Embrace the moment

On a winter day almost 40 years ago, Louis Armstrong went to work in the den at his home at 34-56 107th Street in Corona, Queens, New York.

That day — Friday, Feb. 26, 1971 — he recorded this:

“The Night Before Christmas (A Poem),” Louis Armstrong, 1971,  from “The Stash Christmas Album,” 1985. It’s out of print, but you can find the original 7-inch single (Continental CR 1001) on eBay for around $10.

(This is the sleeve for that 45. You could have bought it for 25 cents if you also bought a carton of Kent, True, Newport or Old Gold cigarettes.)

There’s no music. Just Satchmo’s warm, gravelly voice and Clement Clarke Moore’s classic poem.

“But I heard him exclaim as he drove out of sight, ‘Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night. A very good night.’

“And that goes for Satchmo, too. (Laughs softly.) Thank you.”

It was the last thing he ever recorded. Satchmo died the following July.

You just never know.

Embrace the moment, especially at Christmas.

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1 Comment

Filed under Christmas music, December 2010

One response to “Embrace the moment

  1. Chris in Cary

    Merry Christmas, Jeff, and thank you for the great music…all year long, really, but definitely the Twelve Days. You came up with a worthy successor to Three Under the Tree, and I hope that the freer format was easier on you. The Creole Christmas tracks were truly wonderful. I had heard the Toussaint “White Christmas”, but the other was all new to me.

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