“All the witches were in stitches…”

October 31, 2008 at 12:26 am (cinema, jazz, Jim D, music)

Louis on Halowe’en:

The film was ‘Pennies From Heaven’ (1936) and the drummer was Lionel Hampton, the pianist Joe Sullivan.

I previously posted a Youtube clip, but they  (whomsoever “they” may be when you’re talking Youtube)  have blocked access to this for some unknown reason, so to see Louis and the skeleton in action, try this: http://dippermouth.blogspot.com/2008/06/skeleton-in-closet.html

(JD added on 26/10/2011): I think we may have that clip back again (albeit a rather jittery version – but the sound’s OK) :


  1. Jim Denham said,

    Why the fuck does that happen on Youtube? Can anyone explain? It’s surely nothing to do with copyright considerations?

    Incidentally, and just for the record: not only was the drummer in that clip the great Lionel Hampton (better known as a vibes player), but the pianist was the great but ill-starred Joe Sullivan. Don’t believe those sources who tell you it was Jimmy Dorsey’s band: JD made the Columbia record of the song with Louis, but his is not not the group that played on the ‘Pennies from Heaven’ soundtrack.

  2. Renegade Eye said,

    It gets no better than Louis Armstrong.

    He is credited with inventing the idea of jazz solos, coming from arias in opera.

  3. KB Player said,

    Isn’t it a bugger there’s no afterlife? He should be in heaven, playing his trumpet with a band of angels.

    Youtube gives and then takes away. I’ve tried to review a video and have had a message flashing up about it being withdrawn for copyright reasons.

  4. Jim Denham said,

    Renegade: you’re 100 per cent correct. Louis was an admirer of Caruso and his (Louis’s) 1930’s big-band playing and singing, with its “majestic, overarching phrases” (the late Dick Sudhaler’s description) is unmistakeably operatic.

    KB: Here’s Louis in heaven, overcoming what in lesser hands might be considred demeaning stereotyping:

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