Uwe Zanisch, whose blog SATCHMOTUBE (satchmotube) chronicles the appearances of Louis Armstrong on television and film, let me know about this marvel — three minutes of amazement.
But the real Onlie Begetter is the jazz-on-film scholar Franz Hoffmann, who specializes in Red Allen, J. C. Higginbotham, and their friends: his YouTube channel can be found here.
What’s all this about? I will let Franz explain — but how about live sound footage of Louis and his big band playing a dance in 1938? Intriguing?
8/9/30 poss. Baton Rouge, Old Fellows Temple for white public – Hearst Metrotone News, LOUIS ARMSTRONG (t, v) & HIS ORCH.: Shelton Hemphill, Otis Johnson, Red Allen (t) Wilbur DeParis, George Washington, J.C.Higginbotham (tb) Albert Nicholas (cl, ts) Rupert Cole, Charlie Holmes (cl,as) Bingie Madison (cl, ts) Luis Russell (p) Lee Blair (g) Pops Foster (b) Paul Barbarin (d) 2:56 MEDLEY: SKELETON IN THE CLOSET – SWING THAT MUSIC – CONFESSIN´
My late friend Dr.Klaus Stratemann wrote in his Louis Armstrong-film book (pages 93-94): parts of this footage with the first two tracks originally came to the attention of Armstrong enthusiasts in a 1969 documentary by Francois Rossif (“Why America”). In 1971, another clip of “The Skeleton…” was used in an Armstrong TV-obituary, with dubbed over narration….
Charlie Holmes denied a suggested Oct. 16th New Orleans location where they played for a larger auditorium. Possibly the Hearst team had come with Armstrong from L.A. who joined at 9/30/38 Baton Rouge where the played the first eve for white publicity and dancers. I separated several very short silent reed-section clips out of a 1999 BBC-Armstrong documentation, which used probably a longer very clean David Chertok´s Armstrong-footage and mixed them with the below known Medley with new syncrone sound from recorded “Swing That Music” -100% identical with the known MEDLEY sound. Who owns the original complete reel now? The Hearst News Team filmed in general without soundtrack and remixed that. Rather mysterious is the black male dancer among the other white dancers — either also a fake mixed in or it suggests another location than on the Octorber-tour in the US-Southern States. (Franz Hoffmann — Red Allen Bio Disco in four parts on pdf-files with chapter-5: Louis Armstrong “Day By Day 1937-1940”).
I confess to being less the scholar than Professor Hoffmann. I don’t worry about the particular date in 1938. I am simply enthralled. This is marvelous stuff. And when Louis kisses his “little Selmer trumpet” so sweetly . . . we would kiss him if he were alive in person to recieve it. SWING THAT MUSIC, indeed!