Thursday, 4 August 2011

Louis Armstrong

Louis Daniel Armstrong (August 4, 1901 – July 6, 1971), nicknamed Satchmo or Pops, was an American jazz trumpeter and singer from New Orleans, Louisiana.

Coming to prominence in the 1920s as an "inventive" cornet and trumpet player, Armstrong was a foundational influence in jazz, shifting the music's focus from collective improvisation to solo performance.

With his instantly recognizable deep and distinctive 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 greatly skilled at scat singing, vocalizing using sounds and syllables instead of actual lyrics.

Renowned for his charismatic stage presence and voice almost as much as for his trumpet-playing, Armstrong's influence extends well beyond jazz music, 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 amazing talent in an America that was severely racially divided. It allowed him socially acceptable access to the upper echelons of American society that were highly restricted for a person of color. While he rarely publicly politicized his race, often to the dismay of fellow African-Americans, he was privately a strong supporter of the Civil Rights movement in America.

On March 19, 1918, Louis married Daisy Parker from Gretna, Louisiana. They adopted a 3-year-old boy, Clarence Armstrong, whose mother, Louis's cousin Flora, died soon after giving birth. Clarence Armstrong was mentally disabled (the result of a head injury at an early age) and Louis would spend the rest of his life taking care of him. Louis's marriage to Parker failed quickly and they separated. She died shortly after the divorce.

Armstrong died of a heart attack in his sleep on July 6, 1971, a month before his 70th birthday, and 11 months after playing a famous show at the Waldorf-Astoria's Empire Room. He was residing in Corona, Queens, New York City, at the time of his death. He was interred in Flushing Cemetery, Flushing, in Queens, New York City.

His honorary pallbearers included Bing Crosby, Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Pearl Bailey, Count Basie, Harry James, Frank Sinatra, Ed Sullivan, Earl Wilson, Alan King, Johnny Carson and David Frost. Peggy Lee sang The Lord's Prayer at the services while Al Hibbler sang "Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen" and Fred Robbins, a long-time friend, gave the eulogy.




Louis Armstrong & Duke Ellington – Together For The First Time/The Great Reunion












01. Duke’s Place
02. I’m Just A Lucky So and So
03. Cottontail
04. Mood Indigo
05. Do Nothin’ Thill You Hear From Me
06. The Beautiful American
07. Black and Tan Fantasy
08. Drop Me Off At Harlem
09. The Mooche
10. In A Mellow Tone
11. It Don’t Mean A Thing
12. Solitude
13. Don’t Get Around Much Anymore
14. I’m Beginning To See The Light
15. Just Squeeze Me
16. I Got It Bad (And That Ain’t Good)
17. Azalea



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