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Louis Daniel Armstrong, nicknamed Satchmo, Satch, and Pops, was an American trumpeter, composer, vocalist and occasional actor who was one of the most influential figures in jazz. His career spanned five decades, from the 1920s to the 1960s, and different eras in the history of jazz.
See the fact file below for more information on the Louis Armstrong or alternatively, you can download our 22-page Louis Armstrong worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- According to his baptismal records, Louis Armstrong was born in New Orleans, Louisiana on August 4, 1901, although for many years he claimed to have been born on July 4, 1900.
- His mother, Mary Albert, was only sixteen when she gave birth to Louis; his father, William Armstrong, abandoned the family shortly after his birth – this resulted in Louis being raised by his grandmother until he was about five years old, when he returned to his mother’s care.
- Although he attended a mixed-race school, Louis spent most of his time in a rough neighborhood, living in poverty.
- As a child, he did odd jobs for different families, and was introduced to jazz music from bands that played in brothels and dance halls.
- He dropped out of school at the age of 11 and began singing in a quartet of boys to make some money.
- After getting into some trouble, Louis was sent to the Colored Waifs Home, which is where he learned to play cornet, and thus his passion for music blossomed – this is also where he met a man named Peter Davis, who taught him how to fine-tune his musical skills.
- After 18 months at the Waif’s Home, he left and was determined to become a successful musician.
- In 1914, Louis began playing in brass band parades all over New Orleans, continually learning from his role model, King Oliver, who was also a jazz cornet player.
- Louis traveled with many well-known brass bands in the late 1910s.
- After King Oliver’s departure from the Tuxedo Brass Band in 1919, Louis replaced him, and became second trumpeter.
- During his time on riverboats, playing along the Mississippi River, Louis learned a lot about musicianship, cultivating his own style, and also learning how to read music.
- In 1922, King Oliver invited Louis to perform in his Creole Jazz Band in Chicago. He began recording in the studio with King Oliver in 1923.
- While in Chicago, Louis met a pianist and talented musician by the name of Lil Hardin; they were married on February 4, 1924.,
- Lil Hardin helped Louis’ career to become more successful; he played in New York City for about a year, then returned to Chicago to record his most important works, called the “Armstrong Hot Five” and “Hot Seven” recordings, which took place between 1925 and 1928.
- By 1929, Louis had become a famous musician, touring America and Europe, and continually improving his playing ability.
- From the 1930s until about 1943, Louis and his band, the “Louis Armstrong Orchestra”, toured all around America.
- During the swing era (1935 to the mid-1940s), Louis experienced a few bumps in the road due to changing managers and experiencing problems with his fingers and lips as a result of his playing style.
- In addition, public interest in jazz and big band music tapered off in the mid-1940s.
- Sensing this shift in public preference, Joe Glaser (his new manager), dissolved the big band and replaced it with a smaller group that included Louis and other top swing musicians, calling the group “Louis Armstrong and His All Stars”, who remained popular for many years.
- During the 1950s, Louis continued to play, tour, and record music.
- In 1964, he recorded his biggest-selling record “Hello, Dolly!”.
- By 1968, due to health reasons, Louis stopped touring and made his final recordings.
LOUIS ARMSTRONG’S PERSONAL LIFE AND LEGACY
- Louis Armstrong had a colorful romantic life that included four wives but no children, although he did love kids.
- He was known to many as a charismatic and lively man who had a personality that the American public loved.
- Louis was an important and creative force in the jazz music era; he quickly became a cultural icon, and had the luxury of living a life that many African-American performers were not given during that era.
- As race relations were tense during the early 20th century, Louis Armstrong did experience some bouts of racism and discrimination, but he was largely accepted into white society.
- Louis remained politically neutral, which some musicians criticized him for, as they felt he didn’t use his celebrity to take a tough enough stand against segregated audiences, and felt that he wasn’t vocal enough during the American Civil Rights Movement.
- Others argued that the fact that Louis rarely spoke about these issues made his speeches more effective when he did speak out.
- Louis’s influence in the development of jazz is extensive – he had the capacity to express emotion and sensitivity when he played, and turned it into an art form.
- He was one of the only jazz musicians to record music for five decades.
- Louis was very fond of writing, and wrote two autobiographies, several magazine articles, and thousands of letters in his lifetime, as well as appearing in over 30 films.
- Louis is credited as being the only black jazz musician to have publicly spoken out against segregated schools in 1957.
- Louis Armstrong died in New York on July 6, 1971.
Louis Armstrong Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Louis Armstrong across 22 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Louis Armstrong worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about Louis Daniel Armstrong, nicknamed Satchmo, Satch, and Pops, who was an American trumpeter, composer, vocalist and occasional actor who was one of the most influential figures in jazz. His career spanned five decades, from the 1920s to the 1960s, and different eras in the history of jazz.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Song Timeline
- Educational Foundation
- Programs of the Foundation
- Musical Influences
- Louis Armstrong Wordsearch
- Opinion Piece
- True or False?
- Louis Armstrong Crossword
- Louis in Five Words
- Letter to Louis Armstrong
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Link will appear as Louis Armstrong Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, January 7, 2019
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.