Al Hirt, was one of the world's greatest trumpet players. With a heart as big as his passion for music, life and cigars, Al was know to his friends as Jumbo. Jumbo joked with Cigar Smoker Magazine about Frank Sinatra, Louie Armstrong, and his musical best friend, Pete Fountain. As his last joke, he told us that Fountain keeps all of his money hidden in his freezer with the pork roast! When Al and Pete met 40 years ago they worked for an exterminator - Al worked with the roaches and Pete worked with the rats! Al played for presidents, popes and led the Mardi Gras parade many times. Jumbo is up in heaven playing with Grabriel's Big Band now and we present his very last interview to you.
Q: We're here at Charles W. Drury's Humidor Room in New Orleans, Louisiana.
A: Oh, we were working the Sullivan show and Sullivan had a stage manager who ran everything there. His name was Ed Franklin. They had a little elevator on the ground floor that went up to the stage. It was tough to fit in there because it was small. We were waiting for one guy. His head hit the top of the elevator. He says, "Sign this for me champ. Just sign it...to Ed." What do you think he says? "How do you spell Ed?" Nobody laughed. It was like a graveyard in there. He looked like a mountain, Sonny Liston.