Louis Armstrong Steps Out In ‘High Society’

‘Now You Has Jazz’, from the film ‘High Society,’ was recorded by Louis Armstrong & Bing Crosby and made the US singles chart on October 13, 1956.

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Photo: FilmPublicityArchive/United Archives via Getty Images

“When we finished filming High Society, Bing gave me a golden money clip inscribed ‘To Louie from Bing.’ And when he had a baby girl I sent him a telegram, ‘Now you have jazz.”Louis Armstrong

High Society was a remake of the popular 1940 romantic comedy The Philadelphia Story, adapted from Philip Barry’s stage play of the same name. The 1940 film starred Cary Grant, and in the new version the role was taken over by Bing Crosby. Katharine Hepburn preceded Grace Kelly as the female lead and Frank Sinatra took the part that had won James Stewart an Oscar. Grace Kelly’s wedding plans called for a tight schedule and so filming began on January 17, 1956, and finished in early March.

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Louis and Bing were in MGM’s studio recording on January 6. “Now You Has Jazz” that Louis and Bing recorded that day and featured in the film. “Now You Has Jazz” made the US singles chart on October 13, 1956, entering the charts at No. 94 and peaking at No. 88 during its four-week run.

Pops appears as a kind of narrator, his performance being amongst the best in the film. While most consider the acting in the original to be way better, the remake achieved strong sales at the box office. High Society is different from many film musicals of the era in that there are no big production song and dance numbers. The musical interludes are low-key, complementing rather than punctuating the movie.

In the midst of filming High Society, Louis and the band gave a sold-out concert at Pasadena’s Civic Auditorium before going back in the studio recording for Columbia, as well as more concerts from Grand Rapids Michigan to New York City on a tour with Woody Herman’s Orchestra. Louis’s stamina was amazing. As if to prove conclusively that he was the most hardworking man in American music, Satchmo flew to Australia in early April to play concerts and appear on television before flying to London to start his first tour of Britain in 23 years.

Listen to the best of Louis Armstrong on Apple Music and Spotify.



  1. Annette whitehurst

    October 16, 2014 at 7:51 am

    I loved the movie, especially Satchmo, they dont make movies like that anymore. Shame.

  2. Александр

    October 13, 2015 at 12:20 pm

    SUPER !!!

  3. Doris

    January 17, 2018 at 11:57 am

    One of my all time favorite movie

  4. I have the hots for Britt Ekland

    January 17, 2020 at 3:54 pm

    I take it Grace Kelly was the first member of her family to ever meet a jazz man. Hell, her family probably wasn’t too happy about her being anywhere near a jazz man.

    I wonder if Louis Armstrong ever performed in Monaco after Grace married Rainier.

    Speaking of that, I once saw a photo in which Fidel Castro was seated next to Rainier at some event. I imagine that Fidel asked Rainier about life with Grace.

  5. Keith Musgrave

    January 18, 2020 at 12:51 am

    Some of the best , ever ..

  6. Shirley Miller

    October 13, 2020 at 4:13 pm

    Shirley Miller
    I met Louis in Mobile, Alabama. He was so gracious and sweet! He held both of my hands in his and I declared “I’ll never wash my hands again!”

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