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Louis Armstrong

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Essay title: Louis Armstrong

Louis Armstrong was born on Aug. 4, 1901 the first important soloist to emerge in jazz, and he became the most influential musician in the music's history. As a genus trumpet musician, his playing, beginning with the 1920s studio recordings made with his Hot Five and Hot Seven group of musicians. Armstrong also became an enduring figure in popular music, due to his distinctively phrased bass singing and engaging personality, which were on display in a series of vocal recordings and film roles. Armstrong had a difficult childhood. William Armstrong, his father, was a factory worker who abandoned the family soon after the boy's birth. Armstrong was brought up by his mother, Mary (Albert) Armstrong, and his motherly grandmother. He showed an early interest in music, and a junk dealer for whom he worked as a grade-school student helped him buy a cornet, which he taught himself to play. He dropped out of school at 11 to join an informal group, but on December 31, 1912, he fired a gun during a New Year's Eve celebration, for which he was sent to reform school. He studied music there and played cornet and bugle in the school band, eventually becoming its leader. He was taken under the wing of cornetist Joe "King" Oliver, and when Oliver moved to Chicago in June 1918, Armstrong replaced him in the Kid Ory Band. He married Lillian Harden, the pianist in the Oliver band, on February 5, 1924. (She was the second of his four wives.) On her encouragement, he left Oliver and joined Fletcher Henderson's band in New York, staying for a year and then going back to Chicago in November 1925 to join the Dreamland Syncopators, his wife's group. During this period, he switched from cornet to trumpet. Armstrong. He took a position as star soloist in Carroll Dickerson's band at the Savoy Ballroom in Chicago in March 1928, later taking over as the band's front man. In September, his recording of the song Ain't Misbehavin entered the charts, becoming a Top Ten hit. Armstrong fronted the Luis Russell Orchestra for a tour of the South in February 1930, and then in May went to Los Angeles, where he led a band at Sebastian's Cotton Club for the next ten months. In July, 1932 Armstrong sailed to England for a tour. He spent the next several years in Europe, his American career maintained by a series of archival recordings. Armstrong's new manager, Joe Glaser, organized a big band for him that had its premiere in Indianapolis on July 1, 1935. He also took a series of small parts in motion pictures, beginning with Pennies From Heaven in December 1936, and he continued to record for Decca, resulting in the Top Ten hits "Public Melody Number One", "When the Saints Go Marching in", and "You Won't Be Satisfied (Until You Break My Heart)",

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