Louis Daniel Armstrong was born into poverty in a rundown New Orleans neighborhood on August 4, 1901. Abandoned by his mother and father, his early life was spent in an orphanage where encouraged by the brass band parades and an abundance of music on the streets of New Orleans, he learned to play the cornet.
He began playing in the bands on Mississippi riverboats, but migrating to Chicago to join “King” Oliver’s Jazz Band was the turning point in his career that soon found him moving to New York to play with the Fletcher Henderson orchestra, a top American band of that era.
Nicknamed “Satchmo”, Louis Armstrong was the most famous jazz musician of the 20th century. His band known as the “All Stars” featured his trumpet and identiﬁable voice as a singer.
Recording with Bing Crosby, Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald, his many hits included Stardust”, “What a Wonderful World”, “When The Saints Go Marching In”, “Dream a Little Dream of Me”, “Ain’t Misbehavin’”, “Blue Berry Hill,” “Mack the Knife,” and his most famous song, “Hello Dolly” that knocked the Beatles from the top of the Hit Parade in 1964. At 63 years of age he became the oldest person ever to have a chart topping single.
Louis Armstrong died at 69 years of age on July 6, 1971. A year later he was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Grammy and was inducted into the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 1990 for his contributions to rock music and in 2009 was inducted into the Hit Parade Hall of Fame.