Louis Armstrong trumped by Eddie Calvert!

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Eddie Calvert - The man with the Golden Trumpet.
Eddie Calvert - The man with the Golden Trumpet.

  • Andrew Atkinson talks to Dona Pepa, Quesada, resident Norma Fernandez, about the world’s best ever trumpeter Eddie Calvert. The Man with The Golden Trumpet.

LATE legendary trumpeter Eddie Calvert – The Man with the Golden Trumpet – has been deemed the best trumpet player ever, and that includes Louis Armstrong!

“Eddie Calvert was a great trumpeter. And – yes – I’d say even better than Louis Armstrong,” Norma told me.

Eddie Calvert - better than Louis Armstrong - Norma Fernandez.
Eddie Calvert – better than Louis Armstrong – Norma Fernandez.

Armstrong – Satchmo – was one of the most influential figures in jazz, during the 1920s-60s.

Former dancer/singer showgirl Norma, showcased alongside Calvert.

“I was at the Ilveley Theatre, Dundee, in shows with Eddie Calvert and drummer Bobby Adrian,” said Manchester born Norma.

Calvert, whose hits include ‘Besame Mucho’ was born in my home City Preston, Lancashire, in 1922.

Besame Mucho is a song of Latin identity, themed of lovers separated by the Second World War.

Louis Armstrong - Satchmo.
Louis Armstrong – Satchmo.

Bésame Mucho has had more than two million performances on radio and television and was recorded by Spanish Opera star Jose Carreras.

Calvert, who had a No. 1 single ‘Oh, Mein Papa’, in 1954, turned professional at the end of World War 2.

Calvert’s ‘Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom’ topped the charts, becoming the first British instrumentalist to achieve the status of having two No. 1 hits.

‘Oh, Mein Papa’ also became a hit in America, leading to Calvert being awarded his first Gold Disc Award for a UK instrumental performance.

Calvert, whose hits include Stranger in Paradise, co-wrote ‘My Son, My Son’, a hit for Vera Lynn in 1954.

Calvert, who went on a World tour, that took in Africa, emigrated to South Africa in 1968.

Norma said: “Eddie was a gentleman – a nice man – and a very funny guy.

“Along with his trumpeting prowess Eddie, a quiet person, was also a good singer.”

Norma recalled going to the Cinema – and Ballet: “At the Cinema Eddie would tell everybody to be quiet!

“Eddie, who had a penciled moustache, was a dapper, well dressed man and rather reserved. But he did like a laugh,” said Norma.

Norma recalled they went to the Theatre to watch a Magician – whose party trick was using an egg.

“At the interval we took the egg – and boiled it – it completely ruined his show, and he went nuts!

“We told Eddie what we had done and he said it wasn’t a very nice thing to do – but laughed more than anyone else!,” said Norma.

Eddie Calvert died on August 7, 1978, following a heart attack at his home in Rivonia, Johannesburg, aged 56.

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