When, in 1970, Louis Armstrong released Louis 'Country & Western' Armstrong, a full LP of country songs, many critics and fans were outraged, considering that this was the ultimate sign of the trumpeter's selling out to the white music establishment. While I must admit that I have a hard time digesting that album, my objections have more to do with the quality of the arrangements and of Armstrong's vocal performances than with the fact that he is singing country music. After all, about four decades before, he had participated in one of the sessions that puzzled his biographers and discographers the most—the one where he played trumpet behind The Singing Brakeman himself, the great pioneering country singer Jimmie Rodgers, on "Blue Yodel # 9," also known as "Standin' on a Corner."
|A young Louis Armstrong|
|Lil' Hardin Armstrong|
|Pioneering country star Jimmie Rodgers|
|Record producer Ralph S. Peer|
"Blue Yodel # 9" on CD
The track is available on countless Jimmie Rodgers compilations, such as the budget-priced The Singing Brakeman (Country Stars). The French import, The Blues 1927-1933 (Frémeaux & Associés), includes all his blue yodels and other blues-influenced sides. For those who would like to own all of Rodgers's known recordings, there is a cheaper option in Recordings 1927-1933 (JSP Records) and a more expensive one in the monumental German import The Singing Brakeman: 1927-1933 (Bear Family).