Time to play America’s favorite game, True or False with Louis Armstrong. How well do you know that great trumpeter and band leader? Is he just another name to you? -or- have you heard those sweet baritone notes before. Well, we are going to take a minute and review some highlights of the man. Are you ready for True or False with Louis Armstrong.
Q1 – Let’s start with some true facts
True – Louis Armstrong, nicknamed Satchmo and Pops, was an American jazz musician. Armstrong was a charismatic, innovative performer whose created the artform known as improvised soloing. He was one of the most famous jazz musicians of the 20th century.
Q2 – Louis was a trumpet player
False – Well, it is also true. He first achieved fame as a cornet player, later on switching to trumpet. What is the difference? They both play the same notes and they sound virtually the same. In appearance, the trumpet looks a bit longer and more slender than a cornet. The real difference has to do with the way the tubing of the instrument flares. A cornet is more cone shaped or conical than a trumpet.
Q3 – Louis Armstrong was born on July 4, 1900?
False – Armstrong often stated in public interviews that he was born on July 04, 1900 (Independence Day in the USA), a date that has been noted in many biographies. Although he died in 1971, it wasn’t until the mid-1980s that his true birthdate of August 4th, 1901 was discovered through the examination of baptismal records.
Q3 – Louis learn to play in a band called The Colored Waifs.
False – Armstrong first learned to play in the band of the New Orleans Home for Colored Waifs, where he had been sent multiple times for general delinquency. His big crime? He fired his stepfather’s pistol into the air at a New Year’s Eve celebration. (Police records confirm this).
Q4 – Louis Armstrong was Jewish?
True – His parents abandoned him early on in life and he was raised by the Karnofskys, a Russian-Jewish immigrant family. To express gratitude towards the Karnofskys, Armstrong wore a Star of David pendant for the rest of his life.
Q5 – Louis Armstrong attended the University of New Orleans?
False – Armstrong played on the riverboats of New Orleans with the well-regarded band of Fate Marable which toured on a steamboat up and down the Mississippi River. He described his time with Marable as “going to the University,” since it gave him a much wider experience working with written arrangements.
Q6 – Armstrong owes his success to Joe “King” Oliver.
True – Joe “King” Oliver was a mentor and father figure to the young musician. In 1919, Joe Oliver resigned his position in Kid Ory’s band, then regarded as the best jazz group in New Orleans, and left town. Armstrong replaced his mentor, playing second trumpet. Louis soon was promoted to first trumpet. The rest is history.
There you have it some facts about the man, the myth, that is Louis Armstrong. I hope you enjoyed this little trip into the past. You can learn more about his life on his Bio Page on Biography.Com.
This Week’s Podcast:
On the podcast this week we have an eclectic group of stories that should tickle your funnybone, mystify you and make you say “umm what?” You can listen to this podcast this Thursday at Ron’s Amazing Stories, download it from iTunes, stream it on TuneIn Radio or listen on your radio Saturday night at 6pm Eastern time. Check your local listing or find the station closest to you at this link.
February 23 – Cops and Robbers – (RAS #277)
March 02 – Old Time Horror VI – Replay
March 09 – Tribute to Louis Armstrong (RAS #278)
March 16 – (RAS #279)
March 23 – (RAS #280)
March 30 – The Horror Express #15?