Louis Armstrong

Radio Days

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RADIO DAYS is a wonderful, historical document comprised of two radio programs from the mid-'40s on which Armstrong appeared with his Orchestra. What makes this disc so special is the inclusion not only of the musical selections, but of the programs in their entirety, including announcements, interviews, corny jokes between Armstrong, the emcee and guest vocalists. The vocalists include Ann Baker, Ella Mae Morse and Frank Sinatra (!), who sings solo on "Saturday Night" and pairs with Satch on "Blue Skies."

Hearing Armstrong's swinging trumpet and warm, raspy vocals over the crackle of a 1940s radio transmission is enough to bring tears of nostalgia to listeners' eyes, even to those born 20 and 30 years after the fact. Armstrong's superb, classic performances on tracks like "Lazy River," "Ac-Cen-Chu-Ate The Positive" and "I Wonder," between displays of hep-cat slang and pitches for support for the boys overseas, make RADIO DAYS wonderful listening. Essential not only for its fine musical contents, but for the delight it inspires as a historical/cultural time capsule.