Louis's desert island rescue

Louis Armstrong’s long-lost 1968 appearance on Desert Island Discs can be heard again after his personal copy of the interview was tracked down and donated to the Desert Island Discs archive

Louis Armstrong’s personal copy of his Desert Island Discs appearance from 1968 has been added to the online archive on the BBC Desert Island Discs website.

A listener to the programme knew a copy of the Armstrong edition existed in the US and brought this to the attention of the BBC. The Desert Island Discs production team located it and discovered it was the copy given to Louis by the BBC after he recorded the programme nearly five decades ago. The recording has been provided from Louis's private tape collection courtesy of the Louis Armstrong House Museum.

Ricky Riccardi, archivist for the museum, says: “Louis Armstrong's appearance on Desert Island Discs is the next best thing to hanging out with the legendary trumpeter. Armstrong's in a frisky, quick-witted mood throughout the broadcast, tells some of his favourite stories about his rough upbringing in New Orleans and spins some good music - namely because he chooses so much of his own! Unlike most musicians who can't stand listening to themselves, Armstrong loved his own music. Can you blame him?"

Louis was interviewed in 1968 by Roy Plomley. He chose four of his own songs, elected Blueberry Hill by Louis Armstrong and his All Stars as his "favourite", took his own autobiography as his book choice and a trumpet as his luxury.

Of the four other recently recovered editions two castaways - William Hartnell and Diana Rigg - also selected a Louis Armstrong number as one of their discs.

The edition is available to listen to on the DID website – bbc.co.uk/desertislanddiscs

Jane Scougal

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