As a kid, Armstrong was a born musician. He did many jobs at a young age to support his family, such as cleaning graves, selling coal, and singing on the street corners for pennies. Dwelling the city like this exposed Armstrong to all kinds of music. From the blues that played In the Storyline wonky tones to the brass bands that accompanied parades and funerals. Armstrong found all this music to be a great source of inspiration. Already having demonstrated his singing talents on the city streets, Armstrong eventually bought and taught himself to play a cornet. He knew from that moment on he wanted to become a musician.
Louis Armstrong was helped by a Junk dealer whom he worked as a grade-school student to buy himself a cornet, this sparked an early interest in music for Armstrong. He dropped out of school at 11 to Join an informal music group, but received his first formal music instruction at the Colored Waif’s Home for Boys, where he was sent to for a year and a half as punishment for firing blanks during New Years Eve (alembic. Com). There, he was formally taught how to play an instrument for the home had a bandmaster who took Interest In youth that taught him to play he bugle.
He was also taught how to play his cornet. With this instruction, Armstrong Instantly fell In love with music. He started to dream of becoming big In the music business when he was released from the Institute. Even though he still had to work for money, he began to earn the reputation of a fine blues player. Joe “King” Oliver, one of the greatest cornet players in New Orleans, acted as a mentor to Armstrong, showing him pointers on playing the horn as Armstrong’s talents started to develop (encyclopedia. Com).
Armstrong’s reputation as a musician continued to grow. From 1917 to 1922, Armstrong played the cornet for local Dixieland Jazz bands. In 1918, Armstrong replaced Oliver in Kid ROR- a Jazz trombonists- band. Kid Rosy band was the most popular band at the time in New Orleans. Playing in the band eventually led to Armstrong being able to stop working manual labor Jobs and Instead, concentrate full time on his cornet. He played In parties, dances, funeral marches, and at local honked-tones. (Small bars that host musical acts. At this time, Armstrong wasn’t able to read music that well, until 191 9 where he spent his summers playing with a band De by Fate Marble on riverboats. This is when Armstrong started honing his music reading skills as well as having his first encounters with other jazz legends like Big Bedecked and Jack Degraded (biography. Com). He also tried writing songs but unfortunately was only partially rewarded. “l wish I could Shimmy like My Sister Kate”, one of his compositions, was published. But, the company reportedly cheated him out of both byline and payment.
Then, Oliver, a man who led a successful band in Chicago, came for Armstrong. Armstrong, as a second cornet player for Oliver, started o make his first recordings. He earned his first recorded solo In the song “Chimes Blues” (encyclopedia. Com). Husband Into cutting ties with Oliver and Joggling bandleader and arranger, Fletcher Henderson Orchestra. The Orchestra at the time was the top African-American arranger, Don Redden, who began putting Armstrong “swinging vocabulary’ into their Arrangements (biography. Com). This transformed Henderson band into what is regarded as the first Jazz big band.
Although that was a great success, Armstrong was unhappy with the Orchestra because his Southern background didn’t fit in with the ore urban, Northern mentality of the other musicians in the band. He was also forbidden to sing because of his rough visualization. Henderson feared that it was too coarse for the sophisticated audiences that they had. With that, Armstrong left Henderson Orchestra in 1925 and went back to Chicago where he played with his wife’s band in Dreamland Cafe (encyclopedia. Com). During his time in New York, Armstrong, as a sideman, cut dozen of records.
He created inspirational Jazz and backed numerous blues singers. In Chicago, Joke Records signed him to an exclusive contract in the fall of 1925. This allowed Armstrong to make his first records with a band that was under his name: Louis Armstrong and the Hot Five. He made recordings fronting his own musicians, and depending on the number that was assembled, they were known as the Hot Five or Hot Seven. The group was strictly recording groups, and performed nightly during the period with Riskier Taste’s orchestra at the Vendor Theater.
In 1926, Armstrong finally switched from the cornet to the trumpet while performing with Tate-a Jazz saxophonist- in 1926 (encyclopedia. Com). The Hot Seven “experiment” took place in 925 when two piece rhythm sections was augmented by two musicians that played the drums and a tuba. As the years passed, Armstrong experimented with music, which led him to break free from the more rigid style from Dixieland to a style of Jazz that paved a way to a more modern genre of Jazz (Louis-Armstrong. Net). In 1930, Armstrong started to perform with larger bands and recorded more pop sounding songs, something different than what he usually played.
Some Jazz purist didn’t think it was a good move for him to do, but later figured out that he helped inspire the later swing-like sound. Nevertheless, he was still known with Jazz by the public, and was considered an “ambassador” of the genre during his extensive European tours. During his career Armstrong performed in many places, like Ghana and England. In Ghana, he was considered a hero by the natives of the country, and in England, was given the nickname “Satchel” when performing a few times before the British royal family (encyclopedia. Mom). By 1932, Armstrong had become big. He started to appear in movies where he spread Jazz’s popularity by playing musical roles, which people thought that he was included in these films because his recording of the one of the title songs in 1964 sold over two million copies and momentarily displaced The Battles from the pop charts (encyclopedia. Com). Though he was loved by musicians, he was given the most racist and harsh reviews of his career because he was too wild for most critics.
He didn’t let the criticism bring him down however and returned an even bigger star when he began to tour throughout Europe in 1933. However, it was during this tour that Armstrong career started to fall apart. Many years of blowing high notes darted to take a toll on his lips, and to make things worse, a following fight with Johnny Collins, his manager who had also managed to get Armstrong into trouble with the American mob. With this, Armstrong decided to take some time off after the Upon returning to Chicago in 1935, Armstrong basically had nothing.
He decided to put his career into the hands of Glasses, who had close mob ties and also was close to AY Capons. Doing this, the remnants of his mob troubles and other problems disappeared. Within a few months, Armstrong had a new big band and was recording for Decca Records (biography. Mom). Armstrong continued to record for Decca Records in the late sass and early sass, creating a string of popular hits. Though he was becoming highly popular in the sass, there was one downfall: he began losing his standing with two parts of his audience, which were Modern Jazz fans and young African-Americans.
And on top of that, the struggle for civil rights was happening during all of this. The young people saw Armstrong music as outdated and said his “best days are now behind him”, and it only became a tad worse when he refused to comment on the politics and struggle or civil rights. But this changed in 1957 when on television, he saw a crisis: The Governor of Arkansas sent in the National Guard to forbid nine African-American students from entering the school. He blew up at this, telling a reporter that the President at the time, which was Dwight D.
Eisenhower, had “no guts” for letting the governor govern the country. He also stated that the way “they’ were treating his people in the south, the Government can go to hell. His words made the front-page of the newspaper across the world, and though he had finally spoken out after engaging publicly silent for so long, he received criticism from both black and white public figures. This was one of the most definitive and one of the bravest moments of Armstrong life (biography. Com).
When World War 2 ended, swing music was on its way out and bands again became smaller, giving Armstrong another opportunity to hit it big. At a Town Hall concert in New York, he introduced a six piece group that he would use for the rest of his life. He named it the All Stars, and they complimented his style perfectly. In the sass, Armstrong teamed up with other singers to make recordings. He teamed up tit Being Crosby, Louis Jordan, and Gary Crosby. He made some tracks with Ella Fitzgerald in 1957, and was backed up by the Oscar Peterson trio.
While working with the trio, Armstrong took the opportunity to record “Mack the Knife”, his first big hit to feature his famous raspy throat. Armstrong continued through a touring schedule in the late ass, and it caught up to him in 1959 when he had a heart attack while traveling to Italy. The heart attack didn’t stop the musician however. After taking a few weeks off to recover, Armstrong was back on the road, performing 300 nights a year throughout the year and into the sass. Armstrong continued to be a popular attraction around the world in 1963, but hadn’t made a record in two years.
In December, he was called into the studio to record a title number for a Broadway show: Hello, Dolly! The show wasn’t open at the time, but the record was released in 1964. It quickly climbed to the top of the music charts and hit No. 1 slot in 1964, once again, knocking the Battles off the top at the height of Battlement. With this big hit, Armstrong continued to create music until 1971 (biography. Com). Louis Armstrong brought Jazz into the world; his incredible talent was able to hen there wasn’t internet or TV.