Louis Armstrong Plays Trumpet

Air Date: November 18, 1951

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From the Internet Archive copy of the November 18, 1951 episode of the Colgate Comedy Hour
Public Domain

An early life run in with the law set Louis Armstrong on a path that would take him from a poverty stricken New Orleans neighborhood to the highest corridors of power in the music and political world. On New Years Eve in 1912, at the age of only 11, he was arrested and sent to the Colored Waif’s Home for Boys. There he met Peter Davis who took him under his wing and taught the young man how to play the coronet. Eventually, Louis’ talent led him to become the leader of the leader of the Waif’s Home Brass Band.

In the following years, Louis Armstrong would take the jazz music genre in his own direction, using his talent and the power of his horn to give the soloist a new and powerful role in the music. His talent and engaging style were recognized through five decades of hit songs that he both wrote and performed. He also wrote two books and multiple magazine articles.

In this clip form 1951 shows a Louis Armstrong at his prime. The strength and clarity of his playing shows a musical icon at the peak of his career. In just eight years, in in 1959, Louis Armstrong suffered a heart attack. Although he recovered and continued to play throughout the next decade, he would never reach the strength and power he had displayed in his youth.

Enjoy this wonderful clip of Louis Armstrong playing at his peak!

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