Louis Armstrong : The Most Influential Jazz Musicians Of All Time

1639 Words Nov 20th, 2015 null Page
Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong “My whole life, my whole soul, my whole spirit is to blow that horn…” (Louis Armstrong). He possessed no formal teaching and yet he broke all barriers when it came to music. Louis Armstrong remains one of the most influential jazz musicians of all time. He not only revolutionized the sound of jazz with his embellished, improvisational solos and “scat” singing, but also his humble personality and charismatic presence won him the hearts of millions. Often known as Pops, or Satchmo, Louis Armstrong was born on August 4, 1901 in a “ramshackle house” in a rough district of New Orleans known as the Battlefields (Giddins 45). Armstrong however, enjoyed claiming that he was a child of the American Independence, being born on July 4, 1900. Armstrong’s story is one of rags to riches. He was born to Mary Albert, who was only fifteen at the time, and William Armstrong, who abandoned him shortly after his birth. Armstrong spent the first five years of his life living with his grandmother, who he credits for raising him with “Emersonian values” (Santoro 30). After that, he moved back in with his mother, who worked day and night just to provide food and a place to lay their heads. Some even say that she was having to prostitute just to get enough money to provide for her children. By the age of seven, Louis quit school and went to work. As a young boy, Louis was dancing and singing in the streets of New Orleans for pennies. He also worked for the neighborhood…

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