This article contains content from the Wikipedia article Wikipedia:Louis Armstrong
Coming to prominence in the 1920s as an "inventive" cornet and trumpet player, Armstrong was a foundational influence in jazz, shifting the music's focus from collective improvisation to solo performance.
With his instantly recognizable deep and distinctive gravelly voice, Armstrong was also an influential singer, demonstrating great dexterity as an improviser, bending the lyrics and melody of a song for expressive purposes. He was also greatly skilled at Scat singing (WP), vocalizing using sounds and syllables instead of actual lyrics.
Renowned for his charismatic stage presence and voice almost as much as for his trumpet-playing, Armstrong's influence extends well beyond jazz music, and by the end of his career in the 1960s, he was widely regarded as a profound influence on popular music in general.
Armstrong was one of the first truly popular African-American entertainers to "cross-over," whose skin-color was secondary to his amazing talent in an America that was severely racially divided. It allowed him socially-acceptable access to the upper echelons of American society that were highly restricted for a person of color. While he rarely publicly politicized his race, often to the dismay of fellow African-Americans, he was privately a huge supporter of the Civil Rights movement in America.
- ↑ He preferred that his name be pronounced Louie. "It's like Louis Armstrong - he spelled his name Louis, but he liked it to be said as Louie," recalls Wikipedia:Louie Bellson . Armstrong was registered as "Lewie" for the 1920 U.S. Census. On various live records he's called "Louie" on stage, such as on the 1952 "Can Anyone Explain?" from the live album In Scandinavia vol.1. It should also be noted that "Lewie" is the French pronunciation of "Louis" and is commonly used in Louisiana. However, when referring to himself in "Hello Dolly!," he pronounces his name as "Lewis" ("Hello, Dolly. This is Lewis, Dolly"), pronouncing the 's'.
- ↑ Armstrong said he was not sure exactly when he was born, but celebrated his birthday on July 4. He usually gave the year as 1900 when speaking in public (although he used 1901 on his Social Security and other papers filed with the government). Using Wikipedia:Roman Catholic Church documents from when his grandmother took him to be baptized, New Orleans music researcher Wikipedia:Tad Jones established Armstrong’s actual date of birth as August 4, 1901. With various other collaborative evidence, this date is now accepted by Armstrong scholars. See also Wikipedia:age fabrication.
- ↑ For "satchel-mouth."