“Our Neighborhood”: Louis Armstrong and Queens

The question is always asked: why Corona, Queens? Louis Armstrong could have lived anywhere–so why a working class neighborhood in the largest borough of New York?  The person most responsible for choosing Corona was Louis’s fourth wife, Lucille Wilson Armstrong. When they married on October 15, 1942, Louis was living out of the Hotel OlgaContinue reading ““Our Neighborhood”: Louis Armstrong and Queens”

“The Great Bing and The Solid Duke”: St. Louis Blues

April 29 marked the 121st birthday of legendary pianist, composer, bandleader Duke Ellington. Louis Armstrong’s record collection was flooded with Ellington selections. His tapes include works such as Masterpieces by Ellington, Uptown, In a Mellotone and Ellington At Newport. Here are two pages from Louis’s tape catalog for a dub of At Newport, including notesContinue reading ““The Great Bing and The Solid Duke”: St. Louis Blues”

“A Little Story of My Own”: Armstrong and Collage

When he passed, Louis Armstrong left behind a collection of more than 750 reel to reel tapes, which have now found their home in the archives of the Louis Armstrong House Museum. The audio content of this collection is priceless, ranging from conversations between friends and family, recordings of Louis playing along with records andContinue reading ““A Little Story of My Own”: Armstrong and Collage”

“I Just Couldn’t Let You Get Away With That”: The Saga of Mister Jelly Lord

In our previous virtual exhibit on Louis Armstrong’s record collection, we promised to share more treasures from his music library in a series of regular Friday posts. For the inaugural effort in this series, we have chosen a masterpiece by another legend of New Orleans music, Jelly Roll Morton’s The Saga of Mr. Jelly LordContinue reading ““I Just Couldn’t Let You Get Away With That”: The Saga of Mister Jelly Lord”

“From Stravinsky to Gizzard”: Louis Armstrong’s Record Collection

Another  frequent question we get at the Louis Armstrong House Museum is, “What did Louis Armstrong listen to in his spare time?” The simplest answer was given by the man himself in this 1965 recording: “I listen to all kinds of music.” Click here to create a free account and listen to the rest ofContinue reading ““From Stravinsky to Gizzard”: Louis Armstrong’s Record Collection”

“A Chops Session”: The Slivovice Interview

With millions of people forced to stay at home because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the overarching theme of this site has been about what Louis Armstrong did when he was home. Our first post introduced Louis and Lucille’s long history with Corona, Queens, while our second offered rare audio clips of Louis warming up onContinue reading ““A Chops Session”: The Slivovice Interview”

“Eulogizing the Chops”: Louis Armstrong Warms Up

A common question we get from musicians who visit the Louis Armstrong House Museum is “What was Louis Armstrong’s practice routine?” The short answer is he didn’t have a set a routine. In fact, to hear him tell it, he didn’t even consider what he did play as “practice” but rather as “warming up.” HereContinue reading ““Eulogizing the Chops”: Louis Armstrong Warms Up”

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