I used to go to New Orleans every ten years or so and 1999 not long before his death I was walking down Bourbon Street and there was a very plain sign in the doorway of one of the clubs that said simply, “Tonight, Al Hirt.” I had believed that Al Hirt had died some years before. I hadn’t heard much about him and I asked the fellow at the door, “It that the famous Al Hirt who is here tonight.” And he said, “Sure is.” And so I took my lady friend inside and we ordered a drink and in a few minutes the music began. It was the genuine Al Hirt, aged for many years and he evidently had had quite a few before taking the bandstand, just the same the music was wonderful and didn’t show the wear. That is until Al tried one of those magnificent runs on the trumpet that made him so famous.He had reached a bit too far and fluffed a couple of notes at the end of the run. I heard him cry out, “Oh sh–! Try it again guys.” And they went back and the second time he nailed that run all the way to the end. Later I bought his picture, enough to fill a wall, he autographed and we talked for a while. He confessed that he had just one genuine hit song in his career. That song sold a million copies and made his album a best seller too. “The song was titled Java and it was an instrumental. The disc jockeys loved it and they played it again and again on their shows. That song was the shortest running song Al ever recorded and although it was a catchy tune well done the reason it was played so many times was that it ran just two minutes and two seconds. It was a perfect filler when the records for a radio show were being scheduled.
I was enjoying myself on YouTube listening to songs by great trumpet players and up popped that tune Jave.
Imagine, selling a million records because the song ran just two minutes and two seconds. Just one more example where less is better.