Louis Armstrong Essay

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Louis Armstrong

Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong was one of the most popular musicians of his time. Upon initiating my research, I was surprised to find conflicting dates as to when he was born. Encarta Africa said he was born in 1901, 1001 things to know about African American history-1898, regular Encarta --1900, "Little Louis and the jazz band" by Angela Shelf Medearis says his date of birth is August 4, 1901. The book "Jazz Stars" by Richard Rennert states that Louis Armstrong was born in 1899, the book "Louis Armstrong" by Sam Tanenhaus says he was born on July 4, 1900. The reason why they have so many different dates is due to the fact that he probably wasn't born in a hastpital and they did not use to keep good records of black
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Day night, ragtime musicdanced out of the neighborhood honky-tonks. At night, Little Louis fell asleep to the sad songs of the local blues singers. Those sorrowful songs sounded like they were full of all the pain in the world.

Little Louis enjoyed all kinds of music, but he loved the music played by the brass bands most of all. Sometimes after a parade, Joe "king" Oliver, the best cornet player in New Orleans, would let Louis carry his cornet case. Little Louis wanted to make music too. He wanted to play a cornet just like King Oliver.

In music, Armstrong discovered the path to success, after a New Year's eve prank in 1913. He had taken his stepfathers .38 caliber pistol and six blanks and fired them into the air. Before he knew what was happening, a policeman had grabbed Little Louis by the arm. Off went Little Louis in the custody of the New Orleans police. The judge decided to send him to the Colored Waifs Home for boys to keep him out of trouble.

The home gave poor boys a chance to finish school and learn a trade. A military man, Captain Joseph Jones and his wife ran it. He ran the home military style. Little Louis was heart broken and home sick. Then one day he heard a brass band playing. He followed the music and found himself in a room full of boys and instruments. He went to band rehearsal everyday and finally he was asked to join the band.

The conductor of the band, Mr. Davis, first gave him a tambourine. Then Louis tried the

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