What Was Satchmo’s Line?

We had to share this priceless clip of a TV moment that happened on this date, March 22, in 1964. That night the quiz show What’s My Line? had a special celebrity guest, namely Louis Armstrong. While this performance won’t rate as a musical highlight of Armstrong’s career, it does display his brilliant comic timing as he tries, with no success whatsoever, to disguise his voice for the panel. It also shows how cool prime-time TV could be at that time. Stay tuned for some great a cappella Satchmo at the end —and since it’s not 1964 anymore, we can laugh when he promises to “get a little higher next time” — meaning his voice. It was a joke he surely intended, but one that apparently went right over the heads of the studio audience.

Also high at the time was Armstrong’s profile, no small feat in that Beatle-maniac year. His single of “Hello, Dolly!” was released in January, and in May in would be the first record to knock the Beatles out of the Number One slot. Even the Fab Four said they didn’t mind.