'And now, ladies and gentleman, it's blues time and here's our vocalist, Velma Middleton!'. For 13 years, Louis Armstrong uttered the above sentence almost nightly. She would always open with a blues and from her very first line, 'Here's news for you baby, mama's back in town' and she would have the audience in the palm of her hand. She was originally a dancer and, although obese, she often did a split on stage (which almost literally brought down the house...). Middleton had an average but reasonably pleasing and humorous voice. She was often used for comic relief, such as for duets with Satchmo on 'That's My Desire', 'Honeysuckle Rose' and 'Baby, It's Cold Outside'.