For Raymond and I, jazz meant Louis Armstrong. We were, of course, in the fan club consisting of millions of Louis lovers. I honestly don’t remember which came first, Raymond’s suggestion to Henry Wolf, Art Director of ESQUIRE Magazine, (March 1955) or Henry's call to Raymond announcing that Louis Armstrong was soon to perform at Basin Street East, the iconic jazz club in Manhattan.
Raymond was given the assignment to cover the story, which he did, with me tagging along every step of the way. After a long and brilliant set which left me limp, Louis invited us to his dressing room. “Just give me a few minutes,” he said, as he disappeared backstage. When we entered his dressing room there he was, the great man himself, in his BVDs, i.e., his underwear, smoking, smiling, welcoming us like old buddies. It was thrilling for me and Raymond just carried on like his professional self, snapping pictures while I chatted away with my idol. He was relaxed, gracious, flirtatious, and very funny. How could I have been so shy as to not ask Louis if Raymond could take a picture of me with him? One didn’t do that in those days; one was too polite. In my case, too shy, still full of regrets. No selfies in the ‘50s! - Eleanor Jacobs