With his infectious smile and croaky voice, Louis Armstrong (who actually pronounced his own name “Lewis”) won over fans worldwide. For countless millions, every note he released made the world a little more wonderful, and his music is still being discovered by new generations of fans. Here are 10 facts about the life of one of the most important jazz musicians of the 20th century.
1. Louis Armstrong spent his adult life celebrating his birthday at the wrong time.
Armstrong used to say that he was born on July 4, 1900. It turned out that he had 13 months off. In 1988, music historian Thaddeus “Tad”
No one is entirely sure why Armstrong lied about his age, but the most popular theories say that he wanted to join a military band or thought he had a better chance of landing gigs when he was over 18.
2. As an adult, Louis Armstrong wore a Star of David pendant to honor the Jewish family who had hired him.
During his childhood, Armstrong did various jobs for the Karnofskys, a family of Lithuanian-Jewish immigrants. “You were always nice to me,” Armstrong thought once.[I] was just a little child who could use a little word of kindness. “Aside from financial compensation, Armstrong received a hot meal every evening and regular invitations to Karnofsky Shabbat dinners. One day they even brought him the $ 5 that he used to buy his first horn.
3. Louis Armstrong sometimes used food-based unsubscribe.
“Pops” had a special place in his heart for Chinese and Italian food. As a Bayou American by birth, Armstrong’s favorite dish was always rice and beans. Before marrying his fourth wife, he made sure that she could cook a satisfactory plate. To understand how much the man adored this entrée, remember that he often signed his personal letters with “Red Beans and Ricely Yours”.
4. During a famous recording, Louis Armstrong reportedly dropped his notes and improvised.
At one point in “Heebie Jeebies” – a song released by Armstrong and his “Hot Five” band in 1926 – the singer uttered a series of nonsensical, horn-like sounds. Music historians recognize this as the first popular mass market scat. Ironically, Armstrong later wrote it off as a big mistake. In an interview with esquireArmstrong claimed to have been prepared with printed text that day. In the middle of the recording session, he accidentally dropped it and sprinkled to fill the following silence. “Sure enough,” he said, “she … [published] “Heebie Jeebies” the same way it was wrongly recorded. “However, most biographers believe that Armstrong invented this anecdote and planned to scan all the time. It is also worth noting that although Armstrong made it popular, it did not invent the technique that dates back to at least 1906 Has.
5. Louis Armstrong gave away laxatives as a gift.
Between 1952 and 1955, Armstrong lost £ 100. Losing weight initially proved difficult, but his luck changed when he learned about a herbal laxative called “Swiss Kriss”. The artist went out immediately, bought a box and became a lifelong speaker. After trying it, he said that the defecation sounded like “applause”. In love, the musician began to distribute packages to admirers, relatives and band members. Despite being the product’s largest cheerleader, Armstrong did not request or receive payment from its manufacturers.
6. Segregation laws drove Louis Armstrong to boycott his own state.
In 1956, Louisiana banned integrated bands. Armstrong indignantly refused to host another concert within the country’s borders. “They treat me better around the world than in my hometown,” he said. “Isn’t that stupid? Jazz was born there and I remember when cats of every color weren’t a crime to get together and blow. “Nine years later, after the ban was finally lifted, he returned to the New Orleans stage on October 31, 1965.
7. While playing in front of the royal family, Louis Armstrong gave King George V a new nickname.
By order of His Majesty, some of the greatest names in jazz brought their talents to Buckingham Palace, and in 1932 Armstrong was asked for a royal performance. Obviously the show went well. According to Armstrong, the “biggest laugh” came that night just before his group started playing “You Rascal, You”. Without warning, he looked straight up at the monarch and yelled, “This is for you, Rex!”
8. Louis Armstrong went on several goodwill tours during the Cold War.
Fresh from the wild success of his “Hello, Dolly!” Armstrong traveled to Communist East Berlin in 1965, where he gave a two-hour concert that earned a standing ovation. Although not officially sponsored by the government, there are some who believe that the concert was arranged by the CIA, which would only make it one of the many taxpayer-funded appearances he would make abroad during the Cold War strengthen diplomatic relations overseas. Previously, Armstrong had performed across Europe, Asia, and Africa – although he was known to cancel a planned Soviet Union tour in 1957, citing the recent Little Rock crisis. “The way they treat my people in the south,” said Armstrong, “the government can go to hell.”
9. “What a Wonderful World” was originally introduced to Tony Bennett.
The song Pops remembered most for, “What a Wonderful World”, was almost never his song. After completing the optimistic hymn, songwriters Bob Thiele and George David Weiss thought Tony Bennett would eat them up straight away. He later died, so the duo contacted Armstrong in August 1967.
10. “What a Wonderful World” caused a sensation in the United States long after Louis Armstrong’s death.
The first recording of “What a Wonderful World” was produced by ABC Records, which made no attempt to promote it domestically. Although the ballad topped the 1968 charts in the UK, American sales were miserable. When Pops (who adored Thiele and Weiss’ masterpiece) died on July 6, 1971, “What a Wonderful World” seemed destined for the darkness in the States.
Then came a comedy with bare fingers Good morning Vietnam (1987). The joyous melody clashed perfectly and ironically with the war horrors depicted in a montage, and director Barry Levinson added it to the soundtrack of his film. “What a Wonderful World” was very well received by moviegoers and was released again this year and became a popular radio hit.