A lost 1964 interview with Louis Armstrong has been resurfaced in animated form for a new PBS online weekly series ‘Blank on Blank‘ on Tuesday.
The series, which “brings journalist’s unheard interviews back to life” in animated form, featured this forgotten gem with Louis Armstrong talking with two teenage interviewers Michael Aisner and James R. Stein, who were just 14 and 15 years old at the time.
For the series, Aisner and Stein revisited their nearly 50-year-old interview with Armstrong in the video introduction, recalling that they had the opportunity to interview the legendary trumpet player for their high school radio station WNTH in Winnetka, Illinois .
The interview took place before his sold out concert at Ravina near Chicago, where Aisner and Stein recall Armstong talking with them that hot summer night in his underwear and tank top, quipping “Louis Armstrong wears boxers.”
The interview covers questions like how he picked up his nickname “Satchmo,” how he got his start in music, and keeping up his chops.
“You’ve got to be good or as bad as the devil. … Even if we had two, three days off I still had to blow that horn a few hours to keep up the chops,” Louis told the teens.
The interview gives a fascinating look back at the renowned jazzman’s start in music to and even reveals Armstrong’s own personal outlook on his career.
“You either have it or you don’t. You play your horn just like you sing a song or a hymn. If it’s in your heart, you express yourself in the tune,” he said. “I’ve been playing music so long, what else is there to do? What can you prove at 64? I mean as far as trying to create what? You know? So the best I can do is to stay happy.”
Watch the full interview below!