Song:The Birth of the Blues
DVD:The Boys Are Back In Town!: Classic Tracks from the Gentlemen of Jazz
Music legends Frank Sinatra and Louis Armstrong never recorded together. But they did perform together on TV, most notably performing The Birth of the Blues on The Edsel Show in 1957. The Birth of the Blues was written by Tin Pan Alley songwriters Ray Henderson, Buddy DeSylva and Lew Brown in 1926. These three wrote several songs together. Among those who had success with the song were Whispering Jack Smith, Harry Richman and Paul Whiteman. The song was revived when Bing Crosby performed it in the 1941 film The Birth of the Blues. Cab Calloway recorded it in 1943. In the early 50s, Sinatra's singing career was in decline and he wasn't getting along with Columbia Records head Mitch Miller. So he left Columbia for Capitol Records. The Birth of the Blues was his final Columbia single and reached #19 in 1952. To show how Sinatra was declining, that was his highest charting single of 1952. After Sinatra worked with Louis Armstrong on the 1956 film High Society, they both appeared on the 1957 TV special The Edsel Show. The show was hosted by Bing Crosby and other guests included Rosemary Clooney and The Four Preps. Sinatra and Armstrong performed The Birth of the Blues. I don't think Armstrong ever recorded the song. You can get this performance on this various artists DVD The Boys Are Back In Town along with over 30 vintage performances from the 40s and 50s. Sinatra also perform The Birth of the Blues with The Rat Pack and they performed it on a 1965 TV special. Years later Capitol released the Sinatra and Armstrong recording of The Birth of the Blues on a Duets CD that is out of print. Here's Frank Sinatra and Louis Armstrong performing The Birth of the Blues on The Edsel Show Oct. 13, 1957.