Express & Star

Programme signed by jazz great Louis Armstrong discovered in a box in Lichfield

A signed British tour programme for all-time jazz great Louis Armstrong has been discovered at The Lichfield Auction Centre.

The signed programme

Autographed on the back cover by the trumpeter and vocalist, probably in Birmingham during his 1956 tour, the programme is also signed by US jazz clarinettist and band leader Edmund Hall, American jazz pianist Billy Kyle and other musicians.

An autograph by jazz vocalist Velma Middleton – with whom Armstrong recorded ‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside’ a number of times – is paperclipped inside the front cover together with the ticket stub dated May 17, 1956 at the Embassy Sports Drome, Walford Road, Sparkhill.

Also featuring in the lot are 13 other programmes including three signed by Jack Teagarden, Cozy Cole, 'Peanuts' Hucko and Earl Hines, two signed by Stan Kenton and one also signed by members of his orchestra Lennie Niehaus, Sam Noto and Lee Katzman.

The 1956 programme is signed on the back cover by legendary trumpeter and vocalist Louis Armstrong.

Included too are non-signed programmes for Count Basie (with ticket stub), Ella Fitzgerald (with whom Armstrong collaborated, producing three LPs together), Sister Rosetta Tharpe, The Oscar Peterson Trio and Sidney Bechet, plus a copy of the French 'Hot Jazz' magazine from April 1955.

The impressive collection was discovered by an eagle-eyed valuer at The Lichfield Auction Centre amongst a box of contents from a house clearance.

“Nicknamed Satchmo, Satch and also Pops, Louis Armstrong remains one of the most influential and beloved figures in American music,” said auctioneer Richard Winterton.

“His 50-year career spanned several eras of jazz and he rightly retains legendary status as one of the all-time greats.

“To discover a programme from 67 years ago personally signed by Satch in a box from a house clearance is a fantastic find and a great illustration of the painstaking care taken by our brilliant team every single day.”

The archive features in Richard Winterton Auctioneers’ Antiques & Home Sale on Monday, November 20, starting at 9.30am at The Lichfield Auction Centre, Wood End Lane, Fradley Park.

The catalogue can be accessed online via a week before the sale and viewing in person takes place at The Lichfield Auction Centre by appointment on Friday, November 17.