Dot Time Records Discovers Previously Unreleased Armstrong Recordings


Louis Armstrong

(Photo: Courtesy Dot Time Records)

A new trove of previously unreleased Louis Armstrong recordings will see the light of day thanks to a licensing agreement between Dot Time Records and the Louis Armstrong Foundation, Inc. A total of four never-before-heard albums by the iconic trumpeter will be made available for the first time in CD, digital and vinyl formats.

Discovered among the archives of Queens College, which houses the Louis Armstrong Collection, the albums will join numerous other historical titles as part of Dot Time Records’ Legends Series.

Recorded in San Francisco in January 1950, the first album comes from a studio recording originally intended for broadcast on Musical Map of America, a radio show produced by the Standard Oil Company. The recording was episode 19, “Musical Story of New Orleans,” and featured Armstrong, trombonist Jack Teagarden and pianist Earl Hines. For reasons unknown, the radio show was never aired and Armstrong was given the acetate discs of the sessions.

Jerry Roche, who oversees the Legends Series for Dot Time, discovered the unreleased Armstrong recordings while browsing through the Louis Armstrong Collection’s archives. He recalls being “stunned” by what he found.

“When I heard this music by Louis Armstrong, I was totally overwhelmed,” said Roche. “Producing this music would mean people could connect again with the greatness of Louis Armstrong.”

Oscar Cohen, who was Louis Armstrong’s manager and is the sole and exclusive agent for the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation, Inc. and the estate of Louis Armstrong, underscored the importance of these recordings by pointing to the universal appeal of Armstrong’s music.

“Louis Armstrong is the most beloved and iconic artist of our time,” Cohen said. “His sound, his voice, his love—he forever touches the hearts of people everywhere.”

Lisa Cohen, vice president of Associated Booking Corporation and a board member of the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation, Inc., amplified those statements, adding that the new recordings would enhance fans’ understanding of Armstrong’s melodious, highly emotional style.

“We are so happy to be working with Dot Time Records to bring more of Louis Armstrong’s beautiful recordings to the world, to hear the music and feel the love,” she said.

Future releases include recordings of concerts that date back to the 1950s and ’60s, including audio from a 1957 South American tour, which will be issued as a double-CD set. Some of the musicians that performed with Armstrong on these concerts were Teagarden, Hines, Cozy Cole, Edmond Hall and Trummy Young, among others.

The Legends Series, which was launched in 2015, also includes albums by Ella Fitzgerald (Live At Chautauqua Vol. 1) Gerry Mulligan (Live At The New School) and the Joe Bushkin Quartet (Live At The Embers 1952). DB

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