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Louis Armstrong Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (5) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (4) | Trade Mark (1) | Trivia (18) | Personal Quotes (7)

Overview (5)

Date of Birth 4 August 1901New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
Date of Death 6 July 1971New York City, New York, USA  (heart attack)
Birth NameLouis Daniel Armstrong
Nicknames Satchmo
Pops
Height 5' 6" (1.68 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Louis Armstrong grew up poor in a single-parent household. He was 13 when he celebrated the New Year by running out on the street and firing a pistol that belonged to the current man in his mother's life. At the Colored Waifs Home for Boys, he learned to play the bugle and the clarinet and joined the home's brass band. They played at socials, picnics and funerals for a small fee. At 18 he got a job in the Kid Ory Band in New Orleans. Four years later, in 1922, he went to Chicago, where he played second coronet in the Creole Jazz Band. He made his first recordings with that band in 1923. In 1929 Armstrong appeared on Broadway in "Hot Chocolates", in which he introduced Fats Waller's "Ain't Misbehavin', his first popular song hit. He made a tour of Europe in 1932. During a command performance for King George V, he forgot he had been told that performers were not to refer to members of the royal family while playing for them. Just before picking up his trumpet for a really hot number, he announced: "This one's for you, Rex."

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Dale O'Connor <daleoc@worldnet.att.net>

Spouse (4)

Lucille Wilson (12 October 1942 - 6 July 1971) (his death)
Alpha Smith (11 October 1938 - 1942) (divorced)
Lil Armstrong (4 February 1924 - 1938) (divorced)
Daisy Parker (19 March 1918 - 18 December 1923) (divorced)

Trade Mark (1)

Distinctively gravelly singing voice

Trivia (18)

Satchmo became Armstrong's nickname after his 1932 Grand Tour of Europe. A London music magazine editor wrote "Satchmo" in an article -- probably because he couldn't read his garbled notes. Up until that time Armstrong's nickname was Satchelmouth.
Pictured on a 32¢ US commemorative postage stamp in the Legends of American Music series, issued 1 September 1995.
Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990 (under the category Early Influence).
Inducted into the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame in 1978 (charter member).
He was nicknamed "Pops" because that is the name he addressed everyone by. Later on in his career, he picked up the sobriquet "America's Jazz Ambassador" because of his frequent jazz concerts around the world.
For most of his life, Louis Armstrong always gave July 4, 1900, as his birthdate, possibly because it was easy to remember. In all likelihood, he probably believed it himself. It wasn't until many years after his death that a birth record was found confirming the correct date as August 4, 1901.
Although his career as a recording artist dates back to the 1920s, when he made now-classic recordings with Joe 'King' Oliver, Bessie Smith and the legendary Jimmie Rodgers, as well as his own Hot Five and Hot Seven groups, his biggest hits as a recording artist came comparatively late in his life: "Mack the Knife" (1956), "Hello, Dolly!" (a #1 hit in 1964), "What a Wonderful World" (1968) and "We Have All the Time in the World" (over 20 years after his death).
Interestingly enough, Armstrong had never heard of either the song or show "Hello, Dolly!" when he recorded it. To him, it was just the lead song on an album of show tunes, and he was more surprised than anyone when both the single and the album (Kapp 1964) went to #1 on the Billboard charts. What makes this accomplishment all the more remarkable is that it happened at the height of the so-called "British Invasion", when The Beatles and other British rock groups seemed to be dominating every aspect of the pop music charts. Armstrong later repeated his hit in the show's film version (Hello, Dolly! (1969)), singing it to Barbra Streisand.
Although the term didn't exist during his lifetime, there is much evidence to indicate that he may have been bulemic. He believed that it didn't matter what you ate, as long as you purged yourself regularly afterwards. He would do that with the help of an herbal laxative called Swiss Kriss, and even handed out mimeographed sheets on his diet regimen to friends. In all probability, this contributed to the health problems he suffered in the last years of his life.
Refused to go a State Department-sponsored concert tour of the Soviet Union in 1959 because he felt the administration of President Dwight D. Eisenhower wasn't doing enough to promote civil rights legislation.
Embittered by the treatment of blacks in his hometown of New Orleans, he chose to be buried in New York City.
The slang terms "cat" meaning a man about town and "chops" meaning a musician's playing ability were first coined by him.
Was only 16 when he married Daisy Parker.
He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Recording at 7018 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on February 8, 1960.
Doc Louis, the trainer character in the boxing video game Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! (1987), is based on his likeness.
His home, when he died, was in the Corona section of Queens County, New York City. Today it remains a museum where fans can check out his residence and it's belongings as a citizen of New York City.
He was laid to rest at the Flushing Cemetery, Section 9 in Flushing, Queens, New York City not too far from his home in Corona, Queens. His tombstone is a red granite, emblazoned simply "Satchmo" Louis Armstrong with a beautiful white trumpet figure laden on top. Buried with him is his last of four wives, Lucille Armstrong who died in 1983.
Inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame in 2007 and the Long Island Hall of Fame in 2008.

Personal Quotes (7)

I never tried to prove nothing, just wanted to give a good show. My life has always been my music, it's always come first, but the music ain't worth nothing if you can't lay it on the public. The main thing is to live for that audience, 'cause what you're there for is to please the people.
All music is folk music. I ain't never heard no horse sing a song.
What is jazz? Man, if you have to ask you'll never know.
There's some folks, that, if they don't know, you can't tell 'em.
If it wasn't for jazz, there wouldn't be no rock and roll.
[on being asked about his #1 song "Hello Dolly"] It sure feels good to be up there with [The Beatles].
A lotta cats copy the Mona Lisa, but people still line up to see the original.

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