Louis Armstrong

A Jazz Singer/Trumpeter

Louis Armstrong - A Biographical Essay Of His Childhood to Early/Mid Career

Louis was born on August 1, 1901 In a section of New Orleans, Louisiana that was so poor, its nickname was "The Battlefield" HIs father left after His birth and his mother so poor that she turned to prostitution. Because of that he spent most of his child hood living with his grandmother. While he was in the fith grade he hade to drop out to start working. A jewish familiy hired him for a job and they felt sorry for the boy and liked him, so they invited him over to dinner often. When he was 11, during a New Years Celebratoin in 1912 he fired his stepfather's gun into the air. Shortly After he was arrested and sent to "Colored Waif's Home for Boys" because of his action. At the home his music career started to kick into action. He recieved instruction on the cornet and loved it. In 1914 The home set him free and he tried to think of what he could do with his music.He still had to do all of the awful jobs just like be for, but now he had a future. He soon became a respected blues player in town only after the best cornet player in town, Joe "King" Oliver, started to act like a mentor to Armstrong. By the end of his teens Armstrong had gotten married, divorced, and adopted his cousin's three year old, mentally disabled, son. She had died during child birth and the son suffered from a sever head injury to lead to his disability. Armstrong loved that boy so that he took care of him for the rest of his life. His Music career started to grow. In 1918 he replaced Oliver in "Kid Ory's Band", the most popular band in New Orleans at the time. He soon stopped manual Labor Jobs and began tu pursue his career. He played at parties, funerals and small bars focused around live music called "honky-tonks." In the summer of 1922, Oliver asked Armstrong to be second clarinet in his Creole Jazz Band. Armstrong accepted, and had his first ever recorded solo in the song "Chimes Blues." He soon fell in love with the female pianist in the band and they quickly got married. Lillian Harding, Armstrongs wife, pointed out that Oliver was holding Louis back from his full potential. To achieve his full potential he joined Fletcher Henderson's Orchestra, the top African-American dance group in NYC. While he was in the group he made his presence very clear. He did it with solos and other styles of music. That's how swing was introduced into his orchestra. Armstron greatly influence Henderson and Don Redman, the aranger. They started putting the swing style into the music they did. It transformed the band in the first ever jazz big band. He soon left the band though, because the other members gave him a hard time about his the way he dressed and talked. Henderson also did not allow him to sing. He went back to Chicago to play with his wife in her band. This is where he is starting to contribute to the society a lot more than he did before. When he was in New York He started up some inspiration. He showed that the color skin you are doesn't matter. He did what he wanted to do in his life and stuck with it. He started an inspirational movement that helped many in this country.


Louis Armstrong was a ver influential person. He made his way to the top by trying, and not caring what people say. It was a very difficult situation for him all because of his skin color. I can't think of one person that is like him, but I can think of a group of people. All of the ex-kid's show stars that have become massive musicians. People still see them as these little teanagers that used to be on Disney, but they don't care. They are trying to show the world that they are growing up. They don't want to be seen as the young, sweet, and innocent TV star they were, they want to be seen as their age. They are striving to be seen as what they want to be seen as, like how Armstrong wanted to be heard and found out ways how.
West End Blues - Louis Armstrong and His Hot Five

The reason I chose the song "West End Blues" was because the original version was made by his mentor, Joe "King" Oliver. The song was released June 28, 1928 by Louis Armstrong and His Hot Five. Louis Sings and has some trumpet solos in the song.