Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Louis Armstrong, "La Vie En Rose," Ricky Riccardi

There’s a nice commercial on TV for the iphone 4, directed by Sam Mendes. It features Louis Armstrong singing “When You’re Smiling.”

Previously, in this space, I wrote of Ricky Riccardi’s enjoyable blog, “The Wonderful World Of Louis Armstrong” ( In November Riccardi wrote about “When You’re Smiling,” and had included in his posting an audio recording (one I had not been aware of before, and which I was therefore delighted to hear) of Armstrong performing the song on Kay Kyser’s NBC television show, in 1950:

Riccardi, as noted in my previous post, is the Project Archivist for the Louis Armstrong House Museum in Queens ( He also lectures about Armstrong, and is the author of the forthcoming book What a Wonderful World: The Magic of Louis Armstrong's Later Years (Pantheon). The book was originally scheduled to be brought out this past spring, but now will appear in May of 2011. (The cover of the book, as currently seen on amazon——appears above.)

In his 1950 appearance on Kay Kyser’s TV show, Louis Armstrong performed two songs: “When You’re Smiling,” and “La Vie En Rose.”

Riccardi, in his blog, recently wrote about “La Vie En Rose.” As was the case when he wrote about “When You’re Smiling,” he included in the recent post a recording of Armstrong’s performance of the song on Kay Kyser's TV program.  The recording appears at about the halfway point of the post:

As I had not heard the performance of "When You're Smiling," from Kay Kyser's program, until coming upon it several months ago on Riccardi's blog, I had also not previously heard the performance of "La Vie En Rose," from the same telecast.  It was wonderful to be able to listen to it.