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Louis Armstrong

DESCRIPTION: Louis Armstrong was an iconic American jazz trumpeter and singer from New Orleans, Louisiana who was a co-instigator of the second wave of jazz.


ACTIVITY PERIOD: 1901 - 1971

MUSIC GENRE: Jazz, Dixieland, Swing, Traditional Pop


RECORD COMPANIES / LABELS (Current & Past): Brunswick, Decca, Columbia, Dogwood Recording, RCA Victor

OFFICIAL WEB SITE: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_armstrong


(1901 - 1971)
Born in the cradle of jazz, New Orleans, he survived a fractured childhood lived much on the streets, in a waifs home, and later in the city’s dancehalls and honky-tonks. He took up the cornet in his teens (switching later to his trademark trumpet) and moved from band to band until getting the opportunity to play at the famous Roseland Ballroom in New York. He was still in his twenties when his own bands the Hot Five and then the Hot Seven were wowing jazz fans in Chicago clubs. Nicknamed Satchmo - short for satchel mouth - his gravelly voice was utterly distinctive. He was famed for his use of syncopation, and as a pioneer of swing music, the jazz solo, and scat singing. His Twenties scat number Heebie Jeebies became an early recording hit, and he went on to become a national radio personality in the 1930s. After WWII he formed the Louis Armstrong All Stars band. He toured the US and Europe repeatedly, as well as playing in Africa, appeared on the cover of Time magazine, and gained international celebrity. He later remarked that he was welcome anywhere in the world except his own home town, because of racism. He appeared in stage musicals, and movies such as Pennies from Heaven (1936), High Society (1956), The Beat Generation (1958), and Hello Dolly (1968). With the advent of television he made regular appearances on variety shows such as the Ed Sullivan Show, and enjoyed memorable collaborations with other artists including Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald and Bing Crosy. In addition to his idiosyncratic singing voice, he had his own mode of speech and vernacular, and is credited with inventing, or at the very least popularising, expressions such as “groovy” and “cats”. Among the songs he is best remembered for are his version of Mack The Knife, and two songs recorded late in his long career, Hello Dolly, from the musical, and What A Wonderful World.

By Larry Buttrose


Parent Category Page Links: Music Artists / Outfits - America

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