In a strange turn of events, it was during this tour that Armstrong's career fell apart: Years of blowing high notes had taken a toll on Armstrong's lips, and, following a fight with his manager Johnny Collins—who already managed to get Armstrong into trouble with the Mafia —he was left stranded overseas by Collins.

Armstrong decided to take some time off soon after the incident, and spent much of relaxing in Europe and resting his lip. When Armstrong returned to Chicago in , he had no band, no engagements and no recording contract.

His lips were still sore, and there were still remnants of his mob troubles and with Lil, who, following the couple's split, was suing Armstrong.

Armstrong put his career in Glaser's hands and asked him to make his troubles disappear. Glaser did just that; within a few months, Armstrong had a new big band and was recording for Decca Records.

During this period, Armstrong set a number of African-American "firsts. That same year, he became the first African-American to get featured billing in a major Hollywood movie with his turn in Pennies from Heaven , starring Bing Crosby.

Additionally, he became the first African-American entertainer to host a nationally sponsored radio show in , when he took over Rudy Vallee's Fleischmann's Yeast Show for 12 weeks.

He was also a frequent presence on radio, and often broke box-office records at the height of what is now known as the "Swing Era.

Armstrong's fully healed lip made its presence felt on some of the finest recordings of career, including "Swing That Music," "Jubilee" and "Struttin' with Some Barbecue.

In , Armstrong finally divorced Lil Hardin and married Alpha Smith, whom he had been dating for more than a decade. Their marriage was not a happy one, however, and they divorced in That same year, Armstrong married for the fourth—and final—time; he wed Lucille Wilson, a Cotton Club dancer.

When Wilson tired of living out of a suitcase during endless strings of one-nighters, she convinced Armstrong to purchase a house at th Street in Corona, Queens, New York.

The Armstrongs moved into the home, where they would live for the rest of their lives, in By the mid-'40s, the Swing Era was winding down and the era of big bands was almost over.

Seeing "the writing on the wall," Armstrong scaled down to a smaller six-piece combo, the All Stars; personnel would frequently change, but this would be the group Armstrong would perform live with until the end of his career.

Armstrong signed with Columbia Records in the mid-'50s, and soon cut some of the finest albums of his career for producer George Avakian, including Louis Armstrong Plays W.

Handy and Satch Plays Fats. It was also for Columbia that Armstrong scored one of the biggest hits of his career: His jazz transformation of Kurt Weill's "Mack the Knife.

During the mid-'50s, Armstrong's popularity overseas skyrocketed. This led some to alter his long-time nickname, Satchmo, to "Ambassador Satch. He performed all over the world in the s and '60s, including throughout Europe, Africa and Asia.

Murrow followed Armstrong with a camera crew on some of his worldwide excursions, turning the resulting footage into a theatrical documentary, Satchmo the Great , released in Though his popularity was hitting new highs in the s, and despite breaking down so many barriers for his race and being a hero to the African-American community for so many years, Armstrong began losing his standing with two segments of his audience: Modern jazz fans and young African Americans.

Bebop, a new form of jazz, had blossomed in the s. Featuring young geniuses such as Dizzy Gillespie , Charlie Parker and Miles Davis , the younger generation of musicians saw themselves as artists, not as entertainers.

They saw Armstrong's stage persona and music as old-fashioned and criticized him in the press. Armstrong fought back, but for many young jazz fans, he was regarded as an out-of-date performer with his best days behind him.

The civil rights movement was growing tenser with each passing year, with more protests, marches and speeches from African Americans wanting equal rights.

To many young jazz listeners at the time, Armstrong's ever-smiling demeanor seemed like it was from a bygone era, and the trumpeter's refusal to comment on politics for many years only furthered perceptions that he was out of touch.

When Armstrong saw this—as well as white protesters hurling invective at the students—he blew his top to the press, telling a reporter that President Dwight D. Eisenhower had "no guts" for letting Faubus run the country, and stating, "The way they are treating my people in the South, the government can go to hell.

Armstrong's words made front-page news around the world. Though he had finally spoken out after years of remaining publicly silent, he received criticism at the time from both black and white public figures.

Not a single jazz musician who had previously criticized him took his side—but today, this is seen as one of the bravest, most definitive moments of Armstrong's life. Armstrong's four marriages never produced any children, and because he and wife Lucille Wilson had actively tried for years to no avail, many believed him to be sterile, incapable of having children.

However, controversy regarding Armstrong's fatherhood struck in , when a girlfriend that the musician had dated on the side, Lucille "Sweets" Preston, claimed she was pregnant with his child.

Preston gave birth to a daughter, Sharon Preston, in Shortly thereafter, Armstrong bragged about the child to his manager, Joe Glaser, in a letter that would later be published in the book Louis Armstrong In His Own Words Thereafter until his death in , however, Armstrong never publicly addressed whether he was in fact Sharon's father.

In recent years, Armstrong's alleged daughter, who now goes by the name Sharon Preston Folta, has publicized various letters between her and her father.

The letters, dated as far back as , prove that Armstrong had indeed always believed Sharon to be his daughter, and that he even paid for her education and home, among several other things, throughout his life.

Perhaps most importantly, the letters also detail Armstrong's fatherly love for Sharon. While only a DNA test could officially prove whether a blood relationship does exist between Armstrong and Sharon—and one has never been conducted between the two—believers and skeptics can at least agree on one thing: Sharon's uncanny resemblance to the jazz legend.

Armstrong continued a grueling touring schedule into the late '50s, and it caught up with him in , when he had a heart attack while traveling in Spoleto, Italy. The musician didn't let the incident stop him, however, and after taking a few weeks off to recover, he was back on the road, performing nights a year into the s.

Armstrong was still a popular attraction around the world in , but hadn't made a record in two years. In December of that year, he was called into the studio to record the title number for a Broadway show that hadn't opened yet: Hello, Dolly!

The record was released in and quickly climbed to the top of the pop music charts, hitting the No. This newfound popularity introduced Armstrong to a new, younger audience, and he continued making both successful records and concert appearances for the rest of the decade, even cracking the "Iron Curtain" with a tour of Communist countries such as East Berlin and Czechoslovakia in In , Armstrong recorded a new ballad, "What a Wonderful World.

Armstrong sang his heart out on the number, thinking of his home in Queens as he did so, but "What a Wonderful World" received little promotion in the United States. The tune did, however, become a No.

By , Armstrong's grueling lifestyle had finally caught up with him. Heart and kidney problems forced him to stop performing in That same year, his longtime manager, Joe Glaser, passed away.

Armstrong spent much of that year at home, but managed to continue practicing the trumpet daily. By the summer of , Armstrong was allowed to perform publicly again and play the trumpet.

After a successful engagement in Las Vegas, Armstrong began taking engagements around the world, including in London and Washington, D. However, a heart attack two days after the Waldorf gig sidelined him for two months.

Armstrong returned home in May , and though he soon resumed playing again and promised to perform in public once more, he died in his sleep on July 6, , at his home in Queens, New York.

Since his death, Armstrong's stature has only continued to grow. In the s and '90s, younger African-American jazz musicians like Wynton Marsalis, Jon Faddis and Nicholas Payton began speaking about Armstrong's importance, both as a musician and a human being.

A series of new biographies on Armstrong made his role as a civil rights pioneer abundantly clear and, subsequently, argued for an embrace of his entire career's output, not just the revolutionary recordings from the s.

Armstrong's home in Corona, Queens was declared a National Historic Landmark in ; today, the house is home to the Louis Armstrong House Museum , which annually receives thousands of visitors from all over the world.

Their marriage lasted four years "of torture and passion," before falling apart. Lil Hardin, the pianist of the King Oliver ensemble, became the second Mrs.

Armstrong in February She was a real "businesswoman", and did not hesitate to take charge of her husband's career. She felt that the King Oliver Orchestra did not value him enough.

In June , Armstrong therefore left the band and his mentor. But their romance soon faded and they separated in , then divorced in He had another failed marriage in , to Alpha Smith.

They got married in Lucille was nicknamed "Lady Armstrong" by clarinetist Joe Muranyi; she supported and respected Louis until her death, and understood that "his trumpet comes first". Criminal gangs dominated Chicago in the s, they had a huge influence on jazz.

Many careers started in unsavoury cabarets. Inside the clubs, amidst laughter and frenzied dancing to bass and piano, gangster would meet and settle scores. Glasser was very well connected.

Armstrong performed at the Sunset Cafe from , but it was not until that Joe Glaser became his agent. Dipper Mouth Blues was even the title of a song performed by Armstrong when he was part of Joe Oliver's band.

His lips caused him a lot of trouble. He damaged them lots playing the trumpet and reaching high pitched notes, and suffered greatly. One evening in , while performing Them There Eyes in Baltimore, they split.

A few months later, he had to interrupt a European tour. In , he wrote to drummer Zutty Singleton: "My lips are screwed up, I would like to cancel concerts, but in this business, to cancel, you have to be dead!

In addition to being an instrumentalist and singer, the jazz musician was also an actor. His first appearance on the big screen took place in in the short film A Rhapsody in Black and Blue.

He played the trumpet and sang with great enthusiasm, wearing a leopard skin leotard, knee-high in foam.

He then appeared in a number of films, including the musical Pennies from Heaven which was his first collaboration with actor and singer Bing Crosby.

Armstrong was one of the first black actors to perform in Hollywood movies. His roles were however often brief and of less importance. He was sometimes even entirely cut in the editing process, as in the Doctor Rhythm.

His big break came in with New Orleans , a film about the history of jazz. In addition to writing the soundtrack, Armstrong accompanied other great musical names such as Billie Holiday, Kid Ory and Zutty Singleton.

He rubbed shoulders with some of the biggest names in Hollywood. This film marked the end of Armstrong's film career. In total, he appeared in about thirty feature films and a dozen short films.

He was so successful that people started to imitate him, and identify with him. Shortly after his arrival in New York in and his first concerts in Harlem, he became the talk of the town.

His way of playing stunned musicians. Young people in particular tried to imitate his posture and his mannerisms. Louis Armstrong crossed his arms across his stomach in a certain way Louis Armstrong still used a handkerchief to wipe his face and they did the same as Milton Mezzrow and Bernard Wolfe note in Really the Blues.

Louis Armstrong had a taste for rhythm that was matched by his taste for food. He loved a Creole rice dish that his mother, Mayann, used to make. It was the best in the world - in my opinion at least.

As for the red bean rice, it's useless to talk about it, everyone knows it's my hallmark," he wrote in Satchmo: My Life in New Orleans.

Armstrong even used to sign his letters with the phrase "Red beans and rice-ly yours". Many of his songs also reference his favorite dish.

For example, in the second version of You Rascal You , he blames the rascal for stealing his rice and red beans!

Louis Armstrong did not see music as "work". Music was his life; he never stopped recording, performing, for film or concerts. In the early s, he continued to crisscross the United States despie being ill.

His doctor tried to get him to stop playing the trumpet but to no avail. As his wife remarked, "this man has never learned to rest. They just stop playing". On July 5, , recovering from a severe heart attack, Armstrong asked his doctor to assemble his orchestra to resume work as soon as possible.

what did louis armstrong play

In , he married Daisy Parker, a prostitute, commencing a stormy union marked by many arguments and acts of violence. During this time, Armstrong adopted a three-year-old boy named Clarence.

The boy's mother, Armstrong's cousin, had died in childbirth. Clarence, who had become mentally disabled from a head injury he had suffered at an early age, was taken care of by Armstrong his entire life.

Meanwhile, Armstrong's reputation as a musician continued to grow: In , he replaced King Oliver in Kid Ory's band, then the most popular band in New Orleans.

He was soon able to stop working manual labor jobs and began concentrating full-time on his cornet, playing parties, dances, funeral marches and at local "honky-tonks"—a name for small bars that typically host musical musical acts.

Beginning in , Armstrong spent his summers playing on riverboats with a band led by Fate Marable. It was on the riverboat that Armstrong honed his music reading skills and eventually had his first encounters with other jazz legends, including Bix Beiderbecke and Jack Teagarden.

Though Armstrong was content to remain in New Orleans, in the summer of , he received a call from King Oliver to come to Chicago and join his Creole Jazz Band on second cornet.

Armstrong accepted, and he was soon taking Chicago by storm with both his remarkably fiery playing and the dazzling two-cornet breaks that he shared with Oliver.

He made his first recordings with Oliver on April 5, ; that day, he earned his first recorded solo on "Chimes Blues. Armstrong soon began dating the female pianist in the band, Lillian Hardin.

After they married in , Hardin made it clear that she felt Oliver was holding Armstrong back. She pushed her husband to cut ties with his mentor and join Fletcher Henderson's Orchestra, the top African-American dance band in New York City at the time.

Armstrong joined Henderson in the fall of , and immediately made his presence felt with a series of solos that introduced the concept of swing music to the band.

Armstrong had a great influence on Henderson and his arranger, Don Redman, both of whom began integrating Armstrong's swinging vocabulary into their arrangements—transforming Henderson's band into what is generally regarded as the first jazz big band.

However, Armstrong's southern background didn't mesh well with the more urban, Northern mentality of Henderson's other musicians, who sometimes gave Armstrong a hard time over his wardrobe and the way he talked.

Henderson also forbade Armstrong from singing, fearing that his rough way of vocalizing would be too coarse for the sophisticated audiences at the Roseland Ballroom.

While in New York, Armstrong cut dozens of records as a sideman, creating inspirational jazz with other greats such as Sidney Bechet, and backing numerous blues singers, namely Bessie Smith.

Today, these are generally regarded as the most important and influential recordings in jazz history; on these records, Armstrong's virtuoso brilliance helped transform jazz from an ensemble music to a soloist's art.

His stop-time solos on numbers like "Cornet Chop Suey" and "Potato Head Blues" changed jazz history, featuring daring rhythmic choices, swinging phrasing and incredible high notes. He also began singing on these recordings, popularizing wordless "scat singing" with his hugely popular vocal on 's "Heebie Jeebies.

The Hot Five and Hot Seven were strictly recording groups; Armstrong performed nightly during this period with Erskine Tate's orchestra at the Vendome Theater, often playing music for silent movies.

While performing with Tate in , Armstrong finally switched from the cornet to the trumpet. A young pianist from Pittsburgh, Earl Hines, assimilated Armstrong's ideas into his piano playing.

Together, Armstrong and Hines formed a potent team and made some of the greatest recordings in jazz history in , including their virtuoso duet, "Weather Bird," and "West End Blues.

The latter performance is one of Armstrong's best known works, opening with a stunning cadenza that features equal helpings of opera and the blues; with its release, "West End Blues" proved to the world that the musical genre of fun, dance jazz was also capable of producing high art.

Armstrong was featured nightly on Ain't Misbehavin' , breaking up the crowds of mostly white theatergoers nightly. That same year, he recorded with small New Orleans-influenced groups, including the Hot Five, and began recording larger ensembles.

Armstrong's daring vocal transformations of these songs completely changed the concept of popular singing in American popular music, and had lasting effects on all singers who came after him, including Bing Crosby , Billie Holiday , Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald.

By , Armstrong, who was now known as Satchmo, had begun appearing in movies and made his first tour of England. While he was beloved by musicians, he was too wild for most critics, who gave him some of the most racist and harsh reviews of his career.

Satchmo didn't let the criticism stop him, however, and he returned an even bigger star when he began a longer tour throughout Europe in In a strange turn of events, it was during this tour that Armstrong's career fell apart: Years of blowing high notes had taken a toll on Armstrong's lips, and, following a fight with his manager Johnny Collins—who already managed to get Armstrong into trouble with the Mafia —he was left stranded overseas by Collins.

Armstrong decided to take some time off soon after the incident, and spent much of relaxing in Europe and resting his lip. When Armstrong returned to Chicago in , he had no band, no engagements and no recording contract.

His lips were still sore, and there were still remnants of his mob troubles and with Lil, who, following the couple's split, was suing Armstrong.

Armstrong put his career in Glaser's hands and asked him to make his troubles disappear. Glaser did just that; within a few months, Armstrong had a new big band and was recording for Decca Records.

During this period, Armstrong set a number of African-American "firsts. That same year, he became the first African-American to get featured billing in a major Hollywood movie with his turn in Pennies from Heaven , starring Bing Crosby.

Additionally, he became the first African-American entertainer to host a nationally sponsored radio show in , when he took over Rudy Vallee's Fleischmann's Yeast Show for 12 weeks.

He was also a frequent presence on radio, and often broke box-office records at the height of what is now known as the "Swing Era. Armstrong's fully healed lip made its presence felt on some of the finest recordings of career, including "Swing That Music," "Jubilee" and "Struttin' with Some Barbecue.

In , Armstrong finally divorced Lil Hardin and married Alpha Smith, whom he had been dating for more than a decade.

Their marriage was not a happy one, however, and they divorced in That same year, Armstrong married for the fourth—and final—time; he wed Lucille Wilson, a Cotton Club dancer.

When Wilson tired of living out of a suitcase during endless strings of one-nighters, she convinced Armstrong to purchase a house at th Street in Corona, Queens, New York. The Armstrongs moved into the home, where they would live for the rest of their lives, in By the mid-'40s, the Swing Era was winding down and the era of big bands was almost over.

Seeing "the writing on the wall," Armstrong scaled down to a smaller six-piece combo, the All Stars; personnel would frequently change, but this would be the group Armstrong would perform live with until the end of his career.

Armstrong signed with Columbia Records in the mid-'50s, and soon cut some of the finest albums of his career for producer George Avakian, including Louis Armstrong Plays W.

Handy and Satch Plays Fats. It was also for Columbia that Armstrong scored one of the biggest hits of his career: His jazz transformation of Kurt Weill's "Mack the Knife.

During the mid-'50s, Armstrong's popularity overseas skyrocketed. This led some to alter his long-time nickname, Satchmo, to "Ambassador Satch. He performed all over the world in the s and '60s, including throughout Europe, Africa and Asia.

Murrow followed Armstrong with a camera crew on some of his worldwide excursions, turning the resulting footage into a theatrical documentary, Satchmo the Great , released in Though his popularity was hitting new highs in the s, and despite breaking down so many barriers for his race and being a hero to the African-American community for so many years, Armstrong began losing his standing with two segments of his audience: Modern jazz fans and young African Americans.

Bebop, a new form of jazz, had blossomed in the s. Featuring young geniuses such as Dizzy Gillespie , Charlie Parker and Miles Davis , the younger generation of musicians saw themselves as artists, not as entertainers.

They saw Armstrong's stage persona and music as old-fashioned and criticized him in the press. Armstrong fought back, but for many young jazz fans, he was regarded as an out-of-date performer with his best days behind him.

The civil rights movement was growing tenser with each passing year, with more protests, marches and speeches from African Americans wanting equal rights. To many young jazz listeners at the time, Armstrong's ever-smiling demeanor seemed like it was from a bygone era, and the trumpeter's refusal to comment on politics for many years only furthered perceptions that he was out of touch.

When Armstrong saw this—as well as white protesters hurling invective at the students—he blew his top to the press, telling a reporter that President Dwight D. Eisenhower had "no guts" for letting Faubus run the country, and stating, "The way they are treating my people in the South, the government can go to hell.

In June , Armstrong therefore left the band and his mentor. But their romance soon faded and they separated in , then divorced in He had another failed marriage in , to Alpha Smith.

They got married in Lucille was nicknamed "Lady Armstrong" by clarinetist Joe Muranyi; she supported and respected Louis until her death, and understood that "his trumpet comes first".

Criminal gangs dominated Chicago in the s, they had a huge influence on jazz. Many careers started in unsavoury cabarets. Inside the clubs, amidst laughter and frenzied dancing to bass and piano, gangster would meet and settle scores.

Glasser was very well connected. Armstrong performed at the Sunset Cafe from , but it was not until that Joe Glaser became his agent. Dipper Mouth Blues was even the title of a song performed by Armstrong when he was part of Joe Oliver's band.

His lips caused him a lot of trouble. He damaged them lots playing the trumpet and reaching high pitched notes, and suffered greatly.

One evening in , while performing Them There Eyes in Baltimore, they split. A few months later, he had to interrupt a European tour. In , he wrote to drummer Zutty Singleton: "My lips are screwed up, I would like to cancel concerts, but in this business, to cancel, you have to be dead!

In addition to being an instrumentalist and singer, the jazz musician was also an actor. His first appearance on the big screen took place in in the short film A Rhapsody in Black and Blue.

He played the trumpet and sang with great enthusiasm, wearing a leopard skin leotard, knee-high in foam. He then appeared in a number of films, including the musical Pennies from Heaven which was his first collaboration with actor and singer Bing Crosby.

Armstrong was one of the first black actors to perform in Hollywood movies. His roles were however often brief and of less importance.

He was sometimes even entirely cut in the editing process, as in the Doctor Rhythm. His big break came in with New Orleans , a film about the history of jazz.

In addition to writing the soundtrack, Armstrong accompanied other great musical names such as Billie Holiday, Kid Ory and Zutty Singleton.

He rubbed shoulders with some of the biggest names in Hollywood. This film marked the end of Armstrong's film career.

In total, he appeared in about thirty feature films and a dozen short films. He was so successful that people started to imitate him, and identify with him. Shortly after his arrival in New York in and his first concerts in Harlem, he became the talk of the town.

His way of playing stunned musicians. Young people in particular tried to imitate his posture and his mannerisms. Louis Armstrong crossed his arms across his stomach in a certain way Louis Armstrong still used a handkerchief to wipe his face and they did the same as Milton Mezzrow and Bernard Wolfe note in Really the Blues.

Louis Armstrong had a taste for rhythm that was matched by his taste for food. He loved a Creole rice dish that his mother, Mayann, used to make. It was the best in the world - in my opinion at least.

As for the red bean rice, it's useless to talk about it, everyone knows it's my hallmark," he wrote in Satchmo: My Life in New Orleans.

Armstrong even used to sign his letters with the phrase "Red beans and rice-ly yours". Many of his songs also reference his favorite dish. For example, in the second version of You Rascal You , he blames the rascal for stealing his rice and red beans!

Louis Armstrong did not see music as "work". Music was his life; he never stopped recording, performing, for film or concerts. In the early s, he continued to crisscross the United States despie being ill.

His doctor tried to get him to stop playing the trumpet but to no avail. As his wife remarked, "this man has never learned to rest.

They just stop playing". On July 5, , recovering from a severe heart attack, Armstrong asked his doctor to assemble his orchestra to resume work as soon as possible.

The father of jazz never got the chance, he died in his hospital bed the next day at dawn. Herbert von Karajan: 10 little things you perhaps do not know about the legendary conductor.

Opera Bastille: 9 little things you should know about the largest operatic stage in Europe. Original content available on francemusique. Go to replay Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto no.

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When Oliver moved up North in , he recommended that the youngster get his spot with trombonist Kid Ory's pacesetting band. Retrieved June 14, Louis never showed much aptitude for bicycling and Lance has so far avoided learning to play wind instruments. Armstrong made his last recorded trumpet performances on his album Disney Songs the Satchmo Way. What instrument did play Louis Armstrong?

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Himself - Guest. Whag templates for discussion go here help reach a consensus. By the what did louis armstrong play, Armstrong was a widely beloved American what did louis armstrong play and cultural ambassador who commanded an international fanbase. The popularity he gained brought together many black and white audiences to watch him perform. Grammy Award winner Miles Davis was a major force in the jazz world, as both a trumpet player and a bandleader.

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At the same time, however, his oeuvre includes many what did louis armstrong play melodies, creative leaps, and relaxed or driving rhythms. Because of the Free play ideas for preschool DepressionArmstrong, like many others, had trouble finding work. Dix was a famous jazz musician, what did louis armstrong play was called The King of Jazz, so he was called all over the world to play. What style of music does organ play? Many broadcast announcers, fans, and acquaintances called him "Louie" and in a videotaped interview from Lucille Armstrong calls her late husband "Louie" as well. Armstrong sang his heart out on the number, thinking of his home in Queens as he did so, but "What a Wonderful World" received little promotion in the United States. It was not until the bebop era began twenty years later that jazz trumpeters, inspired by Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davismoved beyond Armstrong to look for other musical role models.

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