Louis Armstrong
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1901-08-04
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Louis Armstrong

Louis Armstrong Biography (BBC)

Born in abject poverty in New Orleans, Armstrong became the first great soloist in jazz, and the musician who was the single most powerful influence on the music during its first half century. Abandoned by his father, he was brought up by his mother and grandmother in some of the poorest areas of his home town, and he apparently never know his real birth date, preferring to adopt Independence Day 1900 as his birthday.

As a boy, he worked on a coal cart for the Jewish Karnofsky family, working in the Red Light District of New Orleans and developing a musical talent that grew further during his time in the Colored Waifs home, where he spent some of his teenage years. he played cornet in the Waifs' band, and by his late teens had acquired a reputation as a fine brass player with plenty of ideas and natural stamina. His big break came when he was summoned to Chicago in 1922 to join King Oliver's band, with whom he made his first records. His reputation grew when he travelled to New York in 1924 to become a star soloist with Fletcher Henderson.

Back in Chicago, he made a remarkable series of discs with a studio band known as his Hot Five and Hot Seven, in which he developed his bravura solo style, and launched the concept of the improvising jazz soloist. His brilliant, inventive playing became a symbol of the energy and freedom of the 'jazz age' - the riotous pre-Depression America of the Roaring Twenties. By the end of the 1920s, having moved to New York in 1929 to perform in the revue Hot Chocolates, Armstrong became a major star. As a singer, trumpeter and entertainer, he fronted his own big band throughout the 1930s and well into the 1940s, making a string of influential discs that featured his high, powerful trumpeting and his gravelly singing.

He toured to Europe in 1933-4 , leading a big band of local musicians. In 1947 he scaled down to a small group - the All Stars - which he led for the rest of his life, playing an up-to-date brand of the Dixieland jazz of his home town. He also appeared in numerous films, and made several popular vocal records, including Hello Dolly and What a Wonderful World, which introduced him to a vast audience unaware of his musical innovations in the 1920s. When he died he was universally regarded as the father figure of jazz, and loved by the people he had met and encouraged all over the world as 'Ambassador Satch', playing a relentless series of tours and concerts well into his old age.

Louis Armstrong Biography (Wikipedia)

Louis Armstrong (August 4, 1901 – July 6, 1971), nicknamed Satchmo or Pops, was an American trumpeter, composer, singer and occasional actor who was one of the most influential figures in jazz. His career spanned five decades, from the 1920s to the 1960s, and different eras in jazz.

Coming to prominence in the 1920s as an "inventive" trumpet and cornet player, Armstrong was a foundational influence in jazz, shifting the focus of the music from collective improvisation to solo performance. With his instantly recognizable gravelly voice, Armstrong was also an influential singer, demonstrating great dexterity as an improviser, bending the lyrics and melody of a song for expressive purposes. He was also skilled at scat singing.

Renowned for his charismatic stage presence and voice almost as much as for his trumpet playing, Armstrong's influence extends well beyond jazz, and by the end of his career in the 1960s, he was widely regarded as a profound influence on popular music in general. Armstrong was one of the first truly popular African-American entertainers to "cross over", whose skin color was secondary to his music in an America that was extremely racially divided. He rarely publicly politicized his race, often to the dismay of fellow African Americans, but took a well-publicized stand for desegregation in the Little Rock crisis. His artistry and personality allowed him socially acceptable access to the upper echelons of American society which were highly restricted for black men of his era.

This entry is from Wikipedia, the user-contributed encyclopedia. It may not have been reviewed by professional editors and is licensed under an Attribution-ShareAlike Creative Commons License. If you find the biography content factually incorrect or highly offensive you can edit this article at Wikipedia. Find out more about our use of this data.



Louis Armstrong Tracks

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Louis Armstrong
The Beat Generation
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The Beat Generation
Louis Armstrong
A Kiss To Build A Dream On
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A Kiss To Build A Dream On
Louis Armstrong
St. James Infirmary
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St. James Infirmary
Louis Armstrong
I'm Confessin'
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I'm Confessin'
Louis Armstrong
We Have All The Time In The World
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We Have All The Time In The World
Louis Armstrong
What A Wonderful World
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What A Wonderful World
Louis Armstrong
IT'S A WONDERFUL WORLD
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IT'S A WONDERFUL WORLD
Louis Armstrong
Hello Dolly
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Hello Dolly
Louis Armstrong
I Got it Bad (and That Ain't Good)
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I Got it Bad (and That Ain't Good)
Louis Armstrong
We Have All The Time In The World
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We Have All The Time In The World
Louis Armstrong
You're The Top
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You're The Top
Louis Armstrong
Wonderful World
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Wonderful World
George Gershwin
It Ain't Necessarily So (From Porgy and Bess)
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It Ain't Necessarily So (From Porgy and Bess)
Louis Armstrong
When You're Smiling (The Whole World Smiles With You)
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When You're Smiling (The Whole World Smiles With You)
Louis Armstrong
Between The Devil and The Deep Blue Sea
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Between The Devil and The Deep Blue Sea
Louis Armstrong
C'est Si Bon
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C'est Si Bon
Louis Armstrong
Mack The Knife
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Mack The Knife
Louis Armstrong
Just one of those things
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Just one of those things
Ella Fitzgerald
You Don't Learn That In School
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You Don't Learn That In School
Louis Armstrong
Sweethearts On Parade
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Sweethearts On Parade
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