Louis Armstrong

Biography

Born: August 4, 1901; New Orleans, LA   Died: July 6, 1971; New York, NY  
Louis Armstrong was the first important soloist to emerge in jazz and he became the most influential musician in the music's history. As a trumpet virtuoso his playing, beginning with the 1920s studio recordings made with his Hot Five and Hot Seven ensembles, charted a future for jazz in highly imaginative, emotionally charged improvisation. For this, he is revered by jazz fans. But Armstrong also became an enduring figure in popular music due to Read more his distinctively phrased bass singing and engaging personality, which were on display in a series of vocal recordings and film roles. Given his popularity, his long career, and the extensive label-jumping he did in his later years, as well as the differing jazz and pop sides of his work, his recordings are extensive and diverse, with parts of his catalog owned by many different companies.

Armstrong made his recording debut as a leader on November 12, 1925. Contracted to OKeh Records, he began to make a series of recordings with studio-only groups called the Hot Fives or the Hot Sevens. By February 1927, Armstrong was well-enough known to front his own group, Louis Armstrong & His Stompers. In April, he reached the charts with his first vocal recording, "Big Butter and Egg Man," a duet with May Alix. By the start of 1932, he had switched from the "race"-oriented OKeh label to its pop-oriented big sister Columbia Records, later moving to Decca. He also took a series of small parts in motion pictures, beginning with Pennies From Heaven in December 1936. With the decline of swing music in the post-World War II years, Armstrong broke up his big band and put together a small group dubbed the All Stars, which made its debut in Los Angeles on August 13, 1947. Armstrong completed his contract with Decca in 1954, after which his manager made the unusual decision not to sign him to another exclusive contract but instead to have him freelance for different labels. In 1964, he scored a surprise hit with his recording of the title song from the Broadway musical Hello, Dolly!, which reached number one in May. This pop success was repeated internationally four years later with "What a Wonderful World," which hit number one in the U.K. in April 1968. He performed less frequently in the late '60s and early '70s and died of a heart ailment at 69. Read less
Browse 1-9 of 9 Available Recordings
  • 1.
    Louis Armstrong - Pops: The 1940's Small-band Sides
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 6378 Release Date: 01/22/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Billy Moll,  Maceo Pinkard,  Les Carr,  Ian Carr  ... 
    Performer:  Louis Armstrong
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  • 2.
    Sugar / Louis Armstrong
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 61068 Release Date: 01/26/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Billy Moll,  Maceo Pinkard,  Louis Alter,  Thomas "Fats" Waller  ... 
    Performer:  Louis Armstrong
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  • 3.
    Louis Armstrong - More Greatest Hits
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 63114 Release Date: 12/17/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Bill Katz,  Harold Arlen,  A. J. Piron,  Louis Armstrong  ... 
    Performer:  Louis Armstrong
    Conductor:  Louis Armstrong
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra,  Louis Armstrong Orchestra,  Louis Armstrong All-Stars  ... 
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  • 4.
    The Indispensable Coleman Hawkins - Body And Soul
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 66495 Release Date: 09/07/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Fats Waller,  Don Redman,  Red McKenzie,  James P. Johnson  ... 
    Performer:  Coleman Hawkins
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  • 5.
    Ruby Braff - This Is My Lucky Day
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 6456 Release Date: 08/20/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Walter Donaldson,  Donald Heywood,  Vernon Duke,  Irving Berlin  ... 
    Performer:  Dick Hafer,  Steve Jordan,  Pee Wee Russell,  Ruby Braff  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ruby Braff Octet,  Ruby Braff Sextet
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  • 6.
    Travelin' Shoes / Golden Gate Quartet
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 66063 Release Date: 08/12/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  Larry Clinton,  Irving Berlin,  Harold Arlen  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Golden Gate Quartet
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  • 7.
    Cool Yule / Hot Club of San Francisco
    Label: Azica   Catalog: 72242 Release Date: 10/27/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Frederic Coots,  Mel Torme,  Victor Herbert,  John Jacob Niles  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hot Club of San Francisco,  Le Jazz Hot Trio,  Ivory Club Boys
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  • 8.
    Swing That Music - A Tribute To Louis  Armstrong / Canadian Brass
    Label: Opening Day   Catalog: 7371 Release Date: 05/26/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Vincent Rose,  Fats Waller,  George Gershwin,  F.J. "Jelly Roll" Morton  ... 
    Performer:  Adam James
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Canadian Brass
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  • 9.
    Falling In Love With Louis Armstrong
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 63623 Release Date: 01/11/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Billy Moll,  Arthur Korb,  Herbert Magidson,  Maceo Pinkard  ... 
    Performer:  Louis Armstrong
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