The Only Known Video of Louis Armstrong in a Recording Studio Was Recently Found

The rare 16mm film shows him working on his 1959 album <em>Satchmo Plays King Oliver</em> in Los Angeles

Need some motivation to do some spring cleaning? You might find a priceless piece of jazz history, like this 33-minute clip of Louis Armstrong recently uncovered in an old storage locker. Turns out it’s the only known video of the jazz legend in a recording studio. The 16mm footage, which shows Armstrong at work in L.A. on his 1959 album Satchmo Plays King Oliver, is now property of the Louis Armstrong House Museum in New York. (And seriously, if you’re not familiar with the classic recording, do yourself a favor and check it out now. His take on “St. James Infirmary” is as powerful today as it was almost 60 years ago.)

Here’s an excerpt from the video courtesy the Louis Armstrong House Museum. Featured are Billy Kyle (piano), Mort Herbert (bass), Danny Barcelona (drums), Trummy Young (trombone), and Peanuts Hucko (clarinet) recording “I Ain’t Got Nobody.”

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