Louis Armstrong: The Sountrack of the American Experience

Overview

In the twentieth century, African Americans not only helped make popular music the soundtrack of the American experience, they advanced American music as one of the preeminent shapers of the world's popular culture. Vast numbers of black American musicians deserve credit for this remarkable turn of events, but a few stand out as true giants. David Stricklin's superb new biography explores the life of one of them, Louis Armstrong. The life story of this great instrumentalist, bandleader, and entertainer ...

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Louis Armstrong: The Soundtrack of the American Experience

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Overview

In the twentieth century, African Americans not only helped make popular music the soundtrack of the American experience, they advanced American music as one of the preeminent shapers of the world's popular culture. Vast numbers of black American musicians deserve credit for this remarkable turn of events, but a few stand out as true giants. David Stricklin's superb new biography explores the life of one of them, Louis Armstrong. The life story of this great instrumentalist, bandleader, and entertainer illustrates much of the black entertainer's impact on American culture and illuminates how popular culture often intersects with politics and economics. Armstrong emerged from a precarious background and triumphed over almost impossible odds, becoming a transcendent public figure and an international icon. Mr. Stricklin concentrates on Armstrong's musical talent, something many observers called a thing of genius. But he also pays special attention to Armstrong's identity a black man in America and the ways in which he triumphed over the mistreatment and disrespect dealt countless people like him. The creativity and exuberance he shared with the world came from his unique vantage as an artist and as an African American with a striking and lively spirit of freedom. He might have been able to demonstrate that determination in any line of work, but his story has special urgency because he expressed his creative power through music. With 16 black-and-white photographs.

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Editorial Reviews

James Carter
In Stricklin's biography, Louis Armstrong: The Soundtrack on the American Experience, he gives us a very compelling revisit to the total majesty of Louis Armstrong. . . . His book re-illuminates the greatness that he consistently displayed on trumpet and vocals but also puts the spotlight on Louis's impact on society and culture at large from the vantage point of a pioneering African-American artist. His stances on mistreatment and injustices give us the full picture of Mr. Armstrong the human being and how we are deeply in his debt for showing us the way musically, socially, spiritually, and humanly! This book is a must have for all to remind us the toll we pay to Armstrong every time we pick up an instrument or enjoy freedoms that he, along with other ancestors, felt were entitled to his race, the human race!
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Product Details

Meet the Author

David Stricklin is professor of history and head of the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies at the University of Arkansas, Little Rock. With Bill C. Malone, he has also written Southern Music/American Music. He lives in Little Rock, AK.

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Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction
Chapter 1: Humble Origins
Chapter 2: A Rising Talent
Chapter 3: Hot Music in a Strange Time
Chapter 4: An Independent Musician
Chapter 5: Fully Free African American
Chapter 6: Looking to a New Future
Chapter 7: International Icon
Chapter 8: The Soundtrack of the American Experience

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