US & Canada

Rare Louis Armstrong recording released

Louis Armstrong in 'Louis Armstrong And His All Stars' on BBC2 on 2 August 1968
Image caption The recording includes classics such as Hello Dolly, Mack the Knife and Rocking Chair

A rare recording of one of the last live performances by jazz trumpeter Louis Armstrong has been made public.

The star played at the National Press Club in Washington DC, against the advice of his doctors, in January 1971, just over five months before he died.

The What A Wonderful World singer had been in ill health because of heart and kidney trouble, but felt strong enough to play five songs at the event.

His performance has been released as a digital download and on CD.

The move was prompted by the press club discovering a rare LP of the event.

Those who attended the show, which was hosted by the British journalist David Frost, were given vinyl copies of the recording.

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Media captionLouis Armstrong plays Hello Dolly at the National Press Club in Washington, DC

But the LP, which includes classics such as Hello Dolly, Mack the Knife and Rocking Chair, had become largely forgotten over the decades.

The liner notes included Armstrong's favourite recipes, such as Louisiana caviar and a New Orleans cocktail.

For most of the previous year, the jazz star had been too sick to pick up the instrument with which he helped define American music.

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