A performance by Louis Armstrong and his Orchestra of “The Faithful Hussar” has been newly added to the ever-expanding archive of The Ed Sullivan Show, and is now available to view via the show’s official YouTube channel.
The clip dates from the October 8, 1961 instalment of the world-famous series, taped on location at the Sportspalast in west Berlin. It was a special US Army edition organized to entertain the 40th Armored Berlin Command. The fellow guests of “Satchmo” and co were hitmaker Connie Francis and pianist Van Cliburn. Armstrong, a regular visitor to Sullivan, appeared again on the following week’s second Berlin special, this time from McNair Barracks, on a bill with comedian Sid Caesar and ventriloquist and puppeteer Shari Lewis.
Armstrong had recently turned 60 at the time of the appearance, and although he hadn’t made a chart appearance in the US for some years, he was and remained a beloved public figure and entertainer. 1961 was the year of his Together For The First Time and The Great Reunion LPs with Duke Ellington. Soon afterwards, he would begin a two-year hiatus from recording, but returned with his major pop hit “Hello, Dolly!”, which reached No.1 in America in 1964.
“The Faithful Hussar” was chosen for the show since it was not only a hit for Armstrong, but a well-known German folk song. Its origins date back to the 19th century, with its modern interpretation beginning in the Cologne Carnival in the 1920s. “Pops” and his All-Stars released their reading as a single on Phillips in the UK in 1956, when it climbed to No.27 in a two-week stay on the 30-position chart. In the US, oddly, it was two British artists who made the bestsellers with it instead: Ted Heath and his Music in 1956 and Vera Lynn, as “Don’t Cry My Love (The Faithful Hussar),” in 1957.
Watch all the latest archival videos from The Ed Sullivan Show on the program’s official YouTube channel.