This week, while there’s all sorts of coverage of the big celebrity funeral of the guy folks are calling the “Entertainer of the Century,” I thought I’d take the time to acknowledge the man who I think was more worthy of such a title. With no disrespect to Michael, I’d like to take the time to rememember another pioneer in the entertainment industry.
Monday marked the 38th anniverary of the death of Louis Armstrong. Like the other famous guy that’s in the news all week, Louis Armstrong was an African-American whose talent transcended the stupid racial divisions. At his funeral in 1971, the honorary pallbearers included Governor Rockefeller, Mayor Lindsay, Bing Crosby, Ella Fitzgerald, Guy Lombardo, Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Pearl Bailey, Count Basie, Harry James, Frank Sinatra, Ed Sullivan, Earl Wilson, Alan King, Johnny Carson, David Frost, Merv Griffin, Dick Cavett and Bobby Hackett.
Here’s Louis Armstrong doing “St. Louis Blues.”
UPDATE: I posted a minor misstatement in an earlier edition of this blog posting, but if you didn’t see it, then it didn’t happen… got that?