Louis Armstrong

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by bklein13
Last updated 4 years ago

Discipline:
Arts & Music
Subject:
Artist Biographies
Grade:
8

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Louis Armstrong

Louis Armstrong

Early Life: Louis Armstrong was born on August 4, 1901, in New Orleans, Louisiana. He grew up in a ghetto called the "battlefield." His father abandoned him at a young age and his mother was a prostitute which forced him to stay with a Jewish family most of the time. When he was older, Louis was arrested and sent to the Colored Waif's home for boys where he was introduced to music and fell in love with it. When he wasn't working he would be singing jazz music and playing trumpet live

When he was older he started to make more records. He collaborated frequently with Bessie Smith and others. He made over 50 records with his personal band, Louis Armstrong and the Hot Five. Armstrong had been playing the cornet and he finally switched to the instrument he would stay with. He met a pianist from Pittsburgh who he made a lot of records and songs with. Starting in 1929, he began starring in plays and performing popular songs that were recorded by famous musicians like Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Billie Holliday, and Ella Fitzgerald.

"There is two kinds of music, the good, and the bad. I play the good kind.""Musicians don't retire; they stop when there's no more music in them.""We all do 'do, re, mi,' but you have got to find the other notes yourself."

In the 50s, Armstrong became better known and started getting called "ambassador satch." He went on to tour globally, on different continents. Even though his popularity was growing, a new form of jazz had been developed in the 40s. Bebop was the up and coming form of jazz that produced famous artists like miles Davis and dizzy Gillespie. His popularity started to fade especially after he got involved in civil rights issues that were occurring in the south where he grew up. In the late 50s he started performing a lot again and had a heart attack in Italy but recovered. He broke out again when he was asked to record the big number for the musical hello dolly. Right after that he recorded one of his most famous songs, What a Wonderful World, was so popular because instead of playing his symbolic trumpet, he sang the song himself. In 1968 his medical problems were enough to make him retire. He passed away 3 years later in Queens, New York.


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