The marriage was a tumultuous one that was filled with fights and violence. He and Lilian "Lil" Hardin had gotten married in 1924 and she was the one who influenced him to leave his mentor, Joe "King" Oliver to pursue his career with other bands. Ricky Riccardi’s 20 Essential Louis Armstrong Recordings. Louis and Lil drifted apart and were officially divorced in 1938, when he married his longtime mistress Alpha Smith. Louis Daniel Armstrong (August 4, 1901 – July 6, 1971), 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. My oldest record, can’t nobody touch it.”, Further Reading: She put a down payment drawn from her savings and moved in. Things between Armstrong and Smith did not turn out nicely, and the two went their separate ways without as much drama that was involved in his divorce with Hardin. She was playing “The St. Louis Blues” when she was stricken. Located in his historic Queens, New York City … The material on this site can not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with prior written permission of Multiply. The Japanese-style garden in the backyard was the scene of Pops’ last birthday party on July 4, 1971, a couple days before he died in the house. CHICAGO, Aug. 27 (UPI)— Lil Hardin, the second wife of the late Louis Armstrong, died of a heart attack today while playing at a concert in the Civic Center Plaza in his mem ory. Another one of his (white) girlfriends said, “I don’t think he thought of himself as a Black person”. White America was shocked, never hearing Armstrong speak this way before. Louis Armstrong Playing the Trumpet, January 01, 1940| Photo: Getty Images. . Now the modest house on 107th street in the Corona section of Queens where he and Lucille resided is a National Historic Landmark. Teachout describes the Corona home as “a residence of a poor boy who cast down his bucket and pulled it up overflowing…it is impossible not to be touched with the aspiration visible wherever you look…This, it is clear, was the home of a working man, bursting with a pride that came not from what he had but what he did.”, The New Orleans Times-Picayune viewed the Corona abode less cerebrally, calling it “Louis Armstrong’s New York love nest.”, From outside, the house with the brick-faced exterior that Pops added shortly before his death in 1971 looks as humble as the rest of the neighborhood —now dominated by Hispanic families. 1938) He was wearing a sec ond‐hand suit that didn't fit, he had a hat that was too small sitting on top of his head and I didn't like his hairdo—he had bangs sticking straight out, which was the style in New Orleans.”. She also appeared with jazz groups in Auburn, Mass., and in Meriden, Conn. On her 1968 appearance at the Top of the Gate, with Franz Jackson's Chicagoans, John S. Wilson, jazz critic of The New York Times, described Mrs. Armstrong as “a hearty woman with a bubbling per sonality who plays piano and sings with A zest and assur ance that completely belie her age.”, “She has described herself,” Mr. Wilson wrote, “as a ‘heavy’ pianist, originally influenced by Jelly Roll Morton. This is a mentality that Black youth of every generation fall victim to. To me she looked just like my favorite flower, a Red Rose. But the level of awareness that Louis possessed can be summed up with what he told Ebony Magazine in 1964: “(I’ve) been wined and dined by all kinds of royalty…had an audience with the Pope…even slept in Hitler’s bed. Not having a set example of how things between a man and a woman went, Armstrong ended up in four different marriages and countless relationships throughout his career. 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Louis Armstrong Collection Now Digitized Louis Armstrong’s Queens Home Now a Shrine to His Genius Louis Armstrong was a legendary Jazz musician who, throughout his life, was married four times and these marriages influenced his career. You may request that your data not be shared with third parties here: Jazz Legend Louis Armstrong Was Married 4 Times – Everything We Know about His Marriages, Kristin Richard and Lance Armstrong Divorced in 2003 — Meet the Disgraced Olympic Champ's Ex. Publicity still portrait of American jazz musician Louis Armstrong and his wife Lucille, 1960 | Photo: GettyImages. He was misunderstood. What is the time signature of the song Atin Cu Pung Singsing? Louis Armstrong was well aware of the reality of Racism (he was arrested as a child for ‘looking suspicious’, and again as an adult for sitting next to his manager’s white wife). Dave Stuckey: Pass the Swingin’ Music, Pappy! And after his death, he remains relevant as one of the fathers of jazz music. “Fuck that shit. Armstrong died July 7, 1971. Armstrong was married 4 times: And sure enough the door opened and who stood in the doorway with a real thin silk night gown—hair in curlers. Mr. Armstrong would be billed, despite his embarrass ment, as “The World's Great est Trumpet Player.”. “She went through most of my money and then walked out.”, During his marriage to Alpha, Louis began dating a lovely Bronx-born chorine named Lucille Wilson. “It was in the wee hours of the morning and I was real beat,” he later recalled. Twenty-nine years earlier, having wooed and wed Lucille, Armstrong decided to put down roots in that decidedly working-class neighborhood. to be calm, even unimpressed, by what horror the world might daily propose . Most elders either hated Bebop or feared it would scare the casual jazz listener away from the genre altogether. Why don't libraries smell like bookstores? Finally, he hired a new manager, Joe Glaser, a mob-connected wheeler-dealer who straightened out his legal entanglements, his gangster worries and his debts. After negotiating a notably narrow stairway, visitors pass quietly by the master bedroom with its peach-colored king-size coverlet and sparking chandelier and mosey into the walk-in closet where Lucille’s dressing gowns still hang. Mrs. Armstrong, who was 73 years old, was an accomplished jazz pianist. Parker was a prostitute at the time of their marriage, and although their relationship was filled with countless fights, the two still got married. remains relevant as one of the fathers of jazz music. Lil Hardin began listening, Daily contact grew into friend ship, and then to marriage. While he listened to her advice, he soon got tired of playing with the "Fletcher Henderson" band and left. In 1937, he substituted for Rudy Vallee on NBC radio and became the first African-American to host a sponsored, national broadcast. Ray Skjelbred: Living a Jazz Life, Chicago Style. He was also a bandleader, singer, film star, and comedian. Miles Davis was one of the most famous Bebop players at the time. Knowing that he’d finally found his soulmate, Armstrong determined to do something many musicians never do—enjoy a comfortable and orderly home life with his newfound bride. (I wouldn’t be surprised if many people respond to this writing with statements like “love has no color”). Throughout his life, Armstrong enjoyed a fulfilling career that saw his music get welcomed in various parts of the world. . When he first saw her in the chorus line at the Cotton Club, Pops was so impressed with “the glow of her deep brown skin” that he nicknamed her “Brown Sugar.”. Who is the longest reigning WWE Champion of all time? He filed for divorce but Parker was adamant about leaving and it was not until Armstrong left New Orleans for Chicago that they were able to settle their divorce. What was the Maple Leaf Club really like? And he would be paid $20 a week more than the $55 he had been getting from Fletcher Henderson. Recalling that she had been told that “little Louis” was about to join the band, Mrs. Armstrong exclaimed: “Little Louis! 1942) However, when Miss Lil learned that he was not getting a billing; she made deal with the Dreamland Cafe in Chicago to bring in a small group. Three years later, Davis married May Britt, a Swedish actress. Does Jerry Seinfeld have Parkinson's disease? This new exhibit celebrates the landmark recordings that were the first records ever to be issued under Armstrong’s own name. Both Johnson and Baker were married to white people. Celebrating the life and work of jazz legend Louis Armstrong. He traveled with the band of Fate Marable, which toured on the steamboat Sidney with the Streckfus Steamers line up and down the Mississippi River. Armstrong's final marriage was to Lucille Wilson, and it took place in 1942. Louis saw the house for the first time at the conclusion of a tour. 3) Alpha Smith (m. 1938, div. Louis Armstrong House Museum in Transition Russ Tarby is based in Syracuse NY and has written about jazz for The Syncopated Times, The Syracuse New Times, The Jazz Appreciation Society of Syracuse (JASS) JazzFax Newsletter, and several other publications. Armstrong, nicknamed "Pop" or "Satchmo," started his musical journey when he was sent to the "Colored Waif's Home for Boys" after firing his stepfather's gun during the 1912 New Year celebration. This is a digitized version of an article from The Times’s print archive, before the start of online publication in 1996.
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