Louis Armstrong: An American Genius

Overview

Louis Armstrong. "Satchmo." To millions of fans, he was just a great entertainer. But to jazz aficionados, he was one of the most important musicians of our times—not only a key figure in the history of jazz but a formative influence on all of 20th-century popular music. Set against the backdrop of New Orleans, Chicago, and New York during the "jazz age", Collier re-creates the saga of an old-fashioned black man making it in a white world. He chronicles Armstrong's rise as a musician, his scrapes with the law, ...

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Louis Armstrong: An American Genius

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Overview

Louis Armstrong. "Satchmo." To millions of fans, he was just a great entertainer. But to jazz aficionados, he was one of the most important musicians of our times—not only a key figure in the history of jazz but a formative influence on all of 20th-century popular music. Set against the backdrop of New Orleans, Chicago, and New York during the "jazz age", Collier re-creates the saga of an old-fashioned black man making it in a white world. He chronicles Armstrong's rise as a musician, his scrapes with the law, his relationships with four wives, and his frequent feuds with fellow musicians Earl Hines and Zutty Singleton. He also sheds new light on Armstrong's endless need for approval, his streak of jealousy, and perhaps most important, what some consider his betrayal of his gift as he opted for commercial success and stardom. A unique biography, knowledgeable, insightful, and packed with information, it ends with Armstrong's death in 1971 as one of the best-known figures in American entertainment.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Destined to become one of the enduring jazz reference works."--The Philadelphia Inquirer

"The definitive account of Armstrong's life. Collier is a tough, unblinkered critic."--The Washington Post

"By far the most thoughtful and articulate study to date of a much misunderstood titan of jazz."--The Nation

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195037272
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 10/28/1985
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Pages: 416
  • Product dimensions: 5.25 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.85 (d)

Table of Contents

1. New Orleans 3
2. Sex and Race 11
3. Growing Up 18
4. The Waifs' Home 34
5. Jazz Is Born in New Orleans 46
6. The Apprentice 56
7. The Professional 69
8. Chicago 85
9. The Creole Jazz Band 98
10. New York 111
11. Fletcher Henderson 124
12. The Blues Accompanist 135
13. The Entertainer 151
14. The Hot Fives 169
15. The Fork in the Road 199
16. Troubles and Turmoil 217
17. The First Big-Band Records 233
18. Europe 249
19. Becoming a Star 270
20. Going Commercial 286
21. The All Stars 301
22. The Apotheosis of Louis Armstrong 311
23. The Last Gig 324
24. The All Star Recordings 335
25. The Nature of Genius 342
Notes 353
Dicography 369
Index 373
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