Louis Armstrong and Billie Holiday, “Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans?”
This song comes from the rather forgettable film, New Orleans, which starred Arturo de Cordova and Marjorie Lord, who went on to become Danny Thomas’ wife on Make Room for Daddy, one of those TV sitcom golden oldies.
New Orleans is a 1947 musical drama featuring Billie Holiday as a singing maid and Louis Armstrong as a bandleader; supporting players Holiday and Armstrong perform together and portray a couple becoming romantically involved. During one song, Armstrong’s character introduces the members of his band, a virtual Who’s Who of classic jazz greats, including trombonist Kid Ory, drummer Zutty Singleton, clarinetist Barney Bigard, guitar player Bud Scott, bassist George “Red” Callender, pianist Charlie Beal, and pianist Meade “Lux” Lewis. Also performing in the film is cornetist Mutt Carey and bandleader Woody Herman.
Billie is around 32 when she appeared in this film; Satchmo is 47. As usual at that time, she played a maid in order to get more serious consideration. Armstrong played a bandleader. If Southern movie exhibitors objected to the scene, they could cut it out.