A spoken introduction by Louis Armstrong, accompanied by Billy Kyle on piano, precedes each track.
Personnel: Louis Armstrong (vocals, trumpet); Velma Middleton (vocals); Bob Haggart, Sy Oliver (arranger, conductor); George Dorsey, Hilton Jefferson (alto saxophone); Bud Freeman, Seldon Powell, Lucky Thompson (tenor saxophone); Dave McRae (baritone & bass saxophones, bass clarinet); Barney Bigard, Edmond Hall (clarinet); Yank Lawson (trumpet); Jack Teagarden, Trummy Young (trombone); Dick Cary, Earl Hines, Billy Kyle (piano); Everett Barksdale, George Barnes (guitar); Squire Gersh, Arvell Shaw (bass); Sid Catlett, Cozy Cole, Barrett Deems, Kenny John (drums).
Producer: Milt Gabler.
Reissue producer: Ben Young.
Recorded from 1947 to 1957 in Boston, Massachusetts, New York, New York, Hollywood and Pasadena, California. Originally released on Decca (155). Includes reissue liner notes by Joshua Berrett and an original LP profile by Louis Untermeyer.
Digitally remastered by Kevin Reeves (Universal Mastering Studios-East).
Personnel: Louis Armstrong (vocals, trumpet); Edmond Hall (vocals, clarinet); Trummy Young (vocals, trombone); Velma Middleton (vocals); Everett Barksdale, George Barnes (guitar); Barney Bigard (clarinet); Dave McRae (bass clarinet, baritone saxophone, bass saxophone); Hilton Jefferson, George Dorsey (alto saxophone); Lucky Thompson, Seldon Powell, Bud Freeman (tenor saxophone); Yank Lawson (trumpet); Jack Teagarden (trombone); Dick Cary, Billy Kyle , Earl Hines (piano); Cozy Cole, Kenny John , Big Sid Catlett, Barrett Deems (drums).
Liner Note Author: Louis Untermeyer.
Recording information: Civic Auditorium, Pasadena, CA (11/30/1947-01/28/1957); New York, NY (11/30/1947-01/28/1957); Symphony Hall, Boston, MA (11/30/1947-01/28/1957); The Crescendo, Hollywood, CA (11/30/1947-01/28/1957).
Photographer: Jack Bradley.
Arrangers: Sy Oliver; Bob Haggart.
Undoubtedly the father of jazz, Louis Armstrong continues to inspire musicians both young and old. On this unique three-disc 2001 Verve release, we are treated to a wonderful range of tunes from the Armstrong songbook. Original recordings are heard here as performed by various Armstrong-led ensembles from the 1950's. These cuts document Pops' return to his Dixieland roots "way down south" in the great city of New Orleans.
In addition to fine performances by Armstrong and his band (featuring the likes of Jack Teagarden, Barney Bigard, Sy Oliver, and Sid Catlett among others), we are treated to lengthy song introductions by Armstrong himself. Armstrong's informative and anecdotal introductions serve to educate listeners about the rich history and chronological importance of this American art form. Highlights on A MUSICAL AUTOBIOGRAPHY include the earthy Bessie Smith ballad "Reckless Blues" and Armstrong's own theme song, "When it's Sleepy Time Down South."