Appearing on the BBC’s Desert Island Discs in 1968, Louis Armstrong was asked to pick the eight tracks he’d take as a castaway.
Satchmo, a man who could never be accused of not having a great welcome for himself, chose five of his own recordings.
And, lest he tire of hearing himself on record, Armstrong picked as his island luxury his trumpet. When it came to reading material he opted to bring the book closest to his heart…his autobiography.
Well, as the himself said: “There are some people that if they don’t know, you can’t tell them”.
As for me, I’m told. In the unlikely event that I ever shuffle onto Desert Island Discs Pops will make my list – one of the few dead-cert tracks, in fact.
But what if I emulated him and picked my five favourite Louis recordings?
Well, Kirsty, I couldn’t resist.
1. Basin Street Blues
2. Stompin’ At The Savoy
3. West End Blues
From the top, the most famous solo in jazz. As for the rest of the performance, Billie Holiday put it best: “Sometimes the record would make me so sad, I’d cry up a storm…other times the same damn record would make me so happy.”
4. St Louis Blues
WC Handy‘s groundbreaking mix of ragtime and blues, with a little tango thrown in, topped off with a Satchmo solo.
5. Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans?
What else could a son of Storyville, who spent most of his life far from the French Quarter, sing?