Stamp of the Month: July 2021

Louis Armstrong

The American jazz trumpeter and singer Louis Daniel “Satchmo” Armstrong was born on August 4, 1901 in New Orleans. He died on July 6, 1971 in New York City. July 2021 marks the 50th anniversary of his death, and August 2021 will mark the 120th anniversary of his birthday.

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Louis Armstrong came from a poor background and grew up partly in a home for homeless youth, where he learned the basics of playing the cornet. From 1918 he first played in a band on a Mississippi steamer. In 1922 he became a member of King Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band. Oliver and Armstrong wrote music history with their two-part break improvisations. After a stopover in the Big Band of Fletcher Henderson, Armstrong founded his own formations in 1925, which became known as “Hot Five” and “Hot Seven”. From 1932, numerous tours took him to Europe and later to Asia and Africa. In the 1950s and 1960s he also became a world star as singer and entertainer. He achieved further increase in his popularity through his participation in Hollywood films, such as “The Glenn Miller Story”, “High Society” and “Hello, Dolly!”. Between 1926 and 1966 Armstrong was able to place 79 hits on the Billboard charts. His co-productions with numerous other world stars are also unforgettable.
Louis Armstrong played a key role in the development of New Orleans jazz. He founded the “star soloism” in jazz and, in the 1920s, set technical standards for jazz trumpeters. He is regarded as one of the most important instrumental soloists in jazz and, with his unmistakable voice, is one of the most famous jazz singers alongside Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald.

The video shows an excerpt from the “Johnny Cash Show” in October 1970. Louis Armstrong and Johnny Cash perform “Blue Yodel No. 9 (Standin’ on the Corner)”. This is the only song that Louis Armstrong and Jimmie Rodgers recorded together: 40 years earlier, on July 16, 1930.
Here is the original: