Louis Armstrong and the Mills Brothers have a strong connection with Bing Crosby. The Millses and Bing made some outstanding recordings together in the early 1930s ("Dinah," "Shine") and, of course, the long friendship and working relationship between Bing and Satchmo is well documented, although I've always wished that they'd made more records together...
Well, Louis and the Millses also collaborated on a few sessions for Decca, supervised by Jack Kapp, who was also working with Bing at the time. The sessions took place between 1937 and 1940, and they yielded eleven tracks that have always fascinated me. Today I published an in-depth article about these recordings in The Vintage Bandstand, and I thought the connection with Bing is strong enough that members of this forum might be interested in reading the post. If so, you may access it here:
It is really too bad that these Armstrong / Mills Brothers sides are so neglected and hard to find on CD these days, because, in my opinion, they are absolutely fantastic.
All of the various Louis Armstrong/Mills Bros.sides can also be found on the Louis Armstrong The Complete Masters 1925-1945. This is a 14CD Box set collecting all of Armstrongs recordings from that period.The sound quality if fabulous with a great booklet , however as a French release (notes are in French and English) it seems to come in and out of print and I have seen the price fluctuate from £34 up to £200, so worth shopping around for a good price.
It however remains one of the more critical sets in my collection.
Kevin, thanks for the information about that French Louis Armstrong box set, which sounds fabulous. I don't have it, unfortunately, and it doesn't look like I will for now, since the list price on the Amazon U.S. website is over $400 at the moment. I have the Sidney Bechet box set released by that same French company, and it's wonderful. Too bad those sets (of which probably few copies were issued in the first place) are out of print and so expensive...
Thanks for that interesting article Anton. The Mills Brothers and Louis Armstrong were very popular in Australia. The brothers performed here in 1939 and 1965 and Satchmo's first concerts here were in 1954 followed by 1956 when he also appeared with Gary Crosby. As for the records they made together, I've never heard them.
If you go to www.lalibrairiesonore.com this is the on-line store of the Fremaux label. It's in French, but if you type Mills Brothers into the "rechercher" box, you'll come up with a couple of the individual box-sets in the Louis Armstrong series, which seem to be available and reasonably priced.
There is also a mammoth 42-CD set containing all the individual releases!
Last edited by jeremyrose (09/1/2016 4:22 pm)