A superb, innovative trumpet player who started out with Kid Ory’s New Orleans band in 1919, Louis Armstrong then joined King Oliver’s band in Chicago in 1922, and three years later commenced his own, groundbreaking Hot Five recordings. As a vocalist Armstrong allegedly invented scat singing. During 1932, he visited England and played at The Palladium in London, and toured Europe in 1934. His music was rarely out of the charts from 1926 to 1956; he had his biggest hit record with Hello Dolly in 1964, and continued to retain chart positions through to 1988. Massively popular in movies and with his records forever providing backdrops for television advertisements, Armstrong, was declared an ‘Uncle Tom’ by those envious of his success. His comedic appeal and a vocal style that made him a favourite of impressionists worldwide, often led to accusations of ‘selling out’ by jazz purists. However, in truth Armstrong was a genius and a trailblazer.
Followers: Bunny Berigan, Dizzy Gillespie, Bing Crosby, Fats Navarro, Louis Prima, Roy Eldridge, George Melly, Henry ‘Red’ Allen, Frank Sinatra, Harry Connick Jr.
Influenced By: King Oliver, Buddy Bolden, Lillian Hardin...