posted by Seán Collins • 19 July 2013
Years ago, long before I joined the church of radio, I was a Benedictine monk living in a monastery in Missouri. I spent five years in the community. We looked after a parish church and ran a prep school, and some monks served as chaplains for nearby convents and hospitals.
Some of the monks were scholars. Some were gardeners. We had a few artists and musicians in the community, a scientist or two, and a greater than average collection of philosophers, theologians, linguists, and poets.
It was, perhaps, thanks to the poets that a piece of art was hung in the refectory, the room in the monastery where we took all our meals. (We didn’t talk during meals. One of the monks ate later and read to us during supper.)
The art on the wall contained this line of text: “These I have loved: wet roofs, beneath the lamplight; the strong crust of friendly bread; and many tasting food.”
I stared at those words month after month, year after year.
Posted by Seán Collins on 1 Nov 2013
Louis Armstrong in 1946, William P. Gottlieb
All Saints Day is a time when many of us consider, with gratitude, those who have gone before us. Here’s the 1938 recording of “When The Saints…” made by Louis Armstrong or, as he calls himself, “the Reverend Satchmo.”
When The Saints Go Marching In
Recorded May 13, 1938
Track Time 2:44
Written by “Traditional”
Recorded in New York City
Louis Armstrong, trumpet, vocal; Shelton Hemphill, trumpet; J.C. Higginbotham, trombone; Rupert Cole, Charlie Holmes, alto saxophone; Bingie Madison, tenor saxophone; Luis Russell, piano; Lee Blair, guitar; Pops Foster, bass; Paul Barbarin, drums.
Originally released on Decca 2230
Read more about the recording
Posted by Gwen Thompkins on 4 August 2013
Dear Music Lovers: This is by no means a complete list of Armstrong’s best, most historic, or favorite moments. Here are six musical rosettes to enjoy with a slice of birthday cake.
Don’t You Think I Love You?
King Oliver & His Orchestra
Without Joe “King” Oliver … perish the thought. Louis Armstrong said he would never have left New Orleans for anyone but Oliver and thank goodness Oliver called. What makes King Oliver stand out is not just his musicianship, but the fact that he would talk to young musicians and show them what he knew about playing the cornet. In his autobiography, Armstrong says this was a rare quality among the best of the best players in New Orleans. Most established musicians kept their secrets to themselves. But Oliver, Armstrong said, would stop on the street and blow his horn to teach youngsters what they should be doing. As music lovers, we are still benefitting from Oliver’s remarkable generosity. We are also benefitting from Oliver’s remarkable foolishiness. He once turned down a gig at the Cotton Club in New York that ultimately went to a young’un call Duke Ellington.
It was my ambition to play as he did. I still think if it had not been for Joe Oliver jazz would not be what it is today. He was a creator in his own right. (Louis Armstrong)
George Murphy “Pops” Foster was a master of slap bass. He was born in 1892 near Baton Rouge, and died on this day in 1969. Through the years, he played with all the greats: Louis Armstrong, King Oliver, Sidney Bechet and Earl Hines among them.
Here’s a recording of the Muggsy Spanier’s band in 1964 — featuring Pops on bass, with a solo that begins at 3:46.