Skip Navigation Links
Compact Discs

» Louis Armstrong

Louis Armstrong
Born: August 4, 1901 in New Orleans, Lo
Died: July 6, 1971 in New York, Ne
Active: '20s-'70s Major
Styles: New Orleans Jazz, Early Jazz, Dixieland
Instrument: Trumpet Representative
Albums: "Hot Fives, Vol. 1", "Hot Fives & Sevens, Vol. 3", "The Louis Armstrong Collection, Vol.
4: Louis Armstrong and Earl Hines" Representative
Songs: "Basin Street Blues", "St. Louis Blues", "Muskrat Ramble"

UPC Type Title
723724035126 CD 100 Anniversaire
076119510341 (i) CD 100 Classic Tracks
654378604027 (i) CD 100 Hits Legends-Louis Armstrong
886976915629 CD 16 Most Requested Songs
604988254723 (i) CD 1935-42-Louis Sings Armstrong
5022810190325 CD 1954-56 Classic Studio & Live Performances
015668200723 CD 20 Golden Pieces of Louis Arms
5060230860091 CD 25 Greatest-Hot Fives & Hot Seve
805520130264 (i) CD Absolutely Essential 3 CD Collection
4011222217189 (i) CD After You'Ve Gone
8712273038186 (i) CD All of Me
723721224554 CD Ambassador of Jazz
600753336557 (i) CD Ambassador of Jazz Box
886974920229 (i) CD Ambassador Satch
723721082451 CD American Original
8436542010795 (i) Vinyl And the Dukes of Dixieland
8436539310020 (i) CD And the Good Book/Louis & the Angels
8436028698813 (i) Vinyl And the Good Book
4988007175791 (i) CD Anthology
717101860920 CD Armstrong Box
4988005349583 (i) CD Armstrong for Lovers
3460503674622 (i) CD At Symphony Hall
4547366210880 (i) CD At Town Hall
4002587762926 (i) CD Basin Street Blues
4988005800176 (i) CD Best
082333100824 CD Best of Collection
4547366211467 (i) CD Best of Hot Five & Hot Seven Recordings
015707952422 CD Best of Louis Armstrong
886974847229 CD Best of the Hot 7 & Hot 7 Recordings
805520090605 (i) CD Best of the Hot Fives & Sevens
5099750860427 (i) CD Best of the Hot 5 & Hot 7
011891601993 CD Best of-20 Songs
788065420222 CD Big Band Sides 1930/32
731383611520 CD Blueberry Hill
883717004420 CD Blues for Yesterday
723723775825 CD Body & Soul
3596972455322 (i) CD Boxset
741157066425 CD Centennial Anthology the
604988992427 (i) CD C'Est Ci Bon
044001113321 CD Christmas & Hits Duos
8427328050012 CD Christmas with Friends
600753150481 (i) CD Classic the Masters Collection
602498438343 (i) CD Colour Collection
8436028698493 (i) CD Complete Louis Armstrong & the Dukes of Dixieland
602498828892 CD Definitive Collection
4988064122370 (i) CD Disney Songs the Satchmo Way
8427328035033 CD Duets with Louis Armstrong & Friends
090431081129 CD Early Years Recorded Live 1938-49
8427328995115 CD El Maravilloso
731920930824 CD Essence of Armstrong
696998928022 CD Essential Louis Armstrong
5051503108118 CD Essential Louis Armstron
698458544926 (i) CD Essential Collection
5060143490514 (i) CD Essential Collection
052824100121 CD Evening with Louis Armstrong
886974368625 (i) CD Flashback
602517041806 CD Gold
024266103923 CD Golden Hits
698458151629 (i) CD Golden Years of
014381615623 DVD Good Evening Ev'Rybody
828767787824 CD Great American Songbook
5060149621288 Vinyl Great Chicago Concert 1956
715187733923 CD Greatest Hits
886976916022 CD Greatest Hits
4011222054074 (i) CD Greatest Recordings
011105062022 CD Heart Full of Rhythm
4988005345639 (i) CD Hello Dolly
4988005516909 (i) CD Hello Holly!
602527403564 CD Hello Louis! the Hit Years (1963-1969)
4988005696700 (i) CD Hello. Dolly
8712177005321 (i) CD High Society
8427328630047 CD Historic Barcelona Concert
801050500423 CD Historic Collection
788065010027 CD Hot Fives & Sevens
602537662630 CD Icon
602527677118 CD Icon
690978395675 (i) CD If You Ain't Got That Swing
653269570328 CD In Concert
717101860227 CD In Scandinavia
725543540010 Vinyl In Sweden
4011222230164 (i) CD It's Louis Armstrong
723723973825 CD Jazz After Hours
778325550127 CD Jazz Biography Series
8436017760040 (i) DVD Jazz Casual
4988005543813 (i) CD Jazz Giants-Super Best
824121001841 DVD Jazz Icons: Louis Armstrong
762247650027 CD Jazz Is Back in Grand Rapids
018111726122 CD Jazz Masters
827969365328 CD Jazz Moods-Hot
074646144022 CD Ken Burns Jazz
022891990291 DVD King of Jazz
079895824220 CD Legendary Louis Armstrong
886974550723 (i) CD Les Jazz Rtl
719866900323 CD Live' at Basin st.
888072303119 CD Live at the 1958 Monterey Jazz Festival
8436028697922 (i) CD Live in Amsterdam 1959
807297060997 DVD Live in Australia 1964
8436006496493 (i) CD Live in Japan
8436028695218 (i) DVD Live in Stockholm 1962
725095430722 CD Live in Zurich Switzerland 18.10.1949
052824110229 CD Louis & His Friends
8427328607018 CD Louis Armstrong: Complete Town Hall Concert 1947
886972419022 CD Louis Armstrong: Vol. 1-Complete Hot Five & Seven..
886972430621 CD Louis Armstrong: Vol. 2-Complete Hot Five & Seven..
9120006940290 CD Louis Armstrong: Vol. 2-1935-44 Alternative Tak
894231245923 CD Louis Armstrong-the Early Years
044001303128 (i) CD Louis Armstrong: Vol. 2-Best Live Concert
5050457053420 (i) CD Louis Armstrong: Vol. 2-Centennial Album
4520879008403 (i) CD Louis Armstrong: Vol. 2
602498311288 (i) CD Louis Armstrong: Complete Collection
8436542013697 (i) CD Louis Armstrong: Complete Satch Plays Fats
8015670010176 (i) CD Louis Armstrong
7798136571855 (i) CD Louis Armstrong
044001397929 (i) CD Louis Armstrong & Friends
089353710927 DVD Louis Armstrong: Masters of American Music: Satchm
602517531390 DVD Louis Armstrong: Portrait Collection
880242568380 DVD Louis Armstrong-Live in Australia
8436017760415 (i) DVD Louis Armstrong & Friends 1962
5060149620250 Vinyl Louis Armstrong Plays W.C. Handy
044006557625 CD Louis for Lovers
602527819198 (i) CD Louis: The Best of Louis Armstrong
074646221921 CD Love Songs
8712177024414 (i) CD Mack Knife
025218094122 CD Mack the Knife
5019317600204 CD Mahogany Hall Stomp
717101850228 CD Masters of Jazz
008811194024 CD Millennium Collection-20th Century Masters
827565029129 (i) CD Moments to Remember
4988005319586 (i) CD My First Jazz
5019317600426 CD New Orleans Master
602517621336 CD New Orleans Nights
894231265020 CD New Orleans Stomp & Other Favorites
886979456525 CD Okeh Columbia & Rca Victor Recordings-1925-1933
886976572129 CD Original Album Classics
7798093713831 (i) CD Originals
008811216528 (i) CD Oro-Grandes Exitos
090204950973 CD Pasadena
731454936323 CD Pete Fountain Presents Best of
743215205227 (i) CD Planet Jazz
828765421621 CD Platinum & Gold Collection
886977559624 CD Playlist: The Very Best of Louis Armstrong
886972327228 CD Plays W.C. Handy
4547366197280 (i) CD Plays W.C.Handy
4988009920696 (i) CD Plays W.C.Handy (Mini LP Sleeve)
824046016821 CD Pops Goes Pop
4988005254719 (i) CD Pops Satchmo
880831034029 CD Portrait
602517539938 (i) DVD Portrait Collection
5022508206345 CD Presenting: Louis Armstrong
011105987226 CD Priceless Jazz
8436028699735 (i) CD Real Ambassadors
8436028699865 (i) Vinyl Real Ambassadors
886919607529 (i) CD Real Louis Armstrong
605633125320 (i) CD Rough Guide to Louis Armstrong (Reborn & Remastere
751848513220 CD Royal Garden Blues
600753336519 (i) CD Sachmo: The Louis Armstrong Collection
886972417523 CD Satch Plays Fats
5099706492726 (i) CD Satch Plays Fats
5060149620816 Vinyl Satch Plays Fats
4988009455228 (i) SACD Satch Plays Fats
602537038213 CD Satchmo at Symphony Hall 65th Anniversary: Complet
093076000524 CD Satchmo at the National Press Club: Red Beans & Ri
602517910485 CD Satchmo at Pasadena
647195135126 CD Satchmo Grooves
8712177043767 (i) CD Satchmo Sings!
5022810308324 CD Satchmo: A Musical Autobiography- Part 2 (4th LP)
600753362877 CD Satchmo: Ambassador of Jazz
5022810308225 CD Satchmo: A Musical Autobiography- Part 1 (First 3
887254738923 (i) CD Satchmo-Columbia Jazz Classics
4988017613788 (i) CD Sing & Swing
046172768522 CD Singin' & Playin'
7798082982606 (i) CD Solo Lo Mejor De
030206180220 CD Souvenirs
4524135301727 (i) CD St Louis Blues
4011222219886 (i) CD St Louis Blues/Swing That Music
602527429281 CD Standards [Great Songs/Great Performances]
074646222225 CD Super Hits
015707050326 CD Swingin' Hits
5022810157427 CD Thanks a Million
8712177048137 (i) CD That Lucky Old Sun
4988005413079 (i) CD Thousand Yen Jazz-Best
3561302135526 (i) CD Tight Like This: 1928-1931
778325401023 CD Ultimate Legends-Louis Armstrong
8808678313949 (i) CD Very Best of
602438046324 (i) CD Very Best of Louis
090204980413 CD Vol. 2-W.O. Louis Armstrong
636943281529 (i) CD Vol. 5-Louis Armstrong
4988005753960 (i) CD We Love Louis Armstrong
076744006523 CD What a Wonderful Christmas
653269570229 CD What a Wonderful World
011105065627 CD What a Wonderful World
4988005651242 (i) CD What a Wonderful World
602498368619 (i) CD What a Wonderful World (2006 Anthology)
4988005330505 (i) CD What a Wonderful World
4988005495679 (i) CD What a Wonderful World
5011781187625 (i) CD What a Wonderful World
605457255326 (i) CD What a Wonderful World
8712177004942 (i) CD What Wonderful World
046172002022 CD When the Saints Go Marching in
8427328030069 CD Wonderful Louis Armstrong

Biography: Louis Armstrong was the first important soloist to emerge in jazz, and he became the most influential musician in the music's history. As a trumpet virtuoso, his playing, beginning with the 1920s studio recordings made with his Hot Five and Hot Seven ensembles, charted a future for jazz in highly imaginative, emotionally charged improvisation. For this, he is revered by jazz fans. But Armstrong also became an enduring figure in popular music, due to his distinctively phrased bass singing and engaging personality, which were on display in a series of vocal recordings and film roles.

Armstrong had a difficult childhood. William Armstrong, his father, was a factory worker who abandoned the family soon after the boy's birth. Armstrong was brought up by his mother, Mary (Albert) Armstrong, and his maternal grandmother. He showed an early interest in music, and a junk dealer for whom he worked as a grade-school student helped him buy a cornet, which he taught himself to play. He dropped out of school at 11 to join an informal group, but on December 31, 1912, he fired a gun during a New Year's Eve celebration, for which he was sent to reform school. He studied music there and played cornet and bugle in the school band, eventually becoming its leader. He was released on June 16, 1914, and did manual labor while trying to establish himself as a musician. He was taken under the wing of cornetist Joe "King" Oliver, and when Oliver moved to Chicago in June 1918, he replaced him in the Kid Ory Band. He moved to the Fate Marable band in the spring of 1919, staying with Marable until the fall of 1921.

Armstrong moved to Chicago to join Oliver's band in August 1922 and made his first recordings as a member of the group in the spring of 1923. He married Lillian Harden, the pianist in the Oliver band, on February 5, 1924. (She was the second of his four wives.) On her encouragement, he left Oliver and joined Fletcher Henderson's band in New York, staying for a year and then going back to Chicago in November 1925 to join the Dreamland Syncopators, his wife's group. During this period, he switched from cornet to trumpet.

Armstrong had gained sufficient individual notice to make his recording debut as a leader on November 12, 1925. Contracted to OKeh Records, he began to make a series of recordings with studio-only groups called the Hot Fives or the Hot Sevens. For live dates, he appeared with the orchestras led by Erskine Tate and Carroll Dickerson. The Hot Fives' recording of "Muskrat Ramble" gave Armstrong a Top Ten hit in July 1926, the band for the track featuring Kid Ory on trombone, Johnny Dodds on clarinet, Lillian Harden Armstrong on piano, and Johnny St. Cyr on banjo.

By February 1927, Armstrong was well-enough known to front his own group, Louis Armstrong & His Stompers, at the Sunset Caf

in Chicago. (Armstrong did not function as a bandleader in the usual sense, but instead typically lent his name to established groups.) In April, he reached the charts with his first vocal recording, "Big Butter and Egg Man," a duet with May Alix. He took a position as star soloist in Carroll Dickerson's band at the Savoy Ballroom in Chicago in March 1928, later taking over as the band's frontman. "Hotter than That" was in the Top Ten in May 1928, followed in September by "West End Blues," which later became one of the first recordings named to the Grammy Hall of Fame.

Armstrong returned to New York with his band for an engagement at Connie's Inn in Harlem in May 1929. He also began appearing in the orchestra of Hot Chocolates, a Broadway revue, given a featured spot singing "Ain't Misbehavin'." In September, his recording of the song entered the charts, becoming a Top Ten hit.

Armstrong fronted the Luis Russell Orchestra for a tour of the South in February 1930, then in May went to Los Angeles, where he led a band at Sebastian's Cotton Club for the next ten months. He made his film debut in Ex-Flame, released at the end of 1931. By the start of 1932, he had switched from the "race"-oriented OKeh label to its pop-oriented big sister Columbia Records, for which he recorded two Top Five hits, "Chinatown, My Chinatown" and "You Can Depend on Me" before scoring a number one hit with "All of Me" in March 1932; another Top Five hit, "Love, You Funny Thing," hit the charts the same month. He returned to Chicago in the spring of 1932 to front a band led by Zilner Randolph; the group toured around the country. In July, Armstrong sailed to England for a tour. He spent the next several years in Europe, his American career maintained by a series of archival recordings, including the Top Ten hits "Sweethearts on Parade" (August 1932; recorded December 1930) and "Body and Soul" (October 1932; recorded October 1930). His Top Ten version of "Hobo, You Can't Ride This Train," in the charts in early 1933, was on Victor Records; when he returned to the U.S. in 1935, he signed to recently formed Decca Records and quickly scored a double-sided Top Ten hit, "I'm in the Mood for Love"/"You Are My Lucky Star."

Armstrong's new manager, Joe Glaser, organized a big band for him that had its premiere in Indianapolis on July 1, 1935; for the next several years, he toured regularly. He also took a series of small parts in motion pictures, beginning with Pennies From Heaven in December 1936, and he continued to record for Decca, resulting in the Top Ten hits "Public Melody Number One" (August 1937), "When the Saints Go Marching in" (April 1939), and "You Won't Be Satisfied (Until You Break My Heart)" (April 1946), the last a duet with Ella Fitzgerald. He returned to Broadway in the short-lived musical Swingin' the Dream in November 1939.

With the decline of swing music in the post-World War II years, Armstrong broke up his big band and put together a small group dubbed the All Stars, which made its debut in Los Angeles on August 13, 1947. He embarked on his first European tour since 1935 in February 1948, and thereafter toured regularly around the world. In June 1951 he reached the Top Ten of the LP charts with Satchmo at Symphony Hall ("Satchmo" being his nickname), and he scored his first Top Ten single in five years with "(When We Are Dancing) I Get Ideas" later in the year. The single's B-side, and also a chart entry, was "A Kiss to Build a Dream On," sung by Armstrong in the film The Strip. In 1993, it gained renewed popularity when it was used in the film Sleepless in Seattle.

Armstrong completed his contract with Decca in 1954, after which his manager made the unusual decision not to sign him to another exclusive contract but instead to have him freelance for different labels. Satch Plays Fats, a tribute to Fats Waller, became a Top Ten LP for Columbia in October 1955, and Verve Records contracted Armstrong for a series of recordings with Ella Fitzgerald, beginning with the chart LP Ella and Louis in 1956.

Armstrong continued to tour extensively, despite a heart attack in June 1959. In 1964, he scored a surprise hit with his recording of the title song from the Broadway musical Hello, Dolly!, which reached number one in May, followed by a gold-selling album of the same name. It won him a Grammy for best vocal performance. This pop success was repeated internationally four years later with "What a Wonderful World," which hit number one in the U.K. in April 1968. It did not gain as much notice in the U.S. until 1987 when it was used in the film Good Morning, Vietnam, after which it became a Top 40 hit. Armstrong was featured in the 1969 film of Hello, Dolly!, performing the title song as a duet with Barbra Streisand. He performed less frequently in the late '60s and early '70s, and died of a heart ailment in 1971 at the age of 69.

As an artist, Armstrong was embraced by two distinctly different audiences: jazz fans who revered him for his early innovations as an instrumentalist, but were occasionally embarrassed by his lack of interest in later developments in jazz and, especially, by his willingness to serve as a light entertainer; and pop fans, who delighted in his joyous performances, particularly as a vocalist, but were largely unaware of his significance as a jazz musician. Given his popularity, his long career, and the extensive label-jumping he did in his later years, as well as the differing jazz and pop sides of his work, his recordings are extensive and diverse, with parts of his catalog owned by many different companies. But many of his recorded performances are masterpieces, and none are less than entertaining. ~ William Ruhlmann, Rovi