Yes, you might think that JAZZ LIVES has turned a corner into the inexplicable with this collection of vintage television commercials . . . but I urge you to watch or skip forward to 2:45 — to see a gentleman known to us all, having a good time in 1963 0r 1964:

The cynical will say that this is even more shameful evidence of that man being manipulated by his greedy manager, but he doesn’t look unhappy.  (In another blogpost, I read someone’s take on Louis “pimping” for the doll.)  And, yes, the little girls and Suzy Cute herself are both unmistakably Caucasian, but love is color-blind, even though the commercial is in black and white. 

And just remember: Suzy Cute needs a mommy (or is it a “mummy”?). 

Suzy Cute needs you! 

And we need more Louis Armstrong in our lives, white socks and all.  The Suzy Cute jingle isn’t Sondheim or Porter, but it has an adhesive quality (possibly because it borrows simple motifs from a thousand familiar songs, including a bridge reminiscent of BABY BROWN).

And to fill that void, here’s a link to a site offering two audio-only discs of rehearsals for this commercial:


The first, longer version, is extraordinary: listeners have to put their preconceptions and possible hauteur aside to hear Louis, the Alchemical Creator of Joy, at work. 

Doll or no doll, that band is swinging and he’s playing this jingle as if his life depended on it.  Which, in some ways, it did — ours, too. 

Nothing is ignoble if treated lovingly.  Although I might make an exception for the Official Beany-Copter (by Mattel).

4 responses to “OH, YOU BEAUTIFUL DOLL!

  1. The original studio recording is a very cool find… Thanks for sharing.

  2. Yes, it’s extraordinary — for Louis to throw himself into something he might have coasted through says so much about the character of the man. But just remember, Eric: Suzy Cute needs you. Or maybe Noya. Suzy isn’t fussy.

  3. My upload won’t play. I kust have a black square with “This video is private” in the middle. Can anybody check that theirs plays, and forward me a copy?
    Thanks Carl Spencer.
    Spencer’s Nighthawks Orch

  4. Dear Carl,

    You let technology stop you too soon! I went to YouTube, entered “Louis Armstrong” and “Suzy Cute” in the search box, and three versions of this clip came up. Here’s one — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cHHtCdALgwk. Be brave! Michael

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