Timeline Description: Louis Armstrong, nicknamed "Satchmo" or "Pops," was one of the leading trumpet players in jazz history. He revolutionized jazz conventions with his virtuosic talent and became one of jazz's most influential performers. He pioneered jazz improvisation and went on to become a bandleader, film star, and comedian.
|August 4, 1901||Louis Armstrong is born in New Orleans.
Louis Daniel Armstrong is born in New Orleans, Louisiana to William Armstrong and Mary "Mayann" Albert. He grows up in poverty and begins working at a young age to support his family. With his natural musical ability, he soon becomes interested in the burgeoning jazz movement and begins singing in a boys' quartet.
|December 31, 1912||Armstrong is sent to the Colored Waif's Home.
Armstrong is arrested for firing blanks during a New Year's Eve celebration, and sent to the Colored Waif's Home as a juvenile delinquent. While living at the home, Armstrong learns to play cornet and falls in love with music. He teaches himself music by listening to leading jazz musicians, including cornetistJoe "King" Oliver, who becomes Armstrong's hero.
|1918||Armstrong marries Daisy Parker.
Armstrong marries Daisy Parker, a prostitute, thus commencing a violent and stormy union and the first of Armstrong's four marriages. Armstrong also adopts his cousin's disabled three-year-old son, Clarence. Clarence remains under Armstrong's care for the rest of his life.
|1918||Armstrong replaces Oliver in the Kid Ory band.
By this time Armstrong is talented enough as a musician to take King Oliver's place in the Kid Ory band, the most popular band in New Orleans, when Oliver moves to Chicago.A year later Armstrong begins playing on Mississippi riverboats with Fate Marable's band.During this time he learns to read music and meets a number of prominent jazz musicians, including Bix Beiderbecke.
|1922||Armstrong plays trumpet for a Chicago band.(Summer 1922)
King Oliver asks him to come to Chicago and play second trumpet in Oliver's Creole Jazz Band. A year later Armstrong makes his first recording with Oliver, thus beginning his career of touring and recording music.
|1924||Armstrong marries his second wife and joins the Fletcher Henderson Orchestra.
Armstrong marries Lillian "Lil'" Hardin, a pianist, who encourages him to separate from Oliver and seek more prominent opportunities. Armstrong moves to New York to play trumpet in the Fletcher Henderson Orchestra at the Roseland Ballroom. He further develops his improvisational style, and he records with Sidney Bechet, Ma Rainey, and Bessie Smith.
|1925||Armstrong begins recording with his own band.
Armstrong returns to Chicago and forms his own band, the Hot Five, which includes Kid Ory. Between 1925 and 1928, Armstrong makes a series of recordings with his Hot Five ensemble, which expands into the Hot Seven. He introduces the concept of the virtuoso trumpet soloist, which ends the jazz convention of subordinating individual talent to the whole ensemble.
|1926||Armstrong records "HeebieJeebies."
With the recording of "HeebieJeebies," Armstrong popularizes scat singing, in which the singer uses nonsensical syllables to mimic instrumental improvisation. His later recordings introduce the public to the idea that jazz can be artistic as well as entertaining.
|1929||Armstrong makes his first Broadway appearance.(Summer 1929)
Armstrong returns to New York City and appears on Broadway for the first time in Connie's Hot Chocolates. His performance of "Ain'tMisbehavin'" introduces the concept of using a popular song for jazz interpretation, and becomes wildly popular.
|1933||Armstrong's career comes to a halt.
While touring Europe, Armstrong gets into a fight with his manager, Johnny Collins, whose erratic behavior and ties with the mob have created legal troubles. Collins leaves him in Europe, and Armstrong decides to take an extended rest in Europe for legal and health reasons.
|1935||Joe Glaser becomes Armstrong's manager.
When Armstrong returns to the United States, Joe Glaser becomes his manager for the rest of his career. Glaser frees Armstrong from previous legal difficulties and sets up performances in films, radio, theaters, dance halls, and nightclubs. These performances transform Armstrong into an international star.
|November 25, 1936||Armstrong becomes the first African American to get featured billing in a Hollywood film.
When he appears in Bing Crosby's Pennies from Heaven, Armstrong is the first African American to have featured billing in a Hollywood film. He continues to appear in major films with performers like Mae West.
|August 13, 1947||Armstrong forms the All-Star ensemble.
Together with a number of incredible jazz players, Armstrong forms the small All-Star ensemble. Their performances revitalize jazz in mainstream entertainment, and Armstrong continues to perform for the rest of his life. In 1964 he releases "Hello, Dolly!" which becomes his biggest selling record.
|1957||Armstrong speaks out against the Little Rock crisis.
For years Armstrong refuses to air his opinions on the civil rights movement, but when Arkansas Governor Faubus sends in the National Guard to prevent nine African American students from integrating a Little Rock high school, Armstrong publicly criticizes the handling of the crisis. Both black and white public figures lash out at Armstrong for his strong words.
|July 6, 1971||Louis Armstrong dies.
Armstrong passes away in New York City. Up until a few days before his death, he is preparing band rehearsals to perform for the public.