Facts about Louis Armstrong

Louis Armstrong died at 69 years old
Born: August 4, 1901
Best known as: The charismatic jazz trumpeter who recorded "Hello Dolly"

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Louis Armstrong Biography

Louis Armstrong was the most famous jazz trumpeter of the 20th century.

Like Jelly Roll Morton, Louis Armstrong began playing in New Orleans clubs and saloons in his early teens. By the 1920s, Armstrong was touring the country and leading his own band, the Hot Five (later the Hot Seven); he kept touring and performing for the next five decades.

Louis Armstrong was particularly famous for his innovative, loose-limbed improvisations; some call him the first great jazz improvisor. His gravelly voice and sunny persona were a hit with the non-jazz public, and later in his career he was seen as a cheerful ambassador of jazz all over the world.

Armstrong appeared as himself (more or less) in movies like High Society (1956, with his friend Bing Crosby and starlet Grace Kelly) and Hello, Dolly! (1969, with Barbra Streisand). The theme song from the latter film became his most widely-known recording. Louis Armstrong was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as an “early influence” in 1990.

Extra credit

Loius Armstrong’s nickname Satchmo was an abbreviation of “satchelmouth,” a joke on the size of his mouth. He was also nicknamed Gatemouth, Dippermouth, Dip, and simply Pops… The city of New Orleans renamed its airport as Louis Armstrong International Airport in 2001… Louis Armstrong is credited with influencing trumpeters as diverse as Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis and Wynton Marsalis… Louis Armstrong was married four times: to Daisy Parker (from 1919 until their divorce in 1923), to Lil Hardin (from 1924 until their divorce in 1938), to Alpha Smith (from 1938 until their divorce in 1942), and to Lucille Wilson (from 1942 until his death in 1971). None of Armstrong’s marriages produced any children.


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