Lou Donaldson on the first time he heard jazz and Louis Armstrong.
MARK RUFFIN: Now, a Jazz Moment
St. James Infirmary low in background
RUFFIN: GROWING UP IN BADIN, NORTH CAROLINA IN THE 1930S, NEA JAZZ MASTER LOU DONALDSON HEARD TRUMPETER LOUIS ARMSTRONG. AND BOY WAS HE HOOKED.
DONALDSON: First time I heard jazz was on the radio station, WBT from Charlotte, North Carolina, which was a country and western station. That's all they played. But they had one disc jockey there, a guy named Grady Cole—never forget him—and he had one record: Louis Armstrong. And he played that every day because he loved that. And that's my first time listening to' jazz music. And I liked it. In fact, I waited for that one record. You know, because of Louie's singing, of course.
St. James Infirmary up and hot with lyrics
"I went down to St. James Infirmary,
Saw my baby there…"
MARK RUFFIN: THIS JAZZ MOMENT WITH ALTO SAXOPHONIST LOU DONALDSON WAS PRODUCED BY THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS.
Excerpt of "St. James Infirmary" performed by Louis Armstrong and his Hot Fives and Sevens, used courtesy of Sony Music Enterainment.