The childhood and early days of Louis Armstrong
On August 4th, 1901, Louis Armstrong was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. His family was as poor as everyone else who lived in the neighborhood. His childhood was rough because his father was never around and his mother was not able to take good care of him. Louis spent most of his early childhood with his grandmother.
When he was 12 years old, Louis made the mistake of shooting a gun during New Year’s celebrations. No one was hurt as he shot it in the air. Nonetheless, he was sent to a boy’s home for colored children. This was a blessing in disguise for Louis because Louis fell in love with jazz music and started learning to play it. He joined a band consisting of boys who were in this home, learned how to read music, and was all set on his course to be one of the greatest jazz musicians of all time.
Louis’ career begins
Louis Armstrong met his mentor, Joe Oliver, when Louis was just a teenager. He was playing the horn with local bands in New Orleans like the Tuxedo Brass Band when he met Joe. After that, he left to join Joe’s band in Chicago at the beginning of what was later known as the Roaring Twenties. Jazz was the popular music during this time and Louis’ star was only meant to shine from then on. While he was in Joe’s band, his horn solo became one of the most beloved things about the band itself.
A few years later, he switched from his horn to play the trumpet. He also joined the Fletcher Henderson Orchestra around the same time and began to sing. Everyone loved his voice as much as they loved his playing. After making a name for himself, he went back to Chicago and started his own band.
The tour & music
Armstrong made famous songs such as What a Wonderful World and West End Blues. In addition, Armstrong made the style of “scat” well-known in his recording of Heebie Jeebies. His sheet music fell on the floor and Armstrong began to make up words (scatting) and it actually sounded great.
After making many popular songs and records, Louis formed the band the “All Stars”. It consisted of all the big names in the world of jazz music. After that, all he did for the entirety of his career was go on tour with the All Stars.
Although Louis was born and raised in an era of racism and discriminatory laws, he kept his eyes, ears, and heart only on his music. This is how he managed to keep going and reach the top – not only in his time but in history, too. In 1971, Louis died of a heart attack at the age of 69. His legacy was solidified when he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990.