Hot Lips

Al Hirt, Red Nichols and Pete Candoli

A trumpet feature on a 1920s hit

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Al Hirt (1922-99) was a spectacular trumpeter who came up in New Orleans as a Dixieland player before expanding into pop, classical, and other areas of music.

Hirt’s pop hits of the early 1960s and his genial personality made him a household name and a frequent performer on television.

In one of his specials, he welcomed veteran cornetist Red Nichols and trumpeter Pete Candoli to join him on a swinging version of “Hot Lips,” a song that Henry Busse had made famous in the 1920s.

While Hirt dominates this performance, Nichols and Candoli get in some fine moments while backed by a big band in a rendition much hotter than anything Henry Busse ever played.

-Scott Yanow


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