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Louis Armstrong

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Louis Armstrong American Jazz Icon

Louis Armstrong (1901-1971) one of the renown fathers of American jazz music. One cannot think of American jazz and not think of the huge smile and the puffy cheeks of the one affectionately called “Satchmo”. Few can hear the songs “Hello Dolly!” (Jerry Herman and Michael Stewart – 20th Century fox 1964) and “What a Wonderful World” (Geroge Weiss & Bob Theile 1968) not hear the deep raspy voice of this beloved icon. With his incredible energy and joy for life, few would believe his humble and heartbreaking beginnings. What made him famous was his inner strength, drive, openness and the ability to learn from others.

Humble and Tumultuous Beginnings

Louis Daniel Armstrong was born August 4, 1901 in New Orleans to William Armstrong and Mary Est Albert. His father William Armstrong was a boiler stoker in a turpentine plant and left him shortly after he was born. His mother was a laundress and part-time prostitute who drifted in and out of his life (Tirro, 2000). The first five years of his life he lived with his grandmother Josephine and was later returned to his mothers care.

Back in his mother’s care Armstrong lived in a cabaret district where he was exposed to the up and coming jazz music. In 1913 Armstrong was arrested for shooting a gun off during a New Years Eve celebration and sent to the New Orleans Colored Waifs’ Home for boys. Her in a disciplined environment he was given formal music instruction. In the waif home he became part of the schools band and music became part of Armstrong (Gioia,2009) . Louis Armstrong a Man of Courage

o What family issues or social support systems may have influenced the person’s developmental growth and adjustment? Distinguish between the influences of heredity and environment on the person’s psychological development. Be sure to specify...

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