The Life of Louis Armstrong

12 December 2017

Exclusiveness’s He was known as the greatest of all Jazz musicians. He defined what It really was to play genuine jazz music and taught the world to swing. He included joy, spontaneity, and amazing technical abilities. Louis Armstrong was a genius when it came to his inventive musical ability. In this paper, I will tell you about who Armstrong was, his early childhood, accomplishments, and his living legacy. Louis Armstrong was born on August 4, 1901 in New Orleans, Louisiana which Is famously known as the birth place of Jazz.

Armstrong was born Into a very poor Emily In a rough area In New Orleans. HIS father was a factory worker who abandoned the family soon after Armstrong was born. Consequently, he was raised by his mother and grandmother. He worked by singing on street corners for pennies, cleaning graves for tips, selling coal, and working on a junk wagon all to support his family at a very young age. Despite his unstable childhood, Armstrong expressed an early Interest in music. He found someone to help him buy a cornet and taught himself to play. After flung a gun into the alarm ATA New Year’s Eve celebration,Armstrong was labeled as a delinquent and was sent to a reform school called Colored Waifs Home for Boys.

While he was there, he studied music and played the cornet and bugle in the school band. After showing so much interest and perfecting his skills, he became the leader of the band. When he was released from reform school, he worked and struggled to establish himself as a musician. Armstrong listened and learned from older musicians such as, Bunk Johnson and Buddy Petit. The person who had the greatest Influence on him however, was Joe “King” Oliver. He was served as a mentor and great father flexure for Armstrong.Armstrong caught his attention by for playing funerals and parades around town, while also performing with pick-up bands in small clubs.

Louis later began to play in the brass bands, and riverboats of New Orleans. He then started traveling with a widely known band called Fate Marble’ which toured on the Mississippi river. Working with this band gave him a lot of experience working with written arrangements. After Joe Oliver left town In 1919, Armstrong took his place In the Kid ROR band and was well known as the top hot jazz band in the city. (http://www. PBS. Erg/]jazz/biography/ artist_id_Armstrong_Louis.

Tm) In 1 918, when Louis Armstrong was eighteen, he met a local prostitute who soon after became his first wife, her name was Daisy Parker. Her as the working girl, and him as the customer, at a place in New Orleans called The Brick House, was how and where they first met. Their marriage was passionate but also very turbulent. Armstrong claimed that Daisy was a very Jealous wife with a violent temper, and according to others she went back to “her old trade” as a prostitute even after the marriage. Six years was how long their marriage lasted, ending in 1924.Supposedly Louis Armstrong was said to have no children, but after eating his own autobiography “My Life in New Orleans” he writes that in 1921 Daisy adopted a little girl named Will Mae Wilson. He continues to say that Will Mae was 13 years old at the time and that one year later In 1922 she “married a boy named godfather, and also said that when Archie got older he learned to play the trumpet and changed his name to Archie Armstrong.

(Armstrong, 222, 223) In 1922, Armstrong moved to Chicago to be apart of Oliver’s band. It was here that he made his first recordings as a member of the group.While playing in Oliver’s band, he met Oil Harden. She was a pianist and arranger for the band. In 1924, he married this very intelligent and ambitious woman. She encouraged him to leave the band to Join the Fletcher Henderson Orchestra in New York. He briefly worked with Lie Powers’ Harmony Syncopation before he went to play in New York for 13 months.

It was after changing from band to band, that he switched playing the cornet to the trumpet. During the time he did many recordings with numerous Blues singers, such as Bessie Smith’s 1925 recording of “SST. Louis Blues”, Clarence Williams, and the Red Onions Jazz Babies.By this time, Armstrong had gained enough individual attention to make is recording debut as a leader in 1925 when he returned to Chicago. He Joined his wife’s band at the Dreamland Cafe, and also played in Riskier Taste’s Vendor Orchestra and then with Carroll Dickens’s Orchestra at the Sunset Cafe. That same year Armstrong recorded his first Hot Five records, which was the first time he made records under his own name. Any of the records that were made by Louis Armstrong’s Hot Five and Hot Seven were considered to be Jazz classics.

Their band continued recording until 1928, but never played live.This music set a standard and the agenda for Jazz in the many years to follow. Armstrong’s trumpet introduction to “West End Blues” is very famous. It has yet to be surpassed and remains as one of the greatest recorded moments of Jazz. While Louis was working at the Sunset Cafe, he met Joe Glares, who became his manager. Glares was his manager until he died. Armstrong led his own band; they were called Louis Armstrong and his Stoppers.

Louis had become a big star by 1929. He occasionally appeared with the Luis Russell Orchestra, with Dave Peyote, and Fletcher Henderson, and also toured with the show “Hot Chocolates. In Chicago in 1931 Armstrong assembled his own band for touring reposes. When he returned to New Orleans in June of that year he was greeted as a hero, but racism ruined that all. It occurred when a White radio announcer refused to announce on air that Armstrong had to cancel a free concert he was going to give for the African American community. 1931 was also the year that he In 1938 Louis met Alpha, who was a young fan of his from Chicago, and later became his third wife. The two met while he was on tour, and still married to Oil, but he quickly divorced her to marry Alpha.

Unfortunately this was Armstrong’s shortest marriage, only lasting four years. On a good note, he married his fourth wife Lucille Wilson. Luckily, he finally met his match because Lucille turned out to be the love of his life and they stayed together until his death. (Giddings, 98) In Armstrong’s early years he was mainly known for his skills with the cornet and the trumpet. Some of his early music can be heard on his Hot Five and Hot Seven records. Armstrong took some chances in his music, taking some pop songs and making them more interesting and wonderful for the listener to hear.Armstrong’s playing is filled with Joyous, inspired original melodies, creative leaps, and subtle relaxed or driving rhythms.

These things made his music different than the ordinary and made him the legend he has become. The genius of these creative passages is matched by Armstrong playing trumpet. Jazz music was once a group collaboration but Armstrong changed that; he was a solo artist and changed what was mainly folk music to an art form. In the sass’s Armstrong took his work to another level playing at his highest potential marveling audiences.The Hot 5 records were made with incredible skill and intelligence, rarely missing a note, yet when he did it was hard to notice due to his energy level. In the sass’s Armstrong was at his best, expressing his ideas into songs rarely making mistakes and turning his music to perfection. His musical intelligence was at a level that Jazz music had never seen before him.

(http://en. Wisped. Org/ wick/Louis_Armstrong) As his music progressed and popularity grew he began to try different things, such as take previous known songs and add his on twist to them making the songs great.One song that he mastered and made popular was called “Hobbies Jibes”, and what made it such a hit was his scat singing on it. Other songs like “I’m A Ding Dong Daddy from Dumas” and “l done forgot the words” were songs that made his scat singing so popular and the reason why it became a major part of his performances. Armstrong was playing around with his vocals, shortening and lengthening phrases, interjecting improvisations, using his voice as creatively as his trumpet. During Armstrong’s career he played with some of the most famous and important instrumentalists and vocalists.

Some of them include Jimmie Rodgers, Being Rodgers, Being Crosby, Duke Elongating, Fletcher Henderson, Bessie Smith and notably with Ella Fitzgerald. Armstrong’s influence on Being Crosby is important for the development of popular music. Crosby admired Armstrong as it was noticeable in a lot of his songs. He didn’t say Armstrong’s name but was talking about him and his style of music as being a great influence on him and music in general. Armstrong had many hit records including “Stardust”, “What a Wonderful World”, “When the Saints Go Marching In”, “Dream a Little Dream of Me”, “Anti Misbehaving”, and “Stomping’ at the Savoy”. We Have All The Time In The World” featured on the soundtrack of the James Bond film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. In 1964, his recording of “Hello, Dolly” knocked the Beetles out of the number one Billboard slot for the first time in eleven weeks.

It was the last time a Jazz record reached the top of the Billboard charts. Armstrong enjoyed many types of music from Latin to the blues, as well as American Folk songs. He incorporated all this into his performances, sometimes the fans were a little confused but none the less they loved it. His skill level was none other and his performances were amazing. Http://en. Wisped. Org/ Louis Armstrong is well known for his brilliant personality.

It was so strong that it moieties overshadowed his contributions as a musician and singer. He acquired the nickname Staccatos’ or Catch’ from his friends. This was taken from the word satchel mouth, referring to the large size of his mouth. Friends and fellow musicians usually called him Poops’. This is also how Armstrong addressed his friends and fellow musicians. His nickname and his warm southern personality, combined with his love of entertaining and creating a response from the audience, resulted in a public persona.His grin, the sweat and the handkerchief, even became something a of the Zulus” for Marci Grass in 1949.

In the New Orleans African American immunity, an honored role as head of leading black carnival skewer, but was offensive to outsiders with their traditional costumes saturating southern white attitudes. The seeming racial insensitivity of his King of Zulus performance has been seen as a failing on Armstrong’s part. Some saw a bright and wonderful personality, and others saw him as a musician trying too hard to appeal to white audiences.Because of this, he became a minstrel caricature. They also criticized him for playing in front of segregated audiences and for not taking a strong stand in the Civil Right Movements. They even suggested that he was an Uncle Tom. However, Armstrong was a major supporter of Dry.

Martin Luther King and many other civil rights activists. Many people did not know this because he preferred to work quietly and not mix his politics with his music. Although he was discreet, there were times when he mad public moves and his opinions were more effective in this manner.He criticized President Eisenhower for being “two-faced” and “gutless”. This was due to his inaction during the conflict over school desegregation in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1957. Also, as part of a protest, he cancelled a tour of the Soviet Union. He did this because e could not represent his country abroad when they were in conflict with his own people.

(Armstrong, 251-255) Louis Armstrong’s contributions to Jazz music are limitless. His huge impact on the later development of Jazz music had made him a very prominent figure.He is well known for his unique tone and extraordinary talent for melodic improvisation. Because of the way he played, the trumpet emerged as a solo instrument in Jazz music. In addition to his skills as a soloist, he was a masterful accompanist and ensemble player. His creative additions to Jazz made it more difficult for all other musicians who came after him. Armstrong is said to have invented Jazz singing.

He had a distinctive gravely voice, which he used in many ways as an improviser by bending the lyrics of the song for expressive purposes. Scat singing was another skill that he used.This is otherwise known as wordless visualizing. Before, singers would simply sing the song the way it was made to be sang. Because of Armstrong, they now felt free to put their own style or twist to it. Armstrong also did more than Just play the trumpet in Jazz bands. He appeared in several Hollywood films.

In most of them, he was usually playing a musician or band leader. He became the first African American to host a national radio show in the sass’s and also made many television appearances. One of these appearances was the the Tonight Show’ starring Johnny Carson.Louis Armstrong also has a star on the Hollywood walk of fame. (Giddings, 22,133-134) Still, many of Armstrong’s recordings remain popular. Even decades after his death, a lot of his recordings are in print more than any other time when he was alive. His songs are still listened to everyday and are broadcasted throughout the world.

His music is also honored in various movies, TV series, commercials, and even anima and computer games. Armstrong’s song, “A kiss to build a dream on” is used as the theme song for the computer game Fallout 2.Also, “What a wonderful world” is featured in the Veneered anima. His 1923 recording with Joe Oliver and his Creole Jazz band continue to be listened to as documents of ensemble style New Orleans. Many times, Armstrong recorded with boring, standard orchestras. This left his trumpet playing as the only forget the beginnings of where he came from. He set up a non-profit foundation for helping and teaching disadvantage children in music.

He donated his house and archives of writings, books, recordings, and memorabilia to Queens College, New York.This was set to take place after the death of him and his wife, Lucille. The Louis Armstrong Archives are available to music researches. His home is also opened to the public as a museum. (Giddings, 266) Armstrong was known to have a great sense of humor, a very natural manner, and a positive outlook on life. Louis Armstrong always flashed his contagious wide smile, and spoke with a unique warming voice. He won the hearts of people everywhere.

His warm personality and natural love for entertaining and creating a response from the audience created a large fan base for him.

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