Louis Armstrong’s Poignant Reciting Of Classic Holiday Poem “A Visit From St. Nicholas” (“The Night Before Christmas”) Brought To Life In Beautiful Animated Video To Usher In The Holidays

Los Angeles – November 18, 2022 – Louis Armstrong’s poignant reciting of Samuel Clement Moore’s beloved, timeless poem “A Visit From St. Nicholas,” more popularly known as “The Night Before Christmas,” has been vividly brought to life with a beautiful animated video to usher in the holiday season. Produced and directed by Tom Readdy and Lucy Dawkins at the award-winning creative house Yes Please Productions, the video was animated in a vintage storybook style by animators Sam Shaw, Jac Clinch and Chris Bowles. Watch “A Visit From St. Nicholas” here: https://louisarmstrong.lnk.to/VisitFromStNicholasMV

“A Visit From St. Nicholas” is featured on the just-released album, Louis Wishes You A Cool Yule (Verve/UMe), which collects nearly the entirety of Armstrong’s holiday output and presents the recordings as a cohesive body of work, marking his first-ever official Christmas album. The first non-live recording of Armstrong’s to be released in more than 20 years was recorded by himself on a reel-to-reel tape recorder at his home in Corona, Queens, New York in February 1971 just a few months before he passed away. It’s unknown why exactly the ailing artist felt compelled to record the holiday staple months after Christmas, but it would end up being his final recording, and now an unexpected gift for fans more than 50 years later. Specially for this collection, the recording has been paired with a newly recorded musical underbed by New Orleans pianist Sullivan Fortner.

Now available to stream in both standard audio and immersive Dolby Atmos audio or purchase on CD, red vinyl and limited edition picture disc, the 11-track album boasts Satchmo’s six Decca Christmas singles from the ‘50s, including “Cool Yule,” “Christmas Night in Harlem,” and the swinging “‘Zat You Santa Claus?” and also features duets with two of Pops’ favorite vocal partners, Velma Middleton (“Baby, It’s Cold Outside”) and Ella Fitzgerald (“I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm”). Rounding out the record is the artist’s signature hit, “What a Wonderful World,” which has become something of a yearlong hymn of hope and celebrates its 65th anniversary this year.

The album includes new liner notes from GRAMMY®-Award winning writer, Ricky Riccardi, author of two Armstrong biographies(“Heart Full of Rhythm”and“What a Wonderful World”) and Director of Research Collections for the Louis Armstrong House Museum.

Stream “A Visit From St. Nicholas” here: https://louisarmstrong.lnk.to/StNicholasPseudo

Pre-order Louis Wishes You A Cool Yule: https://louisarmstrong.lnk.to/LouisXmas

Since his passing in 1971, Armstrong’s legacy as one of the most beloved and influential jazz artists of all time has only continued to grow, while his enduring catalog of recordings remains timeless. Born in New Orleans, Armstrong (1901-1971) began his career in the ‘20s, bringing his Dixieland background to Chicago, New York City, and Los Angeles. By the time he became an internationally-renowned star in the ‘40s, the hardworking singer, bandleader, actor, and trumpet player was spending nearly 300 days on tour every year. One constant throughout these shows, however, was the spirit of Christmas.

As a child, Riccardi writes, Armstrong “did not have much time for Christmas… life necessitated that he drop out of school and go to work while still a young boy to help support his mother and sister.” After his marriage to Lucille Wilson, however, the holidays took on a new meaning—particularly when the couple was on the road. Riccardi continues, “With the holidays approaching, Lucille bought a small Christmas tree and set it up in their hotel room. According to Lucille, Louis ‘just looked at it and looked at it and told me, ‘This is the first tree I’ve ever had.’ Louis refused to let Lucille take it down and insisted they take it with them on the rest of the tour. The Armstrongs would continue this tradition, Lucille later remarking that they continued setting up ‘a table tree and holiday fixings in whatever hotel in whatever country we happen to be in.’

Perhaps, it is that love of Christmas that accounts for Armstrong’s somewhat mysterious reading of “A Visit from St. Nicholas.” Whether Satchmo was giving fans one final present, or simply finding comfort in his favorite holiday, it is certain that the recording, and this album, will deliver plenty of Christmas magic.

As one of his many acts of generosity, Louis Armstrong established the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation, to, in his words, “give back to the world some of the goodness he received.” Founded and funded by Louis and Lucille Armstrong in 1969, LAEF is a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to perpetuating the legacies of Louis and Lucille Armstrong throughout the world. Its mission includes supporting musicians, jazz education, performances and programming. LAEF is a living legacy to Louis Armstrong, the most important creative force in the early development and perpetuation of America’s music, jazz.  His influence, as an artist and cultural icon, is universal, unmatched, and very much alive today.

Louis Wishes You a Cool Yule Track Listing

1. Cool Yule 

2. Winter Wonderland 

3. I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm (w/ Ella Fitzgerald) 

4. ‘Zat You Santa Claus? 

5. Christmas In New Orleans 

6. White Christmas 

7. Christmas Night In Harlem 

8. Baby, It’s Cold Outside (w/ Velma Middleton) 

9. Moments To Remember 

10. What A Wonderful World 

11. Reading of “A Visit from St. Nicholas” with Sullivan Fortner, piano accompaniment 

Louis Wishes You a Cool Yule Track List


1. Cool Yule 

2. Winter Wonderland 

3. I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm (w/Ella Fitzgerald) 

4. ‘Zat You Santa Claus? 

5. Christmas In New Orleans 

6. White Christmas 


1. Christmas Night In Harlem 

2. Baby, It’s Cold Outside (w/ Velma Middleton) 

3. Moments To Remember 

4. What A Wonderful World 

5. Reading of “A Visit from St. Nicholas” with Sullivan Fortner, piano accompaniment