Apr 27, 2012
A live recording of Louis Armstrong playing his trumpet for one of the last times is being released to the public for the first time.
The recording is being played Friday at the National Press Club in Washington where it was created in January 1971. Armstrong was a featured performer celebrating the inauguration of fellow Louisiana native Vernon Louviere as president of the club.
The performance was a comeback of sorts. Armstrong had been in poor health and didn't play for much of 1970. But he felt strong enough to play in Washington and surprised the crowd with tunes like "Hello Dolly."
Armstrong died later that year.
Smithsonian Folkway Recordings is releasing Armstrong's music on CD and digital download after collaborating with the press club and the Louis Armstrong Foundation.