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Louis Armstrong1

Louis Armstrong was born in New Orleans, Louisiana on August 4, 1901 to Mayanne and William Armstrong. His father abandoned his family during Louis’ infancy. Louis spent the first years of his life with his grandmother, Josephine Armstrong. After age five, Louis moved back with his mother and his sister, “Mama Lucy.” The family was forced to live in stark poverty. Louis got into some trouble when he was just 12 years old and was placed in the Waif’s Home for Boys. It was there that he first received musical instruction and learned to play the coronet. He was released from the Waif’s Home in June of 1914. He worked selling papers, unloading boats, and selling coal from a cart. Joe Oliver, one of the finest trumpet players in New Orleans, was Louis’ music teacher and mentor. Louis married Daisy Parker, a prostitute from Gretna, Louisiana in 1918. He joined the Kid Ory Band after Joe Oliver moved to Chicago. In 1922, Louis moved to Chicago to play in the band Joe Oliver’s band, “ King Oliver.” It was there where he separated from his wife, Daisy. He made his first recording with the band in one year later in Richmond, Indiana. He later married Lil Hardin, a pianist in the King Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band. He moved to New York City in 1924 to join the Fletcher Henderson Orchestra at the Roseland Ballroom. During that time he also did dozens of recording sessions with numerous Blues singers including Bessie Smith’s 1925 classic recording Louis Armstrong Doe, page 2of “St. Louis Blues.” He also recorded with Clarence Williams and the Red Onion Jazz Babies. Armstrong recorded his first Hot Five records that same year. This was the first time Armstrong made records under his own name. The records made by Louis Armstrong ‘s Hot Five and Hot Seven are considered to be absolute jazz classics ad peak f Armstrong’s creat...

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