Louis Armstrong (pronounced “Lewis”) won many fans with his infectious smile and raspy voice. Every note he sang made the world feel better, and new generations are still discovering his music. Here are ten facts about one of the most influential jazz musicians of the 20th Century.
Also Read: 30+ Intersting Facts About Eggs
Facts about Louis Armstrong
Louis Armstrong celebrated his birthday on a wrong day throughout his adult life.
Armstrong used to claim that he was born on July 4, 1900. He was 13 months away. A baptismal record was found at New Orleans’s Sacred Heart of Jesus Church by Thaddeus Jones, a music historian, in 1988. This document shows that the real birth date of the performer was August 4, 1901.
Armstrong’s age is still unknown. However, most popular theories suggest that Armstrong wanted to join the military or thought he would have better chances landing gigs if he was 18 years old.
Louis Armstrong wore a Star of David pendant as an adult to honor his Jewish family.
As a child, Armstrong worked for the Karnofskys. This was a family of Lithuanian Jewish immigrants. Armstrong said that they were always kind to him. He also received hot meals every night and invitations to Karnofsky Shabbat dinners. They even gave him $5 to pay for his first horn.
Also Read: Facts about Duke Ellington
Louis Armstrong sometimes used a food-based sign-off.
“Pops” was his favorite Chinese and Italian dish. Armstrong, a Bayou State native, loved beans and rice. Armstrong made sure his fourth wife could make a good meal before he married her. This is how much he loved this entree.
Louis Armstrong is alleged to have dropped his sheet music during a well-known recording and instead improvised.
Armstrong’s 1926 song “Heebie Jeebies,” where Armstrong and his Hot Five band released it, features a singer who makes a series of horn-like sounds. This is the first mass-market scat that music historians have ever heard. Armstrong later dismissed the entire thing as a huge blunder. Armstrong stated that he had printed the lyrics on his way to the interview with Esquire in 1951.
Also Read: 10 Amazing Facts About the American Flag
Armstrong accidentally dropped the lyrics mid-recording session and then scatted to make up the silence. He said, “Sure enough,” and explained that “Heebie Jeebies” was published the same way as it had been recorded. However, biographers agree with Armstrong’s account. It is also important to note that Armstrong did not invent the technique. The technique dates back at least to 1906.
Louis Armstrong used laxatives to give away as gifts.
Armstrong lost 100 pounds between 1952 and 1955. Armstrong lost 100 pounds between 1952 and 1955. He tried it and said it sounded like “applause.” The musician became obsessed with the product and began giving out packets to his friends, family, and fellow musicians. Armstrong was not the product’s greatest cheerleader. He did not request nor receive any payment.
Also Read: 20 Interesting Facts About Sea Turtles
Louis Armstrong was forced to leave his home state by segregation laws.
Louisiana banned integrated bands in 1956. Armstrong was outraged and refused to host another concert within Louisiana’s borders. He said, “They treat me better everywhere than they do in our hometown.” Jazz was born in that city, and I can still remember when cats of all colors could get together to blow.
Louis Armstrong gave King George V an entirely new name while playing before the royal family.
His Majesty’s order, many of jazz’s biggest names took their talents to Buckingham Palace. Armstrong was then requested for a royal performance in 1932. The show was a success. Armstrong claims that the night’s “biggest giggle” occurred right before his group began playing “you Rascal, You.” Without warning, he looked at the monarch and shouted, “This one’s yours, Rex!”
During the Cold War, Louis Armstrong made several goodwill visits.
After the huge success of “Hello, Dolly!”, Armstrong traveled to communist East Berlin, where he performed a two-hour concert. He received a standing ovation. While not officially government-sponsored, some believe the concert was arranged by the CIA, which would make this just one of the many taxpayer-funded appearances he’d make abroad during the Cold War to strengthen diplomatic relations overseas.
Armstrong had previously performed in Europe, Asia, and Africa. However, he canceled a planned 1957 Soviet Union concert, citing the Little Rock crisis. Armstrong declared, “The government can go to hell because of the way they treat my South African people.”
Tony Bennett was the original pitch for “What a Wonderful World.”
Pops’ most well-known song, “What a Wonderful World,” is almost not his song. Bob Thiele and George David Weiss hoped that Tony Bennett would enjoy the cheerful anthem. After passing, he was contacted by Armstrong in August 1967.
“What a Wonderful World” didn’t make a big splash in the U.S. until after Louis Armstrong’s passing.
ABC Records produced the first recording of “What a Wonderful World”, but did not attempt to promote it in the United States. The song reached No. 1 on the Great Britain charts in 1968, but it was not popular in America. Pops, who loved Thiele and Weiss’ masterpieces, died on July 6, 1971. “What a Wonderful World” seemed destined to fade into stateside obscurity.
A bare-knuckled comedy was born, Happy Morning Vietnam (1987). Director Barry Levinson included the joyous song to his film’s soundtrack because it ironically clashed so well with the wartime horrors. The moviegoers loved “What a Wonderful World,” which was re-released the following year and became a popular radio hit.