Louis Armstrong was born on August 4, 1901, in New Orleans, LA. He grew up in dire poverty, at the time when jazz was just being born. He had musical talent from a young age, playing for money. However, he got into trouble. Once, he got in so much trouble, he was sent to the Colored Waifs Home in 1913. It was there that Armstrong learned to play the cornet; he even played in the home’s band. Music soon became a passion, and Armstrong learned to play the trumpet after leaving the home.
Armstrong learned jazz by listening to the jazz musicians of the time, such as King Oliver. Armstrong became so talented that in 1918, he replaced King Oliver in the important Kid Ory Band.
Soon after that, Armstrong joined King Oliver’s Chicago band, where he met pianist Lil Hardin, whom he married in 1924. A year later, at Lil’s urging, Armstrong had his own jazz band. It’s rumored that Armstrong invented scat (the singing of nonsense syllables in interesting rhythms) when he dropped his sheet music during a performance. He also made jazz solos popular.
Armstrong’s voice was raspy and gravelly that people loved to hear.? One of his most famous hits, “What a Wonderful World”, is an example of his pleasantly rasping voice.
Armstrong died of a heart attack on July 6, 1971, a month before his 70th birthday.
Note: This brief overview is not a complete biography. There’s a lot more to learn about Louis Armstrong, but I’ve included this little bit to whet your appetites. I encourage you to find out more about this great musician.