[Dixielandjazz] Old But New

Robert Ringwald rsr at ringwald.com
Thu Dec 13 09:46:17 PST 2012

I have related this story a couple times here on DJML but since it was a while ago, since we have a lot of new members and since it fits the thread, I’ll relate it one more time. 

In about 1958 or 59 I was 18 or 19 years old. Louis Armstrong was to give a concert in Sacramento. It was at the old Governor's Hall at the old CA State fairgrounds. The auditorium seated 2,000.  

For some reason, the advertising didn’t get out. There were maybe 30 to 40 people there. 

Instead of sitting in seats, we all crowded around the stage, looking up at Louis maybe 10 feet away from us. It was like having the All Stars in your front room.  

He put on a concert as if there were 2,000 people there. He never let up for a minute. The band played great! Louis sang, Velma Middleton sang, they did their shtick and it was wonderful. 

During the intermission we all went back stage and hung out with the musicians. 

There was Louis, Peanuts, Trummy, Billy Kyle, Velma and Danny. I don’t know who the bass player was. 

Through the years I have always tried to remember that performance and used it as a example when I got bored with my gigs.  

Let me tell you, when you are working 6 and 7 nights a week, sometimes playing the type of music you don’t enjoy, it is sometimes tough to keep that enthusiasm up.      

Years later when I met Peanuts, I mentioned that night to him. He remembered it and agreed with me on how impressed he also was with Louis that night.  

I met Louis again some 10 years later and actually played on the same show as he. But one of my huge regrets was that i never thought to get a picture with him

-Bob Ringwald
Amateur (ham) Radio Operator K6YBV
916/ 806-9551

"Jesus loves you."
A nice gesture in church but a terrible thing to hear in a Mexican prison.

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