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“West End Blues” by Louis Armstrong

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“West End Blues” by Louis Armstrong

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“West End Blues” by Louis Armstrong


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    “West End Blues” by Louis Armstrong and His Hot Five is a famous jazz song from 1928.
    “The West End refers to a New Orleans neighborhood. Louis was born and grew up in New Orleans, Louisiana, much like jazz itself.”
    Hear also live version with sheet music

    Song Title: West End Blues
    Artist: Louis Armstrong and His Hot Five
    Genre: jazz, blues
    Composer: Copyright © 1928 Joe “King” Oliver
    Lead Vocals: Louis Armstrong
    Banjo: Mancy Carr
    Piano: Earl Hines
    Drums: Zutty Singleton
    Clarinet: Jimmy Strong
    Trumpet: Louis Armstrong
    Trombone: Fred Robinson
    Recorded: 1928
    Released: 1928

    This song is the number two (2) greatest 1920s popular song according to Digital Dream Door’s Bruce.

    Other Websites: What do I know...?, a musical analysis of the song.
    Number of listens: 23898
    Current rank: 124 (updated weekly)
    Highest rank: 112 (play the video all the way through to register a vote for this song)


    Summary quotation from Wikipedia:

    “West End Blues” is a multi-strain twelve-bar blues composition by Joe “King” Oliver. It is most commonly performed as an instrumental, although it has lyrics added by Clarence Williams.

    King Oliver and his Dixie Syncopaters made the first recording for Brunswick Records on June 11, 1928.[1] An early vocal version was waxed by Ethel Waters.

    The “West End” of the title refers to the westernmost point of Lake Pontchartrain in Orleans Parish, Louisiana. In its heyday, it was a thriving summer resort with live music, dance pavilions, seafood restaurants, and lake bathing.

    By far the best known recording of “West End Blues” is the 3-minute-plus, 78 RPM recording made by Louis Armstrong and His Hot Five in 1928.

    Armstrong plays trumpet (and does some scat singing) backed by a band that included the pianist Earl Hines. Armstrong played an eight-bar trumpet solo near the end of the record.

    Other portions of this record also in high regard include the trumpet introduction by Armstrong that begins the song - this cadenza incorporates an almost syncopated opening, the wordless ‘scat’ singing chorus by Armstrong where he accompanies and varies a melody played by the clarinetist, and a piano solo by Hines. The number is closed by a metallic click by drummer Zutty Singleton.

    This recording was inducted in the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1974.

    Jazz writer and historian William Russell has commented that other jazz trumpeters would be better off avoiding the too frequent imitations of Armstrong’s introduction on the number; while the most virtuosic may have the technical ability to duplicate Armstrong’s notes, they still suffer in comparison to Armstrong’s feeling and originality.

—from Wikipedia (the Wikipedia:Text of Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License applies to Wikipedia’s block of text and possible accompanying picture, along with any alterations, transformations, and/or building upon Wikipedia’s original text that applied to this block of text)

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most recent comment

    Sarah: West End Blues is Matt’s favorite song.

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