More than 50 years after his passing, the legendary Louis Armstrong is back on the charts with the release of his first-ever Christmas album, Louis Wishes You A Cool Yule (Verve/UMe).
The collection debuted in the Top 10 across multiple Billboard charts (dated November 26), including Top Holiday Albums where it bowed at No.9 and launches in the top 10 on Jazz Albums (No.4), Traditional Jazz Albums (No.4), Top Album Sales (No.7), Top Current Album Sales (No.6) and Vinyl Albums (No.7). It debuted at No.122 on the Billboard 200, becoming Armstrong’s highest charting album since Hello Dolly spent six weeks at No.1 in 1964.
“Louis Armstrong’s first album of holiday-associated songs is an auspicious aural example of why he was a man for all seasons, singing and playing his Promethean trumpet in the cause of happiness,” said Wynton Marsalis, president of the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation (LAEF). “Whether you’re seven or 70, these evergreen selections featuring the great composer/arranger Benny Carter, and the incomparable vocalists Ella Fitzgerald and Velma Middleton are illuminated by Pops’ down-home vocals. His reading of ‘The Night Before Christmas,’ with my New Orleans homeboy, Sullivan Fortner on piano, is a swinging Crescent City Christmas card. If anybody can bring joy to the world, Louis Armstrong can!”
“Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation is thrilled to see this iconic music from our favorite artist earn a spot on today’s music charts, and we are thankful that Verve chose to share this compilation around the world,” said Jackie Harris, LAEF executive director. “When the Foundation transferred the Armstrong archives to Queens College in 1971, we wanted to put his vast collection of music, papers and memories in a place where they could be easily accessed and presented for the world to enjoy. Just seeing how this holiday record is being embraced is proof positive that LAEF’s archival placement is something to celebrate.”
“It’s been an amazing honor to work with our colleagues at UMe and the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation team to get Mr. Armstrong’s first holiday album out to the world,” added Jamie Krents, President, Verve, Impulse and Verve Forecast Records. “Seeing him back on the Top 200 albums chart after almost fifty years is an absolute thrill for all of us at Verve.”