [master 60228-A] -- Decca 648

Armstrong, Louis (Trumpet, Vocal)
Davis, Leonard (Trumpet)
Aiken, Gus (Trumpet)
Bacon, Louis (Trumpet)
White, Harry (Trombone)
Archey, Jimmy (Trombone)
Jones, Henry (Alto Saxophone)
Holmes, Charlie (Alto Saxophone)
Madison, Bingie (Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone)
Walton, Greely (Tenor Saxophone)
Russell, Luis (Piano)
Blair, Lee (Guitar)
Foster, Pops (Bass)
Barbarin, Paul (Drums, Vibrophone)

Louis Armstrong And His Orchestra
December 19, 1935, New York, NY

Thanks A Million (Johnston, Arthur; Kahn, Gus) [master 60249-A] -- Decca 666
Thanks A Million (Johnston, Arthur; Kahn, Gus) [master 60249-B] -- Decca 666
Shoeshine Boy (Cahn, Sammy; Chaplin, Saul) [master 60250-A] -- Decca 672
Solitude (DeLange, Edgar; Ellington, Edward K.; Mills, Irving) [master 60251-A] -- Decca 666
Solitude (DeLange, Edgar; Ellington, Edward K.; Mills, Irving) [master 60251-B] -- Decca 666
Solitude (DeLange, Edgar; Ellington, Edward K.; Mills, Irving) [master 60251-C] -- Decca 666
I Hope Gabriel Likes My Music (Franklin, Dave) [master 60252-B] -- Decca 672
I Hope Gabriel Likes My Music (Franklin, Dave) [master 60252-C] -- Decca 672

Armstrong, Louis (Trumpet, Vocal)
Davis, Leonard (Trumpet)
Aiken, Gus (Trumpet)
Bacon, Louis (Trumpet)
White, Harry (Trombone)
Archey, Jimmy (Trombone)
Jones, Henry (Alto Saxophone)
Holmes, Charlie (Alto Saxophone)
Madison, Bingie (Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone)
Walton, Greely (Tenor Saxophone)
Russell, Luis (Piano)
Blair, Lee (Guitar)
Foster, Pops (Bass)
Barbarin, Paul (Drums, Vibrophone)

Louis Armstrong And His Orchestra
January 18, 1936, New York, NY

The Music Goes Round And Round (Farley, Edward J.) [master 60362-A] -- Decca 685
Rhythm Saved The World (Cahn, Sammy; Chaplin, Saul) [master 60363-A] -- Decca 685
Rhythm Saved The World (Cahn, Sammy; Chaplin, Saul) [master 60363-B] -- Decca 685

Armstrong, Louis (Trumpet, Vocal)
Davis, Leonard (Trumpet)
Aiken, Gus (Trumpet)
Bacon, Louis (Trumpet)
White, Harry (Trombone)
Archey, Jimmy (Trombone)
Jones, Henry (Alto Saxophone)
Holmes, Charlie (Alto Saxophone)
Madison, Bingie (Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone)
Walton, Greely (Tenor Saxophone)
Russell, Luis (Piano)
Blair, Lee (Guitar)
Foster, Pops (Bass)
Barbarin, Paul (Drums, Vibrophone)

Louis Armstrong And His Orchestra
February 4, 1936, New York, NY

I'm Putting All My Eggs In One Basket (Berlin, Irving) [master 60438-A] -- Decca 698
Yes! Yes! My! My! (She's Mine) (Cahn, Sammy; Chaplin, Saul) [master 60439-A] -- Decca 698

Armstrong, Louis (Trumpet, Vocal)
Berigan, Bunny (Trumpet)
Mayhew, Bob (Trumpet)
Philburn, Al (Trombone)
Waltzer, Phil (Alto Saxophone)
Ricci, Paul (Tenor Saxophone)
Trucker, Sid (Clarinet, Baritone Saxophone)
McGrath, Fulton (Piano)
Barbour, Dave (Guitar)
Peterson, Pete (Bass)
King, Stan (Drums)

Louis finds himself in a one-off session with a brand new band.

Louis Armstrong And His Orchestra
April 28, 1936, New York, NY

Somebody Stole My Break (Franklin, Dave) [master 61057-A] -- Decca 797

Armstrong, Louis (Trumpet, Vocal)
Smith, Ray "Dutch" (Speech)
Davis, Leonard (Trumpet)
Aiken, Gus (Trumpet)
Bacon, Louis (Trumpet)
White, Harry (Trombone)
Jones, Henry (Alto Saxophone)
Holmes, Charlie (Alto Saxophone)
Madison, Bingie (Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone)
Walton, Greely (Tenor Saxophone)
Russell, Luis (Piano)
Blair, Lee (Guitar)
Foster, Pops (Bass)
Barbarin, Paul (Drums)

Louis Armstrong And His Orchestra
April 28, 1936, New York, NY

I Come From A Musical Family (Franklin, Dave) [master 61058-A] -- Decca 797

Armstrong, Louis (Trumpet, Vocal)
Davis, Leonard (Trumpet)
Aiken, Gus (Trumpet)
Bacon, Louis (Trumpet)
White, Harry (Trombone)
Jones, Henry (Alto Saxophone)
Holmes, Charlie (Alto Saxophone)
Madison, Bingie (Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone)
Walton, Greely (Tenor Saxophone)
Russell, Luis (Piano)
Blair, Lee (Guitar)
Foster, Pops (Bass)
Barbarin, Paul (Drums)

Louis Armstrong And His Orchestra
April 29, 1936, New York, NY

If We Never Meet Again (Gerlach, Horace; Armstrong, Louis) [master 61059-A] -- Decca 906

Armstrong, Louis (Trumpet, Vocal)
Davis, Leonard (Trumpet)
Aiken, Gus (Trumpet)
Bacon, Louis (Trumpet)
White, Harry (Trombone)
Jones, Henry (Alto Saxophone)
Holmes, Charlie (Alto Saxophone)
Madison, Bingie (Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone)
Walton, Greely (Tenor Saxophone)
Russell, Luis (Piano)
Blair, Lee (Guitar)
Foster, Pops (Bass)
Barbarin, Paul (Drums)

Louis Armstrong And His Orchestra
May 18, 1936, New York, NY

Lyin' To Myself (Carmichael, Hoagy) [master 61106-A] -- Decca 835
Ev'ntide (Carmichael, Hoagy) [master 61107-A] -- Decca 835
Swing That Music (Gerlach, Horace; Armstrong, Louis) [master 61108-A] -- Decca 866
Thankful (Chaplin, Saul; Cahn, Sammy) [master 61109-A] -- Decca 866
Red Nose (Lake, Marion; Lake, Bonnie) [master 61110-A] -- Decca 1049
Mahogany Hall Stomp (Williams, Spencer) [master 61111-A] -- Decca 824

Armstrong, Louis (Trumpet, Vocal)
Davis, Leonard (Trumpet)
Aiken, Gus (Trumpet)
Bacon, Louis (Trumpet)
Archey, Jimmy (Trombone)
Jones, Henry (Alto Saxophone)
Holmes, Charlie (Alto Saxophone)
Madison, Bingie (Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone)
Walton, Greely (Tenor Saxophone)
Russell, Luis (Piano)
Blair, Lee (Guitar)
Foster, Pops (Bass)
Barbarin, Paul (Drums)

Before cutting out for a major film engagement in Hollywood, Louis and his band pull off a fine session, including one of Hoagy Carmichael's overlooked classics, "Ev'ntide". And if anyone has any doubt about Armstrong's ability to write great music, "Swing That Music" should put that to rest once and for all. It's a major accomplishment, with a head-spinning woodwind arrangement.

Pennies From Heaven (film)
July-August, 1936, Hollywood, California

Skeleton In The Closet

Armstrong's first featured role in a Hollywood musical beside Bing Crosby. Armstrong plays Henry, a hired musician at the Haunted House Cafe. Servants and subserviant roles were pretty much the only options available to blacks in the pre-civil-rights Hollywood - even for as big a star as Armstrong.

More info at imdb.com

Louis Armstrong With Jimmy Dorsey And His Orchestra
August 7, 1936, Los Angeles, CA

Skeleton In The Closet (Burke, Johnny; Johnson, Arthur) [master DLA-539-A] -- Decca 949
When Ruben Swings The Cuban (White, Ted; Flatow, Leon; Meskill, Jack) [master DLA-540-A] -- Decca 1049
Hurdy Gurdy Man (Chaplin, Saul; Cahn, Sammy) [master DLA-541-A] -- Decca 949
Dipper Mouth Blues (Armstrong, Louis; Oliver, Joe) [master DLA-542-A] -- Decca 906
Swing That Music (Gerlach, Horace; Armstrong, Louis) [master DLA-543-A] -- Decca 866

Armstrong, Louis (Trumpet, Vocal)
Thow, George (Trumpet)
Camarata, Toots (Trumpet)
Byrne, Bobby (Trombone)
Yukl, Joe (Trombone)
Mattison, Don (Trombone)
Dorsey, Jimmy (Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Conductor)
Stacey, Jack (Clarinet, Alto Saxophone)
Livingston, Fud (Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone)
Herfurt, Skeets (Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone)
Eps, Bobby Van (Piano)
Hillman, Roscoe (Guitar)
Taft, Jim (Bass)
McKinley, Ray (Drums)

Louis Armstrong, Frances Langford and Bing Crosby
August 17, 1936, New York, NY

Pennies From Heaven Medley: Let's Call A Heart A Heart, So Do I, Skeleton In The Closet [master DLA-579-A] -- Decca 15027
Pennies From Heaven (Burke, Johnny; Johnson, Arthur) [master DLA-580-A] -- Decca 15027

Armstrong, Louis (Trumpet, Vocal)
Crosby, Bing (Vocal)
Langford, Frances (Vocal)
Thow, George (Trumpet)
Camarata, Toots (Trumpet)
Byrne, Bobby (Trombone)
Yukl, Joe (Trombone)
Mattison, Don (Trombone)
Dorsey, Jimmy (Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Conductor)
Stacey, Jack (Clarinet, Alto Saxophone)
Livingston, Fud (Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone)
Herfurt, Skeets (Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone)
Eps, Bobby Van (Piano)
Hillman, Roscoe (Guitar)
Taft, Jim (Bass)
McKinley, Ray (Drums)

Louis Armstrong With The Polynesians
August 18, 1936, Los Angeles, CA

To You, Sweetheart, Aloha (Owens) [master DLA-581-A] -- Decca 914
On A Cocoanut Island (Anderson) [master DLA-582-A] -- Decca 914

Armstrong, Louis (Trumpet Vocal)
Koki, Sam (Steel Guitar)
Archer, George (Guitar, Vocal)
Baty, Harry (Guitar, Vocal)
Iona, Andy (Ukelele, Vocal)
Nawahi, Joe (Bass)
Hampton, Lionel (Drums, Vibrophone)

One of the oddest concepts of his career: Armstrong with a Hawaiian combo. But even this mismatch is nothing for Pops to top with his expected aplomb. Its uniqueness is further accentuated by the presence of old mate Lionel Hampton, who appeared briefly in the "Pennies From Heaven" film.

Norge Appliances Radio Show (radio)
Summer, 1936, New York, NY

Dinah
Swing That Music

Reunited with his New York orchestra, Louis swings his way through this radio appearance.

Norge Appliances Radio Show (radio)
Early 1937, New York, NY

When It's Sleepy Time Down South
St. Louis Blues
The Skeleton In The Closet

Louis Armstrong With Andy Iona And His Islanders
March 24, 1937, New York, NY

On A Little Bamboo Bridge (Sherman; Fletcher) [master 62070-A] -- Decca 1216
Hawaiian Hospitality (Kinney; Owens) [master 62071-A] -- Decca 1216

Armstrong, Louis (Trumpet, Vocal)
Koki, Sam (Steel Guitar, Vocal)
Archer, George (Guitar, Vocal)
Baty, Harry (Guitar, Vocal)
Iona, Andy (Ulekele, Vocal)
Nawahi, Joe (Bass)

Having achieved a small success with their previous recording, the Islanders/Polynesians reunite with Louis in New York for a second go-round. This time, the commercial success isn't as strong, and the concept is mercifully dropped once and for all.

Louis Armstrong And The Mills Brothers
April 7, 1937, New York, NY

Carry Me Back To Old Virginny (Bland, C.) [master 62116-A] -- Decca 1245
My Darling Nelly Gray (Hanby, B.R.) [master 62117-A] -- Decca 1245
My Darling Nelly Gray (Hanby, B.R.) [master 62117-B] -- Decca 1245

Armstrong, Louis (Trumpet, Vocal)
Mills, Harry (Vocal)
Mills, Herbert (Vocal)
Mills, Donald (Vocal)
Mills, John (Guitar, Vocal)

Now a much more satisfying pairing of musical talents, and a rare opportunity for Pops to relax, nestled in the mellow setting of the Mills Brothers' impeccable vocals. This is the first of four recording forays with the Mills over the course of the next three years, a collaboration that provided considerable musical growth and satisfaction.

Fleischmann's Yeast Program (radio)
April 16 1937, New York, NY

When It's Sleepy Time Down South
Dinah
The Skeleton In The Closet

Louis Armstrong And The Mills Brothers
June 29, 1937, New York, NY

In The Shade Of The Old Apple Tree (Williams, Harry H.; Alstyne, Egbert Van) [master 62322-A] -- Decca 1495
In The Shade Of The Old Apple Tree (Williams, Harry H.; Alstyne, Egbert Van) [master 62322-B] -- Decca 1495
The Old Folks At Home (swanee River) (Foster, Stephen) [master 62322-B] -- Decca 1360

Armstrong, Louis (Trumpet, Vocal)
Mills, Harry (Vocal)
Mills, Herbert (Vocal)
Mills, Donald (Vocal)
Mills, John (Guitar, Vocal)

A second set of beautifully realized American classics.

Louis Armstrong And His Orchestra
July 2, 1937, New York, NY

Public Melody Number One (Koehler, Ted; Arlen, Harold) [master 62328-A] -- Decca 1347
Yours And Mine (Freed, Arthur; Brown, Nacio Herb) [master 62329-A] -- Decca 1369
Red Cap (Hecht; Armstrong) [master 62330-A] -- Decca 1347

Armstrong, Louis (Trumpet, Vocal)
Hemphill, Shelton (Trumpet)
Bacon, Louis (Trumpet)
Allen, Henry Red (Trumpet)
Matthews, George (Trombone)
Washington, George (Trombone)
Higginbotham, J.C. (Trombone)
Clark, Pete (Alto Saxophone)
Holmes, Charlie (Alto Saxophone)
Nicholas, Albert (Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone)
Madison, Bingie (Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone)
Russell, Luis (Piano)
Blair, Lee (Guitar)
Foster, Pops (Bass)
Barbarin, Paul (Drums)

Louis Armstrong And His Orchestra
July 7, 1937, New York City, New York, NY

She's The Daughter Of A Planter From Havana (Chaplin; Kahn) [master 62335-A] -- Decca 1353
Alexander's Ragtime Band (Berlin, Irving) [master 62336-A] -- Decca 1408
Cuban Pete (Norman) [master 62337-A] -- Decca 1353
I've Got A Heart Full Of Rhythm (Armstrong, Louis; Gerlach, Horace) [master 62338-A] -- Decca 1408
Sun Showers (Brown, Nacio Herb; Freed, Arthur) [master 62339-A] -- Decca 1369

Armstrong, Louis (Trumpet, Vocal)
Hemphill, Shelton (Trumpet)
Bacon, Louis (Trumpet)
Allen, Henry Red (Trumpet)
Matthews, George (Trombone)
Washington, George (Trombone)
Higginbotham, J.C. (Trombone)
Clark, Pete (Alto Saxophone)
Holmes, Charlie (Alto Saxophone)
Nicholas, Albert (Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone)
Madison, Bingie (Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone)
Russell, Luis (Piano)
Blair, Lee (Guitar)
Foster, Pops (Bass)
Barbarin, Paul (Drums)

Louis reunites in the studio with his New York orchestra after over a year.

Aunt Jemima Pancake Flour Show (radio)
Mid 1937, New York, NY

Swing That Music

Artists and Models (film)
October, 1937, Los Angeles, CA

Public Melody Number One (Koehler, Ted; Lane, Burton)

Armstrong is featured in a specialty duet with an almost-blackfaced Martha Raye in a specialty musical act set in Harlem.

More info at imdb.com

Doctor Rhythm (film)
October, 1937, Los Angeles, CA

Satch is a trumpet player in this Bing Crosby vehicle.

Every Day's a Holiday (film)
October, 1937, Los Angeles, CA

Armstrong plays himself in this Mae West comedy.

More info at imdb.com

Louis Armstrong And His Orchestra
November 15, 1937, Los Angeles, CA

Once In A While (Butler, W.) [master DLA-1084-A] -- Decca 1560
On The Sunny Side Of The Street (Fields, Dorothy; McHugh, Jimmy) [master DLA-1085-A] -- Decca 1560

Armstrong, Louis (Trumpet, Vocal)
Higginbotham, J.C. (Trombone)
Holmes, Charlie (Alto Saxophone)
Madison, Bingie (Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone)
Russell, Luis (Piano)
Blair, Lee (Guitar)
Callender, Red (Bass)
Barbarin, Paul (Drums)

L.A. in L.A. with featured players from his N.Y. Orchestra. A scaled-down "All-Star" version of the Orchestra accompanies Satch on these two tracks. There is a supposed Take B of "Sunny Side" on Canadian Decca.

Louis Armstrong And His Orchestra
January 12, 1938, Los Angeles, CA

Satchelmouth Swing (Armstrong, Louis; Armstrong, Lil; Williams, Clarence) [master DLA-1132-A] -- Decca 1636
Jubilee (Adams, Stanley; Carmichael, Hoagy) [master DLA-1133-A] -- Decca 1635
Struttin' With Some Barbecue (Hardin, Lil) [master DLA-1134-A] -- Decca 1661
Trumpet Player's Lament (Burke, Johnny; Monaco, James V.) [master DLA-1135-A] -- Decca 1653
Trumpet Player's Lament (outtake) (Burke, Johnny; Monaco, James V.) [master DLA-1135-C] -- Decca 1653

Armstrong, Louis (Trumpet, Vocal)
Hemphill, Shelton (Trumpet)
Bacon, Louis (Trumpet)
Allen, Henry Red (Trumpet)
Wilbur de Paris (Trombone)
Washington, George (Trombone)
Higginbotham, J.C. (Trombone)
Clark, Pete (Alto Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone)
Holmes, Charlie (Alto Saxophone)
Nicholas, Albert (Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone)
Madison, Bingie (Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone)
Russell, Luis (Piano)
Blair, Lee (Guitar)
Callender, Red (Bass)
Barbarin, Paul (Drums, Vibrophone)

Louis Armstrong And His Orchestra
January 13, 1938, Los Angeles, CA

I Double Dare You (Shand, Terry; Eaton, Jimmy) [master DLA-1136-A] -- Decca 1636
I Double Dare You (Shand, Terry; Eaton, Jimmy) [master DLA-1136-B] -- Decca 1636
True Confession (Coslow, Sam; Hollander, Fredrick) [master DLA-1137-A] -- Decca 1635
True Confession (Coslow, Sam; Hollander, Fredrick) [master DLA-1137-B] -- Decca 1635
Let That Be A Lesson To You (Mercer, Johnny; Whiting, Richard) [master DLA-1138-A] -- Decca 1661
Let That Be A Lesson To You (Mercer, Johnny; Whiting, Richard) [master DLA-1138-B] -- Decca 1661
Sweet As A Song (Gordon, Mack; Revel, Harry) [master DLA-1139-A] -- Decca 1653

Armstrong, Louis (Trumpet, Vocal)
Hemphill, Shelton (Trumpet)
Bacon, Louis (Trumpet)
Allen, Henry Red (Trumpet)
Wilbur de Paris (Trombone)
Washington, George (Trombone)
Higginbotham, J.C. (Trombone)
Clark, Pete (Alto Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone)
Holmes, Charlie (Alto Saxophone)
Nicholas, Albert (Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone)
Madison, Bingie (Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone)
Russell, Luis (Piano)
Blair, Lee (Guitar)
Callender, Red (Bass)
Barbarin, Paul (Drums, Vibrophone)

Louis Armstrong And His Orchestra
May 13, 1938, New York, NY

So Little Time (So Much To Do) (Hill, William; DeRose, Peter) [master 63775-A] -- Decca 1822
Mexican Swing (Shand, Terry; Lee, Marvin) [master 63776-A] -- Decca 1822
As Long As You Live (You'll Be Dead If You Die) (Hanighen, Bernie; Mercer, Johnny) [master 63777-A] -- Decca 2230
When The Saints Go Marching In (Traditional) [master 63778-A] -- Decca 2230

Armstrong, Louis (Trumpet, Vocal)
Hemphill, Shelton (Trumpet)
Higginbotham, J.C. (Trombone)
Cole, Rupert (Clarinet, Alto Saxophone)
Holmes, Charlie (Alto Saxophone)
Madison, Bingie (Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone)
Russell, Luis (Piano)
Blair, Lee (Guitar)
Pops, Foster (Bass)
Barbarin, Paul (Drums)

First of another pair of dates with the scaled-down Orchestra.

Louis Armstrong And His Orchestra
May 18, 1938, New York, NY

On The Sentimental Side (Burke, Johnny; Monaco, James V.) [master 63809-A] -- Decca 1841
It's Wonderful (Wells, Cameron S.; Smith, Stuff; Parish, Mitchell) [master 63810-A] -- Decca 1841
Something Tells Me (Mercer, Johnny; Warren, Harry) [master 63811-A] -- Decca 1842
Love Walked In (Gershwin, George; Gershwin, Ira) [master 63812-A] -- Decca 1842

Armstrong, Louis (Trumpet, Vocal)
Hemphill, Shelton (Trumpet)
Higginbotham, J.C. (Trombone)
Cole, Rupert (Clarinet, Alto Saxophone)
Holmes, Charlie (Alto Saxophone)
Madison, Bingie (Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone)
Russell, Luis (Piano)
Blair, Lee (Guitar)
Foster, Pops (Bass)
Barbarin, Paul (Drums)

Louis Armstrong And The Mills Brothers
June 10, 1938, New York, NY

The Flat Foot Floogie (Green, B.; Gaillard, S.; Stewart, S.) [master 63950-A] -- Decca 1876
The Song Is Ended (Berlin, Irving) [master 63967-A] -- Decca 1892
My Walking Stick (Berlin, Irving) [master 63968-A] -- Decca 1892

Armstrong, Louis (Trumpet, Vocal)
Mills, Harry (Vocal)
Mills, Herbert (Vocal)
Mills, Donald (Vocal)
Mills, John (Vocal)
Brown, Norman (Guitar)

Louis Armstrong With The Decca Mixed Choir
June 14, 1938, New York, NY

Shadrack (McGlimsey) [master 63982-A] -- Decca 1913
Going To Shout All Over God's Heaven (Trad.) [master 63983-A] -- Decca 2085
Nobody Knows The Trouble I've Seen (Trad.) [master 63984-A] -- Decca 2085
Jonah And The Whale (McGlimsey) [master 63985-C] -- Decca 1913

Armstrong, Louis (Trumpet, Vocal)
Murray, Lyn (Conductor, Arranger)
Unknown (Piano)
Unknown (Guitar)
Unknown (Bass)
Unknown (Drums)
Choir, Decca Mixed (Vocal)

Louis digs into his gospel roots for this brace of inspirational numbers.

Louis Armstrong And His Orchestra
June 24, 1938, New York, NY

Naturally (Barris, Harry; McCarthy, Joe) [master 64227-A] -- Decca 1937
I've Got A Pocketful Of Dreams (Burke, Johnny; Monaco, James V.) [master 64228-A] -- Decca 1937
I Can't Give You Anything But Love (Fields, Dorothy; McHugh, Jimmy) [master 64229-A] -- Decca 2042
Ain't Misbehavin' (Waller, Thomas; Razaf, Andy; Brooks, H.) [master 64230-B] -- Decca 2042

Armstrong, Louis (Trumpet, Vocal)
Cusumano, Bob (Trumpet)
McGee, Johnny (Trumpet)
Philburn, Al (Trombone)
Stoneburn, Sid (Clarinet)
Jaffe, Natte (Piano)
Barbour, Dave (Guitar)
Stephens, Haig (Bass)
Weiss, Sam (Drums)

This lineup of the orchestra is used for this session only. Guitarist Dave Barbour will later front a band that backs up Louis and Ella Fitzgerald in a 1951 recording.

Saturday Night Swing Club (radio)
June 25, 1938, New York, NY

Twelfth Street Rag
Swing That Music
The Flat Foot Floogie

Radio appearance with Leith Stevens' Orchestra and The Mills Brothers.

Louis Armstrong
August 11, 1938, New York, NY

Elder Eatmore's Sermon On Throwing Stones (Rogers) [master 64436-D] -- Decca 15043
Elder Eatmore's Sermon On Generosity (Rogers) [master 64437-C] -- Decca 15043

Armstrong, Louis (Trumpet, Vocal)
Mills, Harry (Vocal, Organ)
Unknown personnel (Choir)

A rare novelty record from Pops, delivered in the style of a New Orleans preacher/shuckster. Armstrong had been mistrustful of clergy since his youth and it comes out here. The choir that appears on the second of these odd tracks - billed as "Louis Armstrong Humorous Monologue" - isn't identifiable, but may be the Lyn Murray Choir, which had just featured with Satch in a June recording session. The organist, however, is Mills Brother Harry, on his own for the day.

Going Places (film)
September, 1938, Los Angeles, CA

Jeepers Creepers

Armstrong's largest role was as a racehorse trainer named Gabriel who tends a horse named Jeepers Creepers that can only be calmed down and ridden when Gabriel sings the song of the same name. The film's conclusion features Armstrong and his band driving in a buggy down the racetrack as Jeepers Creepers competes for a title. Armstrong does the best he can do with the role of a shabby, childlike servant who is referred to as "Uncle Tom".

More info at imdb.com

Radio Performance (radio)
October, 1938, New Orleans, LA

The Skeleton In The Closet
Swing That Music
Confessin' That I Love You

Louis makes an on-air appearance in his hometown, accompanied by his full orchestra.

Martin Block's Swing Show (radio)
December 14, 1938, New York, NY

Tiger Rag
Jeepers Creepers
I Got Rhythm
On The Sunny Side Of The Street
The Blues
Honeysuckle Rose

Armstrong, Louis (Trumpet, Vocal)
Teagarden, Jack (Trombone)
Freeman, Bud (Tenor Saxophone)
Waller, Fats (Piano, Vocal)
Spergel, Bob (Guitar)
Peterson, Pete (Bass)
Wettling, George (Drums)

Remarkably energized jam session featuring Armstrong, Jack Teagarden and the legendary Fats Waller, in his only recordings with Satch.

Paul Whiteman's Christmas Eve Concert (radio)
December 24, 1938, New York, NY

Shadrack
Nobody Knows The Trouble I've Seen

Holiday performance at Carnegie Hall, accompanied by the Lyn Murray Choir.

Louis Armstrong And His Orchestra
January 18, 1939, New York, NY

Jeepers Creepers (Warren, Harry; Mercer, John H.) [master 64907-A] -- Decca 2267
What Is This Thing Called Swing? (Gerlach; Armstrong) [master 64908-A] -- Decca 2267

Armstrong, Louis (Trumpet, Vocal)
Hemphill, Shelton (Trumpet)
Johnson, Otis (Trumpet)
Allen, Henry Red (Trumpet)
Wilbur de Paris (Trombone)
Washington, George (Trombone)
Higginbotham, J.C. (Trombone)
Cole, Rupert (Alto Saxophone)
Holmes, Charlie (Alto Saxophone)
Nicholas, Albert (Tenor Saxophone)
Madison, Bingie (Tenor Saxophone)
Russell, Luis (Piano)
Blair, Lee (Guitar)
Foster, Pops (Bass)
Catlett, Sidney (Drums)

In the studio with his own orchestra for the first time in eight months.

Louis Armstrong With The Casa Loma Orchestra
February 20, 1939, New York, NY

Rockin' Chair (Carmichael, Hoagy) [master 65045-A] -- Decca 2395
Lazy Bones (Mercer; Carmichael) [master 65046-A] -- Decca 2395

Armstrong, Louis (Trumpet, Vocal)
Zullo, Frank (Trumpet)
Watts, Grady (Trumpet)
Dunham, Sonny (Trumpet)
McEachern, Murray (Trombone)
Russell Rauch (Trombone)
Pee Wee Hunt (Trombone, Vocal)
Ralston, Art (Alto Saxophone)
Hutchinrider, Clarence (Alto Saxophone)
Davis, Pat (Tenor Saxophone)
D'Andrea, Dan (Tenor Saxophone)
Sargent, Kenny (Saxophone)
Hall, Howard (Piano)
Blanchette, Jack (Guitar)
Dennis, Stan (Bass)
Briglia, Tony (Drums)

Louis Armstrong And His Orchestra
April 5, 1939, New York, NY

Hear Me Talkin' To Ya (Armstrong, Louis) [master 65344-A] -- Decca 2405
Save It, Pretty Mama (Redman, Don; Davis, J.; Dennicker, P.) [master 65345-A] -- Decca 2405
West End Blues (Oliver, Joe) [master 65346-A] -- Decca 2480
Savoy Blues (Ory, Edward) [master 65347-A] -- Decca 2538

Armstrong, Louis (Trumpet, Vocal)
Hemphill, Shelton (Trumpet)
Johnson, Otis (Trumpet)
Allen, Henry Red (Trumpet)
Wilbur de Paris (Trombone)
Washington, George (Trombone)
Higginbotham, J.C. (Trombone)
Cole, Rupert (Alto Saxophone)
Holmes, Charlie (Alto Saxophone)
Garland, Joe (Tenor Saxophone)
Madison, Bingie (Tenor Saxophone)
Russell, Luis (Piano)
Blair, Lee (Guitar)
Foster, Pops (Bass)
Catlett, Sidney (Drums)

Louis Armstrong
April 25, 1939, New York City,

I'm Confessin' (That I Love You) (Dougherty; Reynolds; Neiburg) [master 65460-A] -- Decca 2615
Our Monday Date (Armstrong; Hines) [master 65461-A] -- Decca 2615
If It's Good (Then I Want It) (Marks; Hirsch) [master 65462-A] -- Decca 2480
Me And Brother Bill (Sweet; Armstrong, Louis) [master 65463-A] -- Decca 2538
Happy Birthday To Bing (Traditional) -- Decca 2538

Armstrong, Louis (Trumpet, Vocal)
Hemphill, Shelton (Trumpet)
Johnson, Otis (Trumpet)
Allen, Henry Red (Trumpet)
Wilbur de Paris (Trombone)
Washington, George (Trombone)
Higginbotham, J.C. (Trombone)
Cole, Rupert (Alto Saxophone)
Holmes, Charlie (Alto Saxophone)
Garland, Joe (Tenor Saxophone)
Madison, Bingie (Tenor Saxophone)
Russell, Luis (Piano)
Blair, Lee (Guitar)
Foster, Pops (Bass)
Catlett, Sidney (Drums)

A happy set of recordings harkening back to the old OKeh days and the Hot Fives. Armstrong's recording of Happy Birthday was delivered to Bing Crosby on his 35th birthday on May 2, 1939.

Louis Armstrong And His Orchestra
June 15, 1939, New York, NY

Baby Won't You Please Come Home? (Warfield, C.; Williams, C.) [master 65824-A] -- Decca 2729
Poor Old Joe (Carmichael, Hoagy) [master 65825-A] -- Odeon Argentina 284649
Shanty Boat On The Mississippi (Shand; Eaton) [master 65826-A] -- Decca 2729

Armstrong, Louis (Trumpet, Vocal)
Hemphill, Shelton (Trumpet)
Flood, Bernard (Trumpet)
Allen, Henry Red (Trumpet)
Wilbur de Paris (Trombone)
Washington, George (Trombone)
Higginbotham, J.C. (Trombone)
Cole, Rupert (Alto Saxophone)
Holmes, Charlie (Alto Saxophone)
Garland, Joe (Tenor Saxophone)
Madison, Bingie (Tenor Saxophone)
Russell, Luis (Piano)
Blair, Lee (Guitar)
Foster, Pops (Bass)
Catlett, Sidney (Drums)

"Poor Old Joe" was rerecorded in December, but this version saw light on an Argentinean disc.

ASCAP Award Concert, Carnegie Hall (radio)
October 6, 1939, New York, NY

When It's Sleepy Time Down South
Old Man Mose
What Is This Thing Called Swing?

Louis Armstrong with The Benny Goodman Orchestra
October 14, 1939, New York, NY

Ain't Misbehavin'

Two giants meet, along with Fletcher Henderson and Lionel Hampton. Armstrong and Goodman reportedly didn't much care for each other.

Louis Armstrong And His Orchestra
December 18, 1939, New York, NY

Poor Old Joe (Carmichael, Hoagy) [master 66984-A] -- Decca 3011
You're A Lucky Guy (Cahn; Chaplin) [master 66985-A] -- Decca 2934
You're Just A No Account (Cahn; Chaplin) [master 66986-A] -- Decca 2934
Bye And Bye (Trad.) [master 66987-A] -- Decca 3011

Armstrong, Louis (Trumpet, Vocal)
Flood, Bernard (Trumpet)
Hemphill, Shelton (Trumpet)
Allen, Henry Red (Trumpet)
Wilbur de Paris (Trombone)
Washington, George (Trombone)
Higginbotham, J.C. (Trombone)
Cole, Rupert (Alto Saxophone)
Holmes, Charlie (Alto Saxophone)
Garland, Joe (Tenor Saxophone)
Madison, Bingie (Tenor Saxophone)
Russell, Luis (Piano)
Blair, Lee (Guitar)
Foster, Pops (Bass)
Catlett, Sidney (Drums)

Radio Broadcast (radio)
December 18, 1939, Cotton Club, New York, NY

When It's Sleepy Time Down South
Harlem Stomp

Louis Armstrong And His Orchestra
March 14, 1940, New York, NY

Hep Cats' Ball (Palmer; Armstrong, Louis; Robinson) [master 67321-A] -- Decca 3283
You've Got Me Voodoo'd (Armstrong, Louis; Russell; Lawrence) [master 67322-A] -- Decca 3092
Harlem Stomp (Higgenbotham) [master 67323-A] -- Decca 3092
Wolverine Blues (Morton) [master 67324-A] -- Decca 3105
Lazy 'Sippi Steamer (Armstrong, Louis; Selman; Russell) [master 67325-A] -- Decca 3283

Armstrong, Louis (Trumpet, Vocal)
Flood, Bernard (Trumpet)
Hemphill, Shelton (Trumpet)
Allen, Henry Red (Trumpet)
Wilbur de Paris (Trombone)
Washington, George (Trombone)
Higginbotham, J.C. (Trombone)
Cole, Rupert (Alto Saxophone)
Holmes, Charlie (Alto Saxophone)
Garland, Joe (Tenor Saxophone)
Madison, Bingie (Tenor Saxophone)
Russell, Luis (Piano)
Blair, Lee (Guitar)
Foster, Pops (Bass)
Catlett, Sidney (Drums)

Radio Broadcast (radio)
March 22, 1940, Cotton Club, New York, NY

Keep The Rhythm Going

Radio Broadcast (radio)
March 24, 1940, Cotton Club, New York, NY

Confessin'

Radio Broadcast (radio)
April 9, 1940, Cotton Club, New York, NY

Darling Nelly Gray

Louis Armstrong And The Mills Brothers
April 10, 1940, New York, NY

W.P.A. (Jones, J.) [master 67519-A] -- Decca 3151
Boog-It (Palmer, J.; Calloway, C.; Ram, R.) [master 67520-A] -- Decca 3180

Armstrong, Louis (Trumpet, Vocal)
Mills, Harry (Vocal)
Mills, Herbert (Vocal)
Mills, Donald (Vocal)
Mills, John (Vocal)
Brown, Norman (Guitar)

For the final time, Pops shares a studio with the Millses, recording four sensational vocal treasures.

Louis Armstrong And The Mills Brothers
April 11, 1940, New York, NY

Cherry (Redman, D.) [master 67530-A] -- Decca 3180
Marie (Berlin, Irving) [master 67531-A] -- Decca 3151

Armstrong, Louis (Trumpet, Vocal)
Mills, Harry (Vocal)
Mills, Herbert (Vocal)
Mills, Donald (Vocal)
Mills, John (Vocal)
Brown, Norman (Guitar)

Radio Broadcast (radio)
April 15, 1940, New York, NY

Lazy River
Struttin' With Some Barbecue

Louis Armstrong And His Orchestra
May 1, 1940, New York, NY

Sweethearts On Parade (Newman; Lombardo) [master 67648-A] -- Decca 3235
You Run Your Mouth, I'll Run My Business (Armstrong, Louis) [master 67649-A] -- Decca 3204
Cut Off My Legs And Call Me Shorty (Raye; Alexander) [master 67650-A] -- Decca 3235
Cain And Abel (Fensteck; Loman) [master 67651-A] -- Decca 3204

Armstrong, Louis (Trumpet, Vocal)
Flood, Bernard (Trumpet)
Hemphill, Shelton (Trumpet)
Allen, Henry Red (Trumpet)
Wilbur de Paris (Trombone)
Washington, George (Trombone)
Higginbotham, J.C. (Trombone)
Cole, Rupert (Alto Saxophone)
Holmes, Charlie (Alto Saxophone)
Garland, Joe (Tenor Saxophone)
Madison, Bingie (Tenor Saxophone)
Russell, Luis (Piano)
Blair, Lee (Guitar)
Foster, Pops (Bass)
Catlett, Sidney (Drums)

Louis Armstrong And His Orchestra
May 27, 1940, New York, NY

Perdido Street Blues (Armstrong, Lil) [master 67817-A] -- Decca 18090
2:19 Blues (Desdume, Mamie) [master 67818-A] -- Decca 18090
Down In Honky Tonk Town (Smith; McCarron) [master 67819-A] -- Decca 18091
Down In Honky Tonk Town (Smith; McCarron) [master 67819-B] -- Decca 18091

Armstrong, Louis (Trumpet, Vocal)
Jones, Claude (Trombone)
Bechet, Sidney (Clarinet, Saxophone)
Russell, Luis (Piano)
Addison, Bernard (Guitar)
Braud, Wellman (Bass)
Singleton, Zutty (Drums)

One-time gathering of these musicians. Alterate takes of Perdido Street Blues and 2:19 Blues have been reported.

Louis Armstrong And His Orchestra
May 27, 1940, New York, NY

Coal Cart Blues (Armstrong, Louis; Hardin, Lil) [master 67820-A] -- Decca 18092

Armstrong, Louis (Trumpet, Vocal)
Bechet, Sidney (Clarinet, Saxophone)
Addison, Bernard (Guitar)
Braud, Wellman (Bass)

Louis Armstrong And His Hot Seven
March 10, 1941, New York, NY

Ev'rything's Been Done Before (Adamson; Knopf; King) [master 68796-A] -- Decca 3825
I Cover The Waterfront (Green; Heyman) [master 68797-A] -- Decca 3700
In The Gloaming (Harrison; Orred) [master 68798-B] -- Decca 3825
Long, Long Ago (Bayley) [master 68799-A] -- Decca 3700

Armstrong, Louis (Trumpet, Vocal)
Washington, George (Trombone)
Robinson, Prince (Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone)
Russell, Luis (Piano)
Lucie, Lawrence (Guitar)
Williams, John (Bass)
Catlett, Sidney (Drums)

A scaled-down cast of characters culled from the Armstrong Orchestra -- with the exception of John Williams on bass. A brief return to the classic 1920's format and a premonition of the soon-to-be created All-Stars. Take A of In The Gloaming is purportedly available.

Louis Armstrong And His Hot Seven
April 11, 1941, New York, NY

Hey Lawdy Mama (Easton) [master 68997-A] -- Decca 3756
I'll Get Mine Bye And Bye (Davis) [master 68998-A] -- Decca 3900
Now Do You Call That A Buddy? (Wilson) [master 68999-A] -- Decca 3796
Yes Suh! (Dowell; Razaf, Andy) [master 69000-C] -- Decca 3900

Armstrong, Louis (Trumpet, Vocal)
Washington, George (Trombone)
Robinson, Prince (Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone)
Russell, Luis (Piano)
Lucie, Lawrence (Guitar)
Williams, John (Bass)
Catlett, Sidney (Drums)

Louis Armstrong And His Orchestra
November 16, 1941, Chicago, IL

When It's Sleepy Time Down South (Rene, L. and O.; Muse) [master 93787-A] -- Decca 4140
Leap Frog (Garland) [master 93788-A] -- Decca 4106
I Used To Love You (but It's All Over Now) (Tilzer; Brown) [master 93789-A] -- Decca 4106
I Used To Love You (but It's All Over Now) (Tilzer; Brown) [master 93789-B] -- Decca 4106
You Rascal, You (I'll Be Glad When You're Dead) (Theard) [master 93790-A] -- Decca 4140

Armstrong, Louis (Trumpet, Vocal)
Galbreath, Frank (Trumpet)
Hemphill, Shelton (Trumpet)
Prince, Gene (Trumpet)
Washington, George (Trombone)
Greene, Normal (Trombone)
Chambers, Henderson (Trombone)
Cole, Rupert (Alto Saxophone)
Frye, Carl (Alto Saxophone)
Robinson, Prince (Tenor Saxophone, Clarinet)
Garland, Joe (Tenor Saxophone, Clarinet, Bass Saxophone)
Russell, Luis (Piano)
Lucie, Lawrence (Guitar)
Alvis, Hayes (Bass)
Catlett, Sidney (Drums)

WBBM Broadcast (radio)
November 17, 1941, Grand Terrace, Chicago, IL

Basin Street Blues
Leap Frog
Exactly Like You
When It's Sleepy Time Down South

WBBM Broadcast (radio)
November 27, 1941, Chicago, IL

When It's Sleepy Time Down South
Swing That Music
Blues For The Second Line
Song Of The Islands
Harlem Stomp
Panama Rag
When It's Sleepy Time Down South

MBS Broadcast (radio)
April 1, 1942, Casa Manana, Culver City, CA

When It's Sleepy Time Down South
Shine
Shoe Shine Boy
Zoot Suit
Basin Street Blues
I Surrender Dear
You Don't Know What Love Is

Armstrong, Louis (Trumpet, Vocal)
Galbreath, Frank (Trumpet)
Hemphill, Shelton (Trumpet)
Flood, Bernard (Trumpet)
Washington, George (Trombone)
Whitney, James (Trombone)
Chambers, Henderson (Trombone)
Cole, Rupert (Alto Saxophone)
Frye, Carl (Alto Saxophone)
Robinson, Prince (Tenor Saxophone, Clarinet)
Garland, Joe (Tenor Saxophone)
Russell, Luis (Piano)
Lucie, Lawrence (Guitar)
Simmons, John (Bass)
Catlett, Sidney (Drums)

MBS Broadcast (radio)
April 4, 1942, Casa Manana, Culver City, CA

Leap Frog
Coquette
When It's Sleepy Time Down South

Armstrong, Louis (Trumpet, Vocal)
Galbreath, Frank (Trumpet)
Hemphill, Shelton (Trumpet)
Flood, Bernard (Trumpet)
Washington, George (Trombone)
Whitney, James (Trombone)
Chambers, Henderson (Trombone)
Cole, Rupert (Alto Saxophone)
Frye, Carl (Alto Saxophone)
Robinson, Prince (Tenor Saxophone, Clarinet)
Garland, Joe (Tenor Saxophone)
Russell, Luis (Piano)
Lucie, Lawrence (Guitar)
Simmons, John (Bass)
Catlett, Sidney (Drums)

MBS Broadcast (radio)
April 10, 1942, Casa Manana, Culver City, CA

Cash For Your Trash (Get Some)

Armstrong, Louis (Trumpet, Vocal)
Galbreath, Frank (Trumpet)
Hemphill, Shelton (Trumpet)
Flood, Bernard (Trumpet)
Washington, George (Trombone)
Whitney, James (Trombone)
Chambers, Henderson (Trombone)
Cole, Rupert (Alto Saxophone)
Frye, Carl (Alto Saxophone)
Robinson, Prince (Tenor Saxophone, Clarinet)
Garland, Joe (Tenor Saxophone)
Russell, Luis (Piano)
Lucie, Lawrence (Guitar)
Simmons, John (Bass)
Catlett, Sidney (Drums)

MBS Broadcast (radio)
April 15, 1942, Casa Manana, Culver City, CA

I Never Knew
Leap Frog

Armstrong, Louis (Trumpet, Vocal)
Galbreath, Frank (Trumpet)
Hemphill, Shelton (Trumpet)
Flood, Bernard (Trumpet)
Washington, George (Trombone)
Whitney, James (Trombone)
Chambers, Henderson (Trombone)
Cole, Rupert (Alto Saxophone)
Frye, Carl (Alto Saxophone)
Robinson, Prince (Tenor Saxophone, Clarinet)
Garland, Joe (Tenor Saxophone)
Russell, Luis (Piano)
Lucie, Lawrence (Guitar)
Simmons, John (Bass)
Catlett, Sidney (Drums)

Louis Armstrong And His Orchestra
April 17, 1942, Los Angeles, CA

Cash For Your Trash, (Get Some) (Waller, Thomas; Kirkeby) [master DLA-2974-A] -- Decca 4229
Among My Souvenirs (Nicholls; Leslie) [master DLA-2975-A] -- Decca 4327
Among My Souvenirs (Nicholls; Leslie) [master DLA-2975-B] -- Vocalion VL3851
Coquette (Berlin, Irving) [master DLA-2976-A] -- Decca 4327
I Never Knew (Rito; Kahn) [master DLA-2977-A] -- Decca 4229

Armstrong, Louis (Trumpet, Vocal)
Galbreath, Frank (Trumpet)
Hemphill, Shelton (Trumpet)
Flood, Bernard (Trumpet)
Washington, George (Trombone)
Whitney, James (Trombone)
Chambers, Henderson (Trombone)
Cole, Rupert (Alto Saxophone)
Frye, Carl (Alto Saxophone)
Robinson, Prince (Tenor Saxophone, Clarinet)
Garland, Joe (Tenor Saxophone, Bass Saxophone)
Russell, Luis (Piano)
Lucie, Lawrence (Guitar)
Simmons, John (Bass)
Catlett, Sidney (Drums)

This session concludes Louis' pre-war output of commercial recordings. At about this time, the American Federation of Musicians (AFM) calls for a self-imposed ban on recording for the duration of World War II. An alternate take of COQUETTE is purportedly available.

Soundies (film)
April 20, 1942, Los Angeles, CA

Swingin' On Nothing
     Middleton, Velma (Vocal)
I'll Be Glad When You're Dead You Rascal You
When It's Sleepy Time Down South
Shine

Armstrong, Louis (Trumpet, Vocal)
Galbreath, Frank (Trumpet)
Hemphill, Shelton (Trumpet)
Flood, Bernard (Trumpet)
Washington, George (Trombone)
Whitney, James (Trombone)
Chambers, Henderson (Trombone)
Cole, Rupert (Alto Saxophone)
Frye, Carl (Alto Saxophone)
Robinson, Prince (Tenor Saxophone, Clarinet)
Garland, Joe (Tenor Saxophone)
Russell, Luis (Piano)
Lucie, Lawrence (Guitar)
Simmons, John (Bass)
Catlett, Sidney (Drums)

These four "Soundies" are promotional films that are genuine predecessors to MTV. They are wonderfully clean samples of Louis at work in his prime (though the soundtracks are prerecorded). Though the material is largely dated ("You Rascal You" and "Shine" having been featured in a short film a decade earlier), an instant classic is created in "Swingin' on Nothing", which features a hefty Velma Middleton doing her astounding breakdance routine.

MBS Broadcast (radio)
April 22, 1942, Casa Manana, Culver City, CA

Blues In The Night
Harlem Stomp
When It's Sleepy Time Down South

Armstrong, Louis (Trumpet, Vocal)
Galbreath, Frank (Trumpet)
Hemphill, Shelton (Trumpet)
Flood, Bernard (Trumpet)
Washington, George (Trombone)
Whitney, James (Trombone)
Chambers, Henderson (Trombone)
Cole, Rupert (Alto Saxophone)
Frye, Carl (Alto Saxophone)
Robinson, Prince (Tenor Saxophone, Clarinet)
Garland, Joe (Tenor Saxophone)
Russell, Luis (Piano)
Lucie, Lawrence (Guitar)
Simmons, John (Bass)
Catlett, Sidney (Drums)