Louis Armstrong

Louis Armstrong - L Louis Armstrong Tarenah Henriques Dec....

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Louis Armstrong Tarenah Henriques Dec. 10, 1998 Period 4 "Louis Armstrong" Born in August 1901 (not Independence Day 1900, as he was always told and believed), Louis Armstrong sang on the New Orleans streets in a boyhood quartet and in 1913 was admitted to the Colored Waifs' home for firing a gun into the air. In the home he learned the trumpet, and within four years was challenging every trumpet king in his home town, from Freddie Keppard to Joe Oliver, his first father-figure, whom he replaced in Kid Ory's band in 1919. In 1922 Oliver (by now King Oliver) invited Louis to join him in Chicago to play second trumpet. Tempting as it is to echo Nat Gonella's incredulous comment, "I can't imagine Louis playing second trumpet to anyone", Oliver was able to teach Armstrong a little. The regular harmonic experience of playing second (his ear, even then, was faultless) and, above all, the importance of playing straight lead in "whole notes", as Oliver did, were lessons that Armstrong was to remember for life. Experience was by now, however imperceptibly, toughening the young man up. His second wife Lil Hardin helped to focus his streak of ambition and he was learning that people could be devious - Oliver, it transpired, was creaming his sidemen's wages. Although he loved Oliver until the end, by 1924 Armstrong had made the jump to New York and Fletcher Henderson's orchestra. It was hot city company for a country boy, but he had the humor and talent to counter mockery ("I thought that meant 'pound plenty'!", he quipped, when the stern Henderson ticked him off for a missed "pp" dynamic); somewhere along the way he decided he was the best, and got ready to defend his title if necessary. "Louis played the Regal Theater in Chicago," remembers Danny Barker, "and they had this
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Louis Armstrong - L Louis Armstrong Tarenah Henriques Dec....

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