Jazz trumpeter and singer, born in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. Raised by his mother in extreme poverty, at age 12 he served a term for delinquency at the Colored Waifs Home, where he learned to play the cornet. By 1919 he was playing with Kid Ory’s band in New Orleans, and also with Fate Marable on Mississippi riverboats. In 1922 he joined his mentor, King Oliver’s trailblazing Creole Jazz Band, in Chicago, and spent 1924 with Fletcher Henderson’s pioneering big band in New York, where he also recorded with Bessie Smith and other leading blues singers.
His melodic inventiveness, expressed with uninhibited tone and range on the trumpet, established the central role of the improvising soloist in jazz, especially in a series of recordings known as the ‘Hot Fives’ and ‘Hot Sevens’ (1925–8). Thereafter, every jazz musician emulated Armstrong’s melodic style and rhythmic sense. In 1930 his recording of the pop song ‘Ain’t Misbehavin’’ became his first show-business hit, and for the next 17 years he appeared as a star soloist with various big bands in an increasingly commercial context. In 1947 he formed his All Stars, a Dixieland-style sextet with which he maintained a constant international touring schedule until his death.
He appeared in over 50 films as a musician and entertainer, including Pennies from Heaven (1936), New Orleans (1947), Cabin in the Sky (1943), High Society (1956), Paris Blues (1961), and Hello, Dolly! (1969). He was also a popular singer, his hit recordings including ‘When It’s Sleepy Time Down South’, ‘Mack the Knife’, and ‘Hello Dolly!’ , but he remained primarily a jazz musician. His autobiography, Satchmo: My Life in New Orleans, was published in 1954.
(1951) Satchmo At Symphony Hall
(1955) Satch Plays Fats
1956-7 Satchmo: A Musical Autobiography
(1956) Embassador Satch
When It’s Sleepy Time Down South
(1956) Bluebery Hill
(1956) Mack The Knife
(1964) Hello, Dolly!
(1936) Pennies From Heaven
(1943) Cabin In the Sky
(1947) New Orleans
(1956) High Society
(1961) Paris Blues
(1969) Hello, Dolly!
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