Category: Armstrong, Louis

Louis Armstrong in exclusive interview from CBC’s Hot Air archive

I’ll be posting interviews from the CBC-Radio Canada archives this week. The Bob Smith Hot Air archive is a treasure trove of approximately 50 interviews Smith recorded with some of the greatest stars of the day, from the world of jazz and beyond. Captured between 1950 and 1982, these interviews include conversations with Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn, Harry James, Oscar Peterson and Lena Horne, as well as Sammy Davis Jr., Bill Cosby, Harry Belafonte, Liza Minnelli and many others.

This Hot Air interview with the legendary Louis Armstrong took place on Jan. 17, 1968, just three years before his death. In their relatively short conversation, Hot Air host Bob Smith engages Armstrong on a wide range of topics, including his earliest memories living and playing in a New Orleans orphanage, joining the band of his hero Joe “King” Oliver in Chicago in 1922 and explaining the origin of his many nicknames.

At one point, Armstrong is asked if the rumors of his retirement are true, to which he replies, “Musician don’t retire no how. They just stop when they ain’t got no more gigs.”

Click here to listen to Louis Armstrong in exclusive interview from CBC’s Hot Air archive

Louis Armstrong 1965

This is a cool 1965 interview with the legendary Louis Armstrong from the JazzProfessional website. Here he comments on his time with King Oliver:

“If you ask me to look back to a highspot in my career—I still remember the days I played second trumpet with King Oliver in Chicago. I came right out of New Orleans, playing with the Tuxedo Brass Band. And we was at a funeral when I got Joe Oliver’s telegram. He had a little band at the Lincoln Gardens, and he told me to come at once. Gee, that was one of the highest lights I’ll ever have! It was the first time I’d been up North, you know. Chicago looked like a great big wonderful city to me.

Yeah, I liked Joe. He never was too busy to help the youngsters, you know. He did a lot for me. It broke my heart to lose him.

They had some good players in those days. Everybody played from the soul, and good notes. At that time there was King Oliver, Bunk Johnson, Freddie Keppard—they were the main three that went down in history. King Oliver was the most popular of all of ‘em, but they were all good boys. And all three of ‘em’s gone now. Lost three good men.”

Click here to read Louis Armstrong 1965

Louis in the UK

3:21 of Louis Armstrong gold. The legend talks with two different reporters while on tour in England about performing for the royal family, beatniks, and playing as a teenager.