09 September 2011

Louis Armstrong & His Orchestra: "I'll Be Glad When You're Dead, You Rascal You" (1931)

I first heard this song in 1983, during the "Big Band and Nostalgia" show on Tampa's community radio station, WMNF. I never forgot one of my favorite lyric verses from this recording: "I'll be standin' on the corner high, when they bring your body by, I'll be glad when you're dead you rascal you."

I lost track of what song that was from until I heard another version by Satchmo, without my beloved verse, in a 1932 Betty Boop cartoon of the same name that a friend had in her collection.

Now, all these years later, my understanding of Louis Armstrong's music and influence vastly deeper, I love everything about this song. I hope you dig it, too.

(Editor's Note: Don't bother with the visuals in the clip, other than to check out the 78's record label -- the loop-editing may get annoying. On a more important matter, noted by DRC in the first comment below, is the fine sound quality in the clip. My bet is that, while the clip shows a 78 playing, the audio actually comes from one of the CD reissues of the compilation album Louis Armstrong (1928-1931) (1991), on which this cut appears.)


DRC said...

That was awesome, you rascal you. The sound quality was amazing; someone did a fine job transferring from the 78 record to digital.

Anonymous said...

Yes, indeed! To paraphrase Mark Twain, "I don't wish anybody dead, but there are some obituaries I would read with pleasure."