Louis Armstrong tours with the musical Hot Chocolate

After separating from Lil, Armstrong started to play at the Sunset Café for Al Capone's associate Joe Glaser in the Carroll Dickerson Orchestra, with Earl Hines on piano, which was soon renamed Louis Armstrong and his Stompers, though Hines was the music director and Glaser managed the orchestra. Hines and Armstrong became fast friends as well as successful collaborators.
Armstrong returned to New York, in 1929, where he played in the pit orchestra of the successful musical Hot Chocolate, an all-black revue written by Andy Razaf and pianist/composer Fats Waller. He also made a cameo appearance as a vocalist, regularly stealing the show with his rendition of "Ain't Misbehavin'", his version of the song becoming his biggest selling record to date.

In 1928 Armstrong began fronting Carroll Dickerson's Orchestra and traveled east from Chicago to New York. The band became known as the Louis Armstrong Orchestra, with Dickerson acting as musical director. In 1929 Louis Armstrong was hired to play in the pit band of the popular all Black musical revue Hot Chocolates, which featured the music of Andy Razaf and Fats Waller. The show was a great success and Armstrong stole the show with his singing of Ain't Misbehavin' which became his biggest selling record to date. After each night's show he would then join the Dickerson crew at Connie's Inn and finish the evening at the Lafayette Theater (7th Avenue at 132nd Street) next door.

The short-lived live band Louis Armstrong and His Stompers was assembled in 1928, but by 1929 Armstrong had once again returned to New York, where he spent part of the year touring with the Broadway show Hot Chocolates.