When It’s Sleepy Time Down South

Louis Armstrong

Armstrong and his big band play his theme song in 1942

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Louis Armstrong first recorded “When It’s Sleepy Time Down South” in 1931.

Armstrong loved the tune so much that he used it as his theme song for the next 40 years.

While other musicians recorded the tune, particularly in the early 1930s, “Sleepy Time Down South” became so closely associated with Armstrong that it became his song.

Here is the filmed Soundie version from Apr. 20, 1942.

Forget the stereotypes and the corny costumes and listen to Armstrong’s expressive singing and his fine trumpet chorus.

-Scott Yanow


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