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Transcript of Louis Armstrong
New Orleans, LA MUSICIAN, AMBASSADOR, PIONEER LOUIS ARMSTRONG Pops, 2009, Terry Teachout, 475 pages Events That Deeply Affected Me Abandonment After I was born my father left my mother and I all alone. Ever since then I have been seeking out a mentor and my father has been an anti-role model. Racism affected me for my whole life. Ever since I was a child I have been influenced by racism. It has plagued me through all my years as a musician. I have always had to use the colored entrance even when I am the main attraction of the show. I have been pushed around all my life by the whites. I have always fought for equality no matter how much trouble it has gotten me into. Racism has deeply affected through my whole life. Racism has always disappointed and angered me. I have been treated like an animal even at my own shows because of the color of my skin. I have always spoken against segregation and supported equality no matter how much trouble I get into. Racism I have always been plagued by racism whether I was playing a show or just walking down the street. I have always experienced segregation being from the South. I support equality and have had outspoken opinions that have gotten me into trouble for many years. Bill "Bojangle" Robinson insp Bill "Bojangle"Robinson and his performing techniques I watched Bill Robinson in concert in my earlier years as a musician. His show taught me that there is more to being an entertainer than just making good music. His antics inspired me to become the joker that I was throughout my years. John Hammond's Knockout When I got into a violent argument with my second manager, Johnny Collins, I was unable to defend myself. He was white and I would have gotten into lots of trouble if I tried to defend myself. John Hammond backed me up and punched Johnny in the jaw. I never forgot that night and have respected Hammond for his actions ever since. Being Called Old Fashion This saddened me that I had become the old style of jazz. My heyday had passed me. I was a great innovator of jazz and one of the first to play this style of music. I was criticized for playing the same way throughout my career and never progressing with the times. This was my choice though because if I had progressed with the bebop movement I wouldn't have stayed true to what I believed in. I have had many residences throughout my life but there are only two places that I have ever called home. My first home was in New Orleans where I was born in Storyville on 723 Jane Alley. Storyville was a rough neighborhood that was nicknamed the "Battlefield" for all the crime and violence that took place there. It was the the red light district of Old New Orleans. My final home was purchased in 1943 and this was my residence until I died. It was in Corona, Queens, New York in the neighborhood where my final wife Lucille grew up. It still stands today and is now a museum. Schooling My schooling stopped after elementary school when I was sent to the Colored Waifs' Home for firing a gun. Here I joined their brass band and was taught to play trumpet by Peter Davis. This limited education didn't hold me back in any way. I still became successful despite my lack of education. Friends and Family Mayann Armstrong Mayann was my mother. She was one of the most positive influences in my life because she always worked hard to support us doing whatever she had to in order to pay the bills. When she was unable to work anymore I took over and worked two jobs to pay the rent and support her and my sister. Her hardworking behavior and dedication to the family inspired me to become the man I am today. William Armstrong William was my father. He wasn't around much when I was growing up because he left my family the same year I was born. He popped in and out of my life over the years but it was always for his own benefit. He negatively influenced me because he was a deadbeat and a mooch. He served as a reverse role model where everything he did I avoided. My Wives 1. Daisy Parker -Prostitute
-Married from 1918-1923
-She was a negative influence on my life because she refused to give up her line of work and our marriage was never very happy. 2. Lil Hardin Armstrong -Met in King Oliver's Band
-Helped me move forward with my career
-Married from 1924-1938
-She was a positive influence on my career because she pushed me to work harder and go off on my own. She convinced me to leave King Oliver's Band because it was holding me back. She gave me confidence to succeed. 3. Alpha Smith -Gold digger
-Divorced within 4 years
-I was already dating my next wife during our marriage.
-Married from 1938-1942
-She was a negative influence because our marriage was never loving and she only wanted money. 4. Lucille Wilson -Dancer
-Love of my life
-Met me while dancing in a chorus line at the Cotton Club
-Gave up dancing when married
-Married from 1942-1971, when I died
-She was a positive influence because our marriage was happy and supportive. Joe Glaser -Met in 1927 at Sunset Cafe where Joe Glaser was the manager
-Became my manager in 1935
-Remained a lifelong friend
-He was a positive influence because he protected me, got me many tour dates, got me money, and was a good friend.
-Joe was Jewish and I had such great respect for him and the Jewish people that I wore a Start of David around my neck for my entire life. Joe King Oliver -Mentor and teacher
-Gave me my first real job in jazz
-He was a positive influence because he gave me opportunities to shine in his band. He also taught me how to play the jazz trumpet and got me my start in the industry. My Greatest Accomplishments My All Stars band was integrated and successful which was unheard of at the time. I combined blacks and whites in my band and we recorded many hit records despite the country still being largely segregated. I helped pioneer jazz out of New Orleans and into the mainstream spotlight of America. 40 years after my first records were recorded I had a #1 hit single with Hello Dolly in 1964. Frustrations -Racism
-Spoke out against governor of Arkansas' refusal to let schools be integrated in his state.
-Disliked President Eisenhower and the government for not forcing Arkansas to integrate, I said they had "no guts"
-Refused to tour the Soviet Union as a peace mission because the government was still treating the blacks poorly in the South. -Old Fashioned
-My type of jazz went out of style
-When bebop became popular and I didn't change my style they called me outdated. Later Life -Many television and radio appearances
-On May 9,1964 my recording of Hello, Dolly! reached #1 on the top 100 chart. It knocked the Beatles down from #1 and I became the oldest person to ever record a #1 single at 63.
-Heart attacks were frequent Death and Burial -Died July 6, 1971
-I had been in the hospital recently and a few nights after my return home, I passed away from a heart attack.
-Buried in Flushing Cemetery in Queens, New York
-I chose to be buried here because it is near my beloved home and away from the racism of the South. Terry Teachout wrote Pops to defend my life. He wanted to show how I really was, a man born in Old New Orleans in 1901. My music was important but my life was often misunderstood and misinterpreted. Terry Teachout just wanted to show that I was a good man that helped the world in many ways and inspired people like himself. Religion -Born Baptist though never practiced
-I was drawn more to Jewish people because they had experienced a similar plight to the blacks.
-Jews had strong sense of family that I admired
-Wore a Star of David to show support and for good luck by Colin Blackie Music Stand