They recognise his voice from the soundtracks to films or the backing tracks to TV commercials.
“Louis Armstrong, who was born July 4 1900, the Back O’ Town section in New Orleans.” So wrote Armstrong in 1969 in what was the opening to a book about his life.
He was, significantly, neither born on Independence Day nor in that year but he believed he was for all of his life.
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Given out free by the band at the Town & Country Club, Kentish Town ( now the Forum) on 14th December 1990.
Louis was already nicknamed “Satchelmouth” but when Mathison-Brooks greeted him what Louis heard, from the mouth of the journalist with the upper crust British accent, was “Hello Satchmo”. After leading a more traditional big band through the rest of the Thirties and the war years, Louis rediscovered his enthusiasm for a purer style of jazz.
His late Forties band was named The All-Stars and it would become a revolving cast of musicians that created music that Louis took around the world.
It was two decades after he died in 1971 that the truth about his birth was discovered; the baptismal records of a Catholic church in New Orleans revealed he was born on August 4, 1901.
At two years old Louis was packed off to his paternal grandmother so that his mother could move to Storyville where she worked as a prostitute on Perdido Street in the French Quarter.
Then in 1918 he married a prostitute, Daisy, the first of his four wives.