THE DOCTOR’S SECRET

DOC CHEATHAM

From James Dapogny:

Did I ever tell you about Doc Cheatham’s radio interview in St. Louis?  I was playing there with my band and Doc was too.  It was a milestone birthday of this, and a St. Louis radio station sent a reporter to interview him.  I saw this live, didn’t hear it on the radio.

The interviewer, mentioning Doc’s birthday and that he was still playing great, asked him what “his secret” was. Doc said, “My rule is to listen to a Louie Armstrong record every day of my life.”

This isn’t a difficult prescription to follow.  No co-pay, no sitting in the office reading magazines from 2012; no driving to the pharmacy.  Just take your daily infusion, your tincture of Joy and Warmth.

The potion for today is . . .

TRUE CONFESSION is a tender ballad (I also know Connee Boswell’s version, just as sweet as anyone could imagine) even though the lyrics borrow pop-song conceits from four or five other songs.  If you disdain this as “not jazz,” I suggest you listen to Louis here in the spirit you’d listen to Brahms or Schubert — great impassioned melody.  Louis’ complete love of Melody and of Romance comes through in every note.  And, by coincidence, the lyrics have “secret” in them, too. But the love that Louis exudes is always with us, always restorative, never hidden.

May your happiness increase!

5 responses to “THE DOCTOR’S SECRET

  1. Sordoni III, Andrew

    Michael, many thanks…Doc was a gem. Hope to see you at Steamboat Stomp. Andrew

    Sent from my iPad

  2. I will be there and look forward to meeting you!

  3. The video would not play but I found it on YouTube. Thanks for putting me on to an Armstrong recording I’d not heard before.

  4. That was my band that Doc was playing with in St Louis that year. Eddy Davis

  5. June 13, 1980. Doc was appearing on the Goldenrod Showboat at the St. Louis Ragtime Festival on his 75th birthday. Charlie Menees of KMOX Radio brought a cake decorated with “75 IN ST. LOUIS” and interviewed Doc for his “Jazz Under The Arch” radio program.

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