About this time in the winter of 1962, the great jazz trumpeter and composer Louis Armstrong came to Sun Valley to perform for a television production. It was the Westinghouse special titled, “Winter Carnival in Sun Valley.” Part of it is shown in this still photo—an outtake of Armstrong and his orchestra performing on the small Sun Valley Lodge Dining Room stage. Accompanying him and featured in the special were the additional singers Roberta Peters, Sheila MacRae and Gordon MacRae. Among the songs Armstrong performed on trumpet and sang were “On the Sunny Side of the Street” and “Lazy River.” According to Sun Valley publicist Dorice Taylor, Armstrong “stole the show.”
The Center for Regional History has records of Armstrong’s 1962 visit and performance thanks to of former Sun Valley employee Clayton Stewart’s collection in the Center for Regional History. Hired by Union Pacific when still a teenager, Stewart first worked for Sun Valley as a talented fishing and hunting guide alongside renowned older guide Taylor Williams. Clayton was raised in Shoshone and got his start during Sun Valley’s very first summer. Clayton went on to be head of transportation at Sun Valley. By the time he collected this outtake photo, he was coordinating all the transportation at Sun Valley, including all the location shoots for the various film and television productions, such as this one starring Louis Armstrong.
The Jeanne Rodger Lane Center for Regional History celebrates African American History Month. To learn more about the African American experience, see the poster exhibit, “A Place for All People: Introducing the National Museum of African American History and Culture,” currently on display in The Community Library’s main foyer, and organized by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) in collaboration with the Regional History Museum.