Louie Armstrong's Biography

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Researchers claim that Louis Armstrong was one of the best jazz artists in the history of the genre. He created a number of examples to help define what it meant to play jazz. Louis possessed technical skills that were regarded as being quite wonderful, an imaginative musical mind, spontaneity, and delight, as well as the capacity to think quickly, which assisted his success in carrying out a variety of tasks. The study tries to illustrate numerous theories that academics have come up with in relation to the Louie Armstrong bibliography, jazz music history, and Louie Armstrong's role in jazz music history. The study will be essential in developing ideas that can be applied by other scholars across the globe as well as being used in diverse institutions of learning to understand what is entailed in Jazz music and how Louie Armstrong created an impact on its progress and growth (Lyness 56).

Louie Armstrong Biography

Louie has been explained by researchers to have been a singer, film star, soloist, bandleader, comedian and a trumpet player. He was born on the 4th of August, 1901, and he grew up to be the first African-American musician to introduce Jazz music by writing and composing songs in the genre. In 1936, he started his music progress and he also got featured as the first African-American to get involved in Hollywood movie. The first movie he was featured was the Pennies from Heaven, which assisted in promoting his musical features as he became widely known across the nations. There were nicknames that had been given to Louie, and they included “Pops”, “Ambassador Satch” and “Satchmo”, which were applied majorly in his hometown to identify with him. Over the years, he has been considered one among the persons who created an immense influence on Jazz music in the Jazz history, and he is widely known for his songs including “What a Wonderful World”, “La Vie En Rose” and “Star Dust” (Lyness 76).

Louis, also commonly known as “Pops”, “Satchmo” and “Ambassador Satch” was born in Louisiana, a place known as New Orleans. He is understood to have come to prominence in the year 1920, where he had an immense influence on countless musicians with both unique vocals and his attractive trumpet style. He is an individual who is explained to have a charismatic nature and stage presence, which not only impressed the Jazz world but also the popular music in his community. Louis later died back at his home in New York, the Queens in on July 6, 1971.

His background is illustrated as one that was poor and humble, and let to its nickname as “The Battlefield”. It is evident from his background that Louis experienced much difficulty while growing up. Research explains the fact that Louis’s mother always engaged in prostitution and left him most of the time with his grandmother. On the other hand, Louis’s father is explained to have abandoned the family right after Louis was born, which made it even difficult for him to get the parental love that he mostly required for his growth and progress in life. These are some of the challenges that are explained to have assisted in making certain that Louis developed a strong character and faith in his actions.

The New Year’s Eve of 1912 is historical in the biography of Louis since he is explained to have fired a gun belonging to his stepfather in the air as the celebrations were going on. After this time, he went to Colored Waif’s Home where he had been sent to receive training and instruction for his musical classes on the cornet, and this is where he fell in love with music. He was released from his home in 1914, where he decided to pick on his music career while struggling with his odd job that included hauling coal and selling newspapers in the famed red-light district in the city. Over the years, he began growing some reputation that assisted him in selling his musical products as a fine blues player and also an actor (Lyness 85).

At the end of his teenage life, Louie is explained to have grown fast and married Daisy Parker in 1918, Daisy was also a prostitute, and this made the life of Louie even tough since there were increased arguments in the house as well as various forms of violence between them. During this time, researchers have ascertained that Louie decided to adopt a three-year-old child, who was named Clarence and whose mother had died during his birth. His mother is explained to have been Louie’s cousin. Her death led to various problems being experienced by the son since he could not get proper care, he suffered a mental illness that made him disabled, and it had been caused by an injury that he had suffered while he was still young.

The reputation of Louie became bigger and in 1918 he started replacing the most popular bands in the nation, which include the band in New Orleans as well as Oliver, who was a member of the Kid Ory’s band. The notion assisted in making certain that he could now develop his life through the singing career that he had been interested in over the years. He stopped carrying out the manual jobs that earned him a living and he engaged all of his time on his playing parties, cornet, funeral marches, dances and at his local “honky-tonks”. Honky-tonks was a name that was used during Louie’s time to refer to a bar where various musical acts and musicians were hosted. At the early times of 1919, Louie is explained to have spent his summers with a band that was led by Fate Marable and they played on riverboats. Researchers explain the fact that it was on riverboats that Armstrong developed an honor on his musical skills of reading and this became his first encounter with jazz legends that had been known as famous and they included Jack Teagarden and Bix Beiderbecke (Epperson 40).

History of Jazz Music

Jazz music is a genre of music that is ascertained to have originated in the New Orleans amongst the African-Americans who lived in the United Stated in the early 20th centuries and the late 19th centuries. Jazz music has its roots in the Ragtime and Blues, and it has become recognized in various states as a musical expression method since 1920’s when it was first introduced in various communities. During these times, Jazz music emerged as a style and genre that was popular and traditionally independent musical expression. It is characterized by improvisation, polyrhythms, response vocals, call, blue note, and swing. Despite the notion that Jazz music is understood to have been deeply rooted in the practices of the African-America, it is also evident that there are other cultures that have also contributed their own styles and experience to the art and genre of Jazz music. Jazz has been explained as “one of America’s original art forms” by scholars and other intellectuals across the globe.

The spread of Jazz music across various nations in the globe helped in improving issues related to cultural and local music, regional as well as regional forms of music that also introduced diverse styles that are explained to have been distinctive. Music in New Orleans is known to have started in the early days of 1910, and it combined the blues, ragtime, beguine, French quadrilles with the polyphonic improvisations that had been developed collectively (Epperson 56).

There was improvement that was experienced in 1930, which assisted in making certain that various aspects of jazz music had been arranged according to the processes that had been aimed at by the innovators. In 1940, there was the emergence of the Bebop, which shifted Jazz music from its simple nature of being known as danceable popular music into creating more challenging styles of music that incorporated fast tempos and improvised chord-based musical strategies. Cool Jazz is ascertained to have also been developed in 1940, which introduced linear melodic lines, long and smooth sounds as well as calm music compared to what was being played initially.

In 1950, free jazz music was also introduced and it explored a different style of music, where individuals could play without formal structures, beat and regular meter. The is the same year that Jazz music experienced the emergence of hard bop that assisted in introducing influences from blues and rhythm, as well as blues and gospel in piano and saxophone playing. The modal Jazz was then developed in the late 1950’s, which assisted in introducing various musical scale and modes that improved musical structure. In early 1960’s and 1970’s, Jazz-rock fusion is explained to have appeared and it comprised of electric instruments as well as rock music’s rhythms that were considerably higher amplified. In early 1980’s, smooth Jazz was initiated and it became successful applying radio airplay that was significant. Around 2000’s, there was the introduction of other Jazz music styles that included the Afro-Cuban and Latin Jazz (Epperson 75).

Louie Armstrong in the History of Jazz Music

Louie Armstrong has been explained over the years to have been the greatest of all Jazz musicians despite the fact that he came from a humble background. He assisted in developing the primary concepts of Jazz music, and he defined what was required to be played for Jazz music to be felt in the society. Over the years, it has been ascertained that Louie had special abilities that were considered as technical and are considered to include the amazingly quick, spontaneity and joy as well as an inventive mind in music related items and strategies that have been widely known to dominate the Jazz music even in the modern society. The only person who has been explained to have been too close to developing concepts like Louie did is Charlie Parker despite the fact that an increased number of persons have in been in the Jazz music world.

Most Jazz musicians have been understood to come from the New Orleans, just like Louie, which clearly explains the notion that he had an immense influence on his community and helped in developing the concepts of the musical requirements that were accepted positively by the community members. His Jazz musical talent started from the fact that he was from a poor family and could not gain access to education. However, at the age of twelve, he fired a gun and was sent to reform school where he decided to undertake his course in playing cornet and this became the start of his long-lived and remembered success across the globe. After completing his school after fourteen it is explained that Louie started selling coal and papers as well as unloading boats from a cart. He had no instrument of his own but loved listening to bands as they played their instruments and sing in large crowds including the Funky Butt Hall that was a club located around his home area (Gabrielsson, John and John 25).

Research explains the notion that Louie loved listening to Joe Oliver who was commonly known as the “king” during those times and Oliver is explained to have taken the initiative to treat Louie as his son. Oliver made certain that he provided Louie will he needs including giving him the cornet, which was the only real one and gave him proper instructions on how to use it. The first time Louie played the cornet was in 1917 during an even by Oliver that inspired various groups to the dive bar in the New Orleans, He later left Orleans in 1919 to join a band that was understood as the Fate Marable’s that was located in St. Louis. Marable was a musician that led the band that was common for playing on the river boat lines of Strekfus Mississippi. This is where Louie also started playing regular gigs when the boats were leaving from New Orleans. During this time, he played with the Kid Ory’s band, and he stayed with the band until 1921 when he decided to go back to his hometown and joined the Zutty Singleton (Gabrielsson, John and John 25).

Louie’s Jazz music experience started growing when he played with the Allen Brass Band in parades as well as with the Papa Celestin’s Tuxedo Orchestra on the bandstand as well as playing with the Silver Leaf Band. Towards the end of the 1919th year, Oliver is explained to have left the city to Chicago and this gave Louie an opportunity as he took over his place in the Kid Ory’s band. In 1922, Oliver introduced Louie to a band in Chicago that was known as Creole Jazz Band that he owned. For Louie, this was a dream come true and he took the step to join him. He met with Lillian Hardin in Chicago who was an arranger of the band and a piano player and they married in 1924. Over the years, Louie joined his wife’s band and improved his skills even more. There were some challenges he faced in Chicago relative to racism issue, but he moved on since he had a vision that he wanted to accomplish in life. After four years of struggle, Louie divorced and he quickly married Luccile who ended up living with him for the rest of the years.

In 1940, it was evident that the taste of persons from diverse communities had started shifting towards jazz music and this became the best platform for Louie to express his ideas and also implemented what he thought was good for the genre. However, there were various challenges that were increasingly experienced by Louie and his team, which made him travel to various continents including South America, Asia, Europe, and Africa among others, until Louie’s health started having issues when they disbanded. He was known as the Ambassador of the nation of America, and in 1963 he came up with a different version of “Hello Dolly”, which was the hit of the year and was loved countrywide. The song made Louie widely known as it knocked the Beatles from being the top in the list. He later recorded more hits in 1968, and they included the number one hit of the year that was known as “What a Wonderful World”. During this times, his health started deteriorating and he was hospitalized severally for the three years that had remained in his life, and later dies on the 6th day of July 1971 in Queens, New York (Gabrielsson, John and John 25).

Impact of Jazz Music on the Society and Culture during Louie Armstrong’s Time

Jazz music has been explained by researchers to have created an immense impact on the society and its culture especially during the time when Louie was getting involved in the activities. Jazz is a genre of music that aimed at making certain that there were increased changes being experienced in the society, especially relative to the traditional and cultural activities. In the African-American community, it was evident that the influence of Jazz music assisted in making certain that the reinstatement of black culture and history, which helped as a reminder of various oppressive actions that had been faced by the blacks in the community as well as the restrictions and racist society that had been on diverse artistic visions.

Impact of Jazz Music on the Society and Culture in the Modern Times

In the modern times, Jazz music has been found as an essential tool in making certain that all measures, traditional practices, cultural norms and beliefs of individuals have been illustrated through musical styles that can be appreciated in the society. The modern concepts have also been incorporated in Jazz music, which can be used by other persons in future to learn about their past and history. Over the years, the music genre has assisted in ensuring that individuals get to appreciate their past and also learn how to incorporate the past history in today’s operations, which has made it relevant especially in dealing with issues related to racism, tribal issues, and sexism in various communities. Various aspects applied by the jazz musicians are based on the concepts that had been implemented by Louie, who clearly explained various styles of living and operations through musical rhythms. The notion has helped in guaranteeing that jazz music has been accepted by all persons in the music industry in the modern society without any further changes on what had already been started in the early 20th century. Jazz music has also assisted in bringing communities together with the interest of uniting them and ensuring that there is an improvement in how activities are being carried in the society and industries in the nation (Gabrielsson, John and John 25).


The topic has been based on the various impacts of Jazz music on the society and how it was developed by Louie over the years. It is evident that there is a change that was brought in the world of Jazz music by Louie, which has also assisted in improving operations being carried out by other musicians in various nations across the globe. Jazz music has helped in providing adequate information relative to political issues, traditional and cultural practices that have been practiced by various communities as well as ensuring that unity has been promoted in the society.

Works Cited

Epperson, Bruce D. More Important Than the Music: A History of Jazz Discography. University of Chicago Press, 2013.

Gabrielsson, Alf, John Whaley, and John Sloboda. "Peak experiences in music." The Oxford handbook of music psychology. 2016.

Garofalo, Reebee, and Steven Waksman. Rockin'out: popular music in the USA. Pearson, 2016.

Lyness, Jeffrey M. "Creative Resilience & Aging: Louis Armstrong, Race, & Growing Old in the ‘60s." The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry 22.3 (2014): S9-S10.

April 13, 2023




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