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When did Louis Armstrong perform a concert at Brogden Hall?

Mike Voorheis
Louis Armstrong with Jaycees

Hugh Morton photographed Louis Armstrong (with trumpet) with a group of men including Wilmington Jaycees Emerson Surles and James Mallard in the 1960s. (Photo courtesy of the North Carolina Collection, University of North Carolina Library at Chapel Hill)

The full question:

“As a young boy I saw Louis Armstrong play at Brogden Hall. I remember him playing ‘Hello Dolly.’ It was unusual that someone that ‘famous’ had a concert in Wilmington. I would like to know if anyone remembers when that was. Was sometime in the ’60s.”

And the answer:

Ricky Riccardi, the archivist at the Louis Armstrong House Museum in Queens, N.Y., produced an itinerary of Armstrong’s 1967 schedule.

Armstrong played Brogden Hall at New Hanover High School on Nov. 11, 1967, with his regular band.

Riccardi said the collection of memorabilia at the museum includes a postcard from clarinetist Joe Muranyi to Jack Bradley, an Armstrong fan and collector. In the postcard, Muranyi told Bradley how great the concert in Wilmington was.

Here’s a link to a 2002 interview with Nick Ponos, a local drummer, who was active in music circles for decades. He mentions the Armstrong concert in the interview: http://library.uncw.edu/web/collections/oralhistories/transcripts/157.html

And, even though you didn’t ask, Armstrong seemed to prefer the “Lewis” pronunciation of his name to “Louie,” although he didn’t seem to mind “Louie,” Riccardi said.

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2 Responses to “ When did Louis Armstrong perform a concert at Brogden Hall?”

  1. On February 9, 2012 at 10:12 pm Stanley Outlaw wrote:

    In the 50s and 60s many big name acts came to Wilmington. The Azalea Festival always brought in top names not like the unknowns and has been that they do now. Times other than the Festival you might go see the Tams, Temptations, or some other well know group that were at the peak of their career.

  2. On February 22, 2012 at 9:59 am Denise Bass Daughtry wrote:

    The man second from the left is my father, Norman Bass, Jr. He was part of the group of men that organized the efforts to bring Louis Armstrong to Wilmington. In a photo album at home there is an autographed picture from Mr Armstrong to my mother and father that I remember looking at all the time as I was growing up. I was introduced to Louis Armstrong’s music at such a young age and have always loved his style and his talent. I cannot wait to show this to my father and hopefully he will remember some of the details from that time and will share them with me. Thank you!

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