I. Early Life
C. Armstrong’s natural talent from God
II. Performance Career
A. Experiences in New Orleans and Mississippi
B. Chicago and Jazz Band
C. Life from 1924 to 1930s
III. Late Stage
A. Armstrong’s 1950 life
B. The end of Louis Armstrong’s Music Life
IV. Music History
A. Trumpet and Early Jazz
B. Collaborators and Followers
C. Armstrong’s Music Style
1. A Jazz musician
2. A singer
“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 in on the public. The main thing is to live for that audience, ‘cause what you’re there for is to please the people.” ■ Louis Armstrong
When most of us here think of Jazz music, there is a person that is totally unlike any other. There have been many superstars in the past decades. One that had been found most significant was Louis Armstrong. Louis Armstrong was the most successful and talented jazz musician in American history. He was a great musician in so many ways. He patented his own style of music that became known and loved all over the world. He was born on August 4, 1901 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Louis’ father, William, was a guy who loved “freedom,” so his father abandoned the family when Louis was born. Over the next five years Louis lived with his grandmother, Josephine Armstrong. Louis had a yonger sister borned after William got back amd left again; at just the age of six, Louis and three other boys form a vocal quartet and they would perform on the street corners for tips. Louis’ smile traveled from tone side of his face clear over to the other. Everyone said it was as wide as an open satchel. So they called him “Satchelmouth” ( Weinstein 4 ). Louis began to raise his family when he was a little boy, he started to look for jobs at the age of seven wherever he could find them. For instance, he sold newspapers and vegetables and made a little money while singing on the street with a group of friends. Sometimes when he doesn’t have any money, he would always find a careless drunk person stumbling in the streets who would drop his money. When he doesn’t have anything to eat, he would steal some food from the local grocery stores. Then one day he didn’t find a job, but he found a dance club, he sneaked in the club and found out that there was a Jazz band, and at that club he watched the musicians secretly, to see how they held their instruments, to study how they stood, just to lay eyes on them. At that momenment, a wonderful instrument caught his eyes, a horn; just like a fairy tale, that’s how Louis’ story began. Armstrong’s influence and expansive career continues to make waves in jazz world. Raeburn stated ‘The Key to Armstrong’s success in the discipline he brought to bear ( Raeburn 1 ). Well, Louis was not always that lucky. Louis first fell in love with music at New Orleans. From childhood to his adulthood, Louis Armstrong changed greatly as a perosn and musician. He worked very hard and never gave up any opportunities in the way of becoming a musician. At seventeen, Louis accepted a job with John Streckfus to perform along the Mississippi. It was a safe way to test greener pastures elsewhere, but with round trip ticket, because he could always come back to New Orleans ( Raeburn 2 ). It was safe way to test greener pastures elsewhere, but with round trip ticket, because the could always come back to New Orleans ( Raeburn 2 ). Armstrong’s own muscial education was anything but conventional. In September 1918, he had started playing on a Streckfus Steamers excursion boat that plied New Orleans harbor but, still restless, announced to friends and colleagues that he would be shipping out to perform along the Mississippi River from New Orleans as far north as Minneapolis. In 1922, Louis...
Cited: Cogswell, Michael, Louis Armstrong The Offstage Story of Satchmo, 2003, Wase Daughtry, New York.
Collier, James Lincoln, Louis Armstrong An American Success Story, 1928, Macmillan Publishing Company, New York.
Jones, Njemile Carol, NPR
Raeburn, Bergreen Laurence, Louis Armstrong An Extravagant Life, 1997, Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, Inc., 1540 Broadway, New York, NY 10036
Weinstein, Muriel Harris, Play, Louis, Play!, 2010, Jacket illustrations, New York.
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