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Louis Armstrong America’s Musical Ambassador Louis Armstrong was born on August 4 th, 1901, in New Orleans, Louisiana. His father, William Armstrong,

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Presentation on theme: "Louis Armstrong America’s Musical Ambassador Louis Armstrong was born on August 4 th, 1901, in New Orleans, Louisiana. His father, William Armstrong,"— Presentation transcript:


2 Louis Armstrong America’s Musical Ambassador

3 Louis Armstrong was born on August 4 th, 1901, in New Orleans, Louisiana. His father, William Armstrong, abandoned the family while Louis was still an infant. He spent the first years of his life living with his Grandmother. At age 5 he moved into a house with his mother and sister, whom he called Mama Lucy. They were incredibly poor.

4 This is the actual cornet Armstrong owned as a boy. It is valued by Sotheby’s auction house to be worth $80,000 to $100,000! A local Russian-Jewish Family, the Kamofsky’s, hired Louis to work on their junk wagon. He used the money he made to buy his first cornet.

5 On New Year’s Eve, 1912, Louis fired a pistol to celebrate New Years. A nearby policeman arrested Louis and the next day he was confined to the Colored Waif's Home for Boys. While in the Waif's Home, Louis received his first cornet lessons from the band director. He was 12 years old. That’s him in the center.

6 Eventually, Louis would lead the band at the Waif’s Home.

7 Released from the Waif’s Home, Armstrong returned to live with his mother. Joe Oliver, one of the finest trumpet players in New Orleans, became Louis's teacher and mentor. At night he started performing with local groups. In the daytime, he would deliver coal and sell newspapers to help feed himself, his mother, and his sister.

8 In 1918 Joe “King” Oliver moved to Chicago …but Louis stayed in New Orleans and became the lead trumpet player in the Kid Ory band, one of the most popular groups in the city.

9 A few years later, King Oliver asked Louis to come to Chicago to join his new group, King Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band.

10 The style of this band featured a lot of improvising, and it suited Louis well. King Oliver was a big influence on him, but as he was getting older, he was ready to start his own band.

11 Armstrong moved to New York, and started his own band, the Hot Five. With this group, he recorded many of his earliest hits, including “West End Blues”.

12 Despite racial barriers, Louis became more and more famous as he continued to record, and began to work in film as well. Audiences were amazed when he hit dozens of high B-flat’s followed by a high G while playing a bandleader in the movie “Pennies from Heaven” starring Bing Crosby.

13 His easygoing style, polite charm, and his comical features made him easy for people to like.

14 Here he displays his trademark grin for which he is so famous.

15 Throughout the 50’s and 60’s, Louis Armstrong toured and performed all over the world. He had become America’s musical Ambassador.

16 Due to his big grin and small stature as a boy, Louis Armstrong had many nicknames. Among them were Gatemouth, Dippermouth, Little Dipper, Little Louie, and Satchelmouth (which a reporter mispronounced). When Louis arrived in England in 1932 he was met by Percy Brooks, the editor of Melody Maker magazine, and in Louis’ own words "that morning when I got off the boat and he shook my hand and said to me 'HELLO SATCHMO'. I had never heard that name before." Armstrong liked the sound of it, and adopted it as his nickname! Satchmo?

17 While in Paris in 1960, Satchmo said, “you can take the boy out of New Orleans, but you can’t take New Orleans out of the boy!”

18 By the early 60’s, Louis Armstrong was a household name. Most had grown up listening to his magnificent trumpet playing, and he was equally well known for his raspy, grand-fatherly voice. Here is an example of Scat-singing, which he made popular. How is scat singing different from regular singing?

19 Louis setting trends? You are all familiar with rap, but before 1980, it couldn’t be found anywhere. In this video from the 1930’s, Louis busts out a rap 50 years before it would become popular.

20 In 1964, at age 63, he recorded the theme song to the Broadway musical Hello Dolly! It rocketed to the top of the charts, even knocking off guess who?

21 You guessed it! The Fab Four themselves saw their latest hit, “Love Me Do” fall off the top of the list when Hello Dolly was released. They don’t seem too happy about it, do they?

22 Louis took home a Grammy for his performance on Hello Dolly!, making him the oldest person to ever have a number one hit on the Billboard charts.

23 Louis Armstrong loved Children, and in the 1960’s he recorded a series of Disney favorites called Disney Songs the Satchmo Way.

24 Satchmo wasn’t done just yet, however. In 1968 he recorded What a Wonderful World. This song would become a hit in America and in Europe, and again hit the charts when it was used for the soundtrack to the movie “Good Morning Vietnam”, starring Robin Williams.

25 From Louis Armstrong made numerous television appearances, traveled to London to record the soundtrack to the James Bond film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, and also recorded the poem ‘Twas the Night before Christmas. He passed away quietly in his sleep on July 6, 1971.

26 Louis Armstrong represented the very best in entertainers. Part performer, part comedian, and completely genuine. In a stadium of thousands, his gentle demeanor could make you feel like he was playing every song just for you. Louis Armstrong also represented the very best in Amercian Ideals: He broke racial, social, and cultural barriers. His music was and is loved by children, grandparents, and all those in between. He was America’s first black superstar, and he truly was an Ambassador of America.

27 Louis Armstrong Watch the video to “What a Wonderful World”


29 Louis Armstrong America’s Musical Ambassador Listening Hello Dolly! (Click to start) West End Blues (Click to start) Review for Ragtime, Blues, & Jazz Test next class If time: Multicultural Band 30 yrs early

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