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Jimmy Webb

| October 21, 2011 | 0 Comments

When I was 19, I wrote a musical called Dancing Girl, and I wanted to play it for [singer] Tony Martin, who starred in a lot of MGM pictures. He was appearing at the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas, so I got the money together and flew up there with my script. I’m not sure why they let me in, but somehow I got backstage to his dressing room. There was a little anteroom that wasn’t very brightly lit, and I sat there to wait. There was someone else there, too—this fellow holding a trumpet and playing with the valves. And I realized, “Holy shit, that’s Satchmo!” [Louis Armstrong] looked at me and asked, “What you got there?” I was holding a lap full of sheet music. He said, “Let me have a look at those.” He read the lyrics, nodded and said, “You keep at it, boy. You’re gonna be something.” It was a very quick encounter, which to this day almost seems like a dream. But it was a huge moment for me.

From Performing Songwriter Issue 100, March/April 2007

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Category: In Their Own Words

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