Monthly Archives: February 2013

Russ Phillips, Sr.

Telegram from Associated Booking in New York to my Father, Russ Phillips, Sr. offering him the job with the All Stars.


Downbeat Oct.1951
This was the “blurb” in the October 1951 Downbeat Magazine reporting that my Dad had joined the “Louis Armstrong Combo”.

All Stars Off The Plane-900
One of my favorite pictures. I don’t know where the band was coming from or going, but it must have been taken late in 1951 as Earl Hines was still with the band. Shown are my Father top, Cozy Cole and Earl Hines below him left and right. Barney Bigard, Dale Jones below Barney on the left, unknown little girl for whom Louis appears to be signing a record album. Velma Middleton is at the bottom right of the picture.

Armstrong Band in Hawai-900i
Here’s a picture of the band in Hawaii. The only trip the band took that my Mom and I didn’t go along. Pictured left to right are Barney Bigard, my Dad, Dale Jones, Louis (very tickled about something), Velma, Cozy and Marty Napoleon who joined the band on piano after Earl Hines left to form his own band as mentioned in the Downbeat piece above.

Speaking of Downbeat, this ad appeared in the September 24, 1952 Downbeat. Interestingly, I believe my Dad had either just left or was about to leave the band when this appeared. My good friend and great trombonist Dan Barrett gave me this copy of Downbeat from his collection. Thanks Dan!

A few more pictures…
Clubbing with Cozy-900
Here is Lee Cole (Cozy’s wife) and Cozy with my Dad and Mother with an unknown couple. I can only guess the All-Stars were playing at this club or had just finished playing. Note the matching double-breasted jackets and bow ties on Cozy and my Father.

Russ Phillips, Sr.
One of my Dad’s publicity shots.

Louis Pub Shot to Dad-900
Here’s one from Louis to my Dad. Nice note – “To a fine trombone man-a great showman and trouper”

Louis to Rusty-900
This one’s to me. “To little ‘Rusty Jr’, Best Wishes, Your Admirer, Louis Armstrong…Satchmo”

More to come.