E-Mail From George Avakian

Regarding the Album Liner Notes to Columbia Records Set C-57

Purple Line

The Net is truely a wonderous and expansive place. I found this out when I received the following e-mail message regarding the "Cover Art Page" for the above album. I had copied the liner notes off the album, and duplicated the credits, as displayed on the original 78 album notes. Then to my surprise, the author of the original notes contacted me to help set the historic record straight! Here is that message, as I received it, with select personal data edited out:

Subject: Louis Armstrong Hot Five Album
Date: Sun, 19 Jan 1997 21:01:49 -0500 (EST)

Dear Mr. Frederick,

This is George Avakian, I just saw the entry which says that the Armstrong album was annotated by John Hammond and myself. Please eliminate Hammond's name, regardless of what was on the original album. Hammond had nothing whatsoever to do with any aspect of this album. He put his name on it out of sheer vanity and jealousy, which he was able to do because he was an executive at that time of Columbia, and I was a student at Yale University fifty-seven years ago, who had been hired by Edward Wallerstein, President of the company to research, organize and produce a new line of singles and albums called "Hot Jazz Classics" which were re-issues of out-of-print historically important jazz recordings.

I was in no position at that time to protest. Nor did I bother to do anything other than delete this and other similarly other miscredited albums with Hammonds name on them after I returned from the army during World War II and became Director of Popular Albums for Columbia, since everyone in the business at the time was aware of what happened and all those albums were replace by the expanded LP releases.

I am sick and tired of seeing this lie live this long, and I would deeply appreciate your making the request I have made above.

If there are other listings on your site of Hammond and myself having co-produced any other recordings, or any other site that you know of, I would appreciate your informing me, including addresses and phone numbers or url's where I can contact them.

I am sending this to you via my daughter's internet account, but I would prefer to be contacted by letter at:


Thank you very much for your cooperation in this matter, Sincerely yours,

George Avakian

Purple Line

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