Billie Holiday & Louis Armstrong - Decca 24785 (1949)

I'm not completely sure but I think these two sides may be the only studio recorded duets by Billie Holiday & Louis Armstrong. I do know that they performed together for several numbers in the 1947 film New Olreans.

I just found out that there were 2 versions released of My Sweet Hunk O' where Louis drops the f-bomb in his bantering behind Billie's singing and, after Walter Winchell supposedly complained about it a month after hitting the shelves, a sanitized version was released with Louis saying "How come?" in the same spot.

By the version is kid safe.

With the orchestra directed by Sy Oliver, these were recorded in New York on November 7, 1949.


  1. It is CERTAINLY the only collaboration between the two, which is a shame, as Louis Armstrong and Bessie Smith were Billie's two musical heroes. I gather the issue was that Holiday and Armstrong were never on the same label at the same time, with the possible exception of during this period (though I think an exception was made because there was movie money at play here), and neither one's label wanted to make the other singer's label money. Tragic, as these recordings shows a real chemistry between the two.

    [Fixed typos in my previous entry.]

  2. That is, the only collaboration that was pressed on vinyl.

  3. Andrew, thanks for the confirmation and agree wholeheartedly about their chemistry.