Louis Armstrong Original, Vintage, Concert Program, London Palladium, London, England, July 1932. [SOLD]
Louis Armstrong Original, Vintage, Concert Program, London Palladium, London, England, July 1932.  [SOLD]
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Louis Armstrong Original, Vintage, Concert Program, London Palladium, London, England, Monday, July 18, 1932. Original pictorial wraps, 9 1/2 " by 7 ¼", [8 pp], light rust stain at spine from staples, centre page loose, mild age toning to pages, touch of edge wear and creasing to wraps, else very good+, bright and unmarked without paper loss or tearing. There are light pencil annotations to the left top corner of rear wrap, presumably by the original owner, which note several of the pieces played by Armstrong at the performance -Them There Eyes, When You're Smiling, Rascal You and Chinatown - all staples of his repertoire at the time. In the words of his biographer, Terry Teachout, Armstrong's "first trip to Europe was cobbled together with minimal forethought". Indeed, the "world's greatest trumpeter was on the lam"; in late 1930 he had been arrested for possession of marijuana outside the Cotton Club in Los Angeles; and then became the focus of a violent dispute, between his former manager, the mob-connected Tommy Rockwell, and his current manager, the incompetent and unsavory, Johnny Collins, which had resulted in a threat on his life at gun-point by a notorious Chicago hood, named Frankie Foster, in April 1931; prevented from working in Chicago and New York by this ongoing turf war, Armstrong had subsequently spent grueling months on the road, before Collins, instead of allowing Louis' badly over-worked lip time to heal, decided to put real distance between his meal-ticket and the mobsters and organized this trip to England. Jazz impresario John Hammond was once quoted as saying that "vultures surrounded Louis in the most creative days of his career" and the evidence suggests this was an understatement. As documented by this rare program, nine days after his arrival in England, on Monday, July 18 1932, Armstrong made his very first appearance in Europe at the venerable London Palladium. With a seating capacity of 2300, the Palladium was England's most famous variety theatre, at the centre of the still vibrant British Vaudeville tradition, and the only venue open to Armstrong in which to perform because of the Musician's Union's strict rules against foreign musicians performing in England's bars, night clubs and hotels. Amidst performances by the likes of comic, Max Miller, "the cheeky chappy", "The Seven Royal Hindustans, whirl wind tumblers," and the "Palladium Girls", eighth on the bill, in the featured position just before intermission, Louis appeared with his "New Rhythm Band", a pick-up group of expatriate black musicians and European players hastily brought in from France, just days prior to the opening performance. Reactions to these first European performances by the great trumpeter were mixed; with some exceptions, knowledgeable jazz fans and music critics were awed and exhilarated by Armstrong's brilliant and powerful playing, having heard him only on recordings limited by contemporary technology, the immediacy of the live performances was a revelation. General audiences were more wary and even some fans of Armstrong's music were troubled by his gritty and highly charged, extroverted, stage presence which sadly provoked some appalling racist commentary from members of the British lay press. But, beyond the perennial problems and ugly expressions of racism, as Teachout perceptively points out, Armstrong "in 1932…was still part of the musical avant-garde" and as with all great and original artists, was inevitably the subject of controversy. This program is historically significant and rare, a document of an important moment in jazz history and the career of its first great figure. J1724

Louis Armstrong Original, Vintage, Concert Program, London Palladium, London, England, July 1932.  [SOLD]
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Louis Armstrong Original, Vintage, Concert Program, London Palladium, London, England, July 1932.  [SOLD]
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Louis Armstrong Original, Vintage, Concert Program, London Palladium, London, England, July 1932.  [SOLD]
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Louis Armstrong Original, Vintage, Concert Program, London Palladium, London, England, July 1932.  [SOLD]
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Louis Armstrong Original, Vintage, Concert Program, London Palladium, London, England, July 1932.  [SOLD]
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Louis Armstrong Original, Vintage, Concert Program, London Palladium, London, England, July 1932.  [SOLD]
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Louis Armstrong Original, Vintage, Concert Program, London Palladium, London, England, July 1932.  [SOLD]
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Louis Armstrong Original, Vintage, Concert Program, London Palladium, London, England, July 1932.  [SOLD]
Click to enlarge
Louis Armstrong Original, Vintage, Concert Program, London Palladium, London, England, July 1932.  [SOLD]
Click to enlarge
Louis Armstrong Original, Vintage, Concert Program, London Palladium, London, England, July 1932.  [SOLD]
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