A Brief History Of Louis Armstrong, New Orleans Musical Icon

Timeline created by Ryan Risman
In Music
  • Birth of Louis Armstrong

    Birth of Louis Armstrong
  • Louis Armstrong drops out of school

    Louis Armstrong drops out of school
    After dropping out of the Fisk School at eleven, Armstrong joined a quartet of boys that sang in the streets for money.
  • Louis Armstrong arrested, and sent to the Colored Waif's Home

    Louis Armstrong arrested, and sent to the Colored Waif's Home
    Armstrong is arrested for firing blanks during a New Year's Eve celebration, and sent to the Colored Waif's Home as a juvenile delinquent. While living at the home, Armstrong learns to play cornet and falls in love with music. He teaches himself music by listening to leading jazz musicians, including cornetist Joe "King" Oliver, who becomes Armstrong's hero.
  • Louis Armstrong marries Daisy Parker

    Louis Armstrong marries Daisy Parker
    Armstrong marries Daisy Parker, a prostitute, thus commencing a violent and stormy union and the first of Armstrong's four marriages. Armstrong also adopts his cousin's disabled three-year-old son, Clarence. Clarence remains under Armstrong's care for the rest of his life.
  • Louis Armstrong joins Creole Jazz band in Chicago and plays trumpet

    Louis Armstrong joins Creole Jazz band in Chicago and plays trumpet
    In 1922, King Oliver sent for Armstrong to join his band in Chicago, and play second trumpet in Oliver's Creole Jazz Band. A year later Armstrong makes his first recording with Oliver, thus beginning his career of touring and recording music.
  • Louis Armstrong marries his second wife and joins the Fletcher Henderson Orchestra

    Louis Armstrong marries his second wife and joins the Fletcher Henderson Orchestra
    Armstrong marries Lillian "Lil'" Hardin, a pianist, who encourages him to separate from Oliver and seek more prominent opportunities. Armstrong moves to New York to play trumpet in the Fletcher Henderson Orchestra at the Roseland Ballroom. He further develops his improvisational style, and he records with Sidney Bechet, Ma Rainey, and Bessie Smith.
  • Louis Armstrong forms Hot Five and begins recording with his own band

    Louis Armstrong forms Hot Five and begins recording with his own band
    Armstrong returns to Chicago and forms his own band, the Hot Five, which includes Kid Ory. Between 1925 and 1928, Armstrong makes a series of recordings with his Hot Five ensemble, which expands into the Hot Seven. He introduces the concept of the virtuoso trumpet soloist, which ends the jazz convention of subordinating individual talent to the whole ensemble.
  • Louis Armstrong records "Heebie-jeebies"

    Louis Armstrong records "Heebie-jeebies"
    With the recording of "HeebieJeebies," Armstrong popularizes scat singing, in which the singer uses nonsensical syllables to mimic instrumental improvisation. His later recordings introduce the public to the idea that jazz can be artistic as well as entertaining.
  • Louis Armstrong makes his first Broadway appearance and tours with the musical Hot Chocolate

    Louis Armstrong makes his first Broadway appearance and tours with the musical Hot Chocolate
    Armstrong returns to New York City and appears on Broadway for the first time in Connie's Hot Chocolates. His performance of "Ain' misbehaving'" introduces the concept of using a popular song for jazz interpretation, and becomes wildly popular.
  • Louis Armstrong becomes the first African American to get featured billing in a Hollywood film.

    Louis Armstrong becomes the first African American to get featured billing in a Hollywood film.
    When he appears in Bing Crosby's Pennies from Heaven, Armstrong is the first African American to have featured billing in a Hollywood film. He continues to appear in major films with performers like Mae West.
  • Louis Armstrong forms six piece group called the All Stars ensemble

    Louis Armstrong forms six piece group called the All Stars ensemble
    Together with a number of incredible jazz players, Armstrong forms the small All-Star ensemble. Their performances revitalize jazz in mainstream entertainment, and Armstrong continues to perform for the rest of his life. In 1964 he releases "Hello, Dolly!" which becomes his biggest selling record.
  • June: Louis Armstrong reached the Top Ten of the LP charts with Satchmo at Symphony Hall

    June: Louis Armstrong reached the Top Ten of the LP charts with Satchmo at Symphony Hall
    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”
  • Armstrong speaks out against racial discrimination and publicly condemned the violence that swept Little Rock over school integration

    Armstrong speaks out against racial discrimination and publicly condemned the violence that swept Little Rock over school integration
    For years Armstrong refuses to air his opinions on the civil rights movement, but when Arkansas Governor Faubus sends in the National Guard to prevent nine African American students from integrating a Little Rock high school, Armstrong publicly criticizes the handling of the crisis. Both black and white public figures lash out at Armstrong for his strong words.
  • Louis Armstrong recorded his last hit, "What a Wonderful World"

    Louis Armstrong recorded his last hit, "What a Wonderful World"
    Louis, a man in the November of his years, was able to nail its sentiments perfectly when he recorded it in August 1967. It’s a song that familiarity has not found contemptuous, quite simply it’s one of the most uplifting, life-affirming songs of all times – and it’s all because of Louis Armstrong.
  • Louis Armstrong appeared in the movie Hello Dolly with Barbra Streisand

    Louis Armstrong appeared in the movie Hello Dolly with Barbra Streisand
    Louis Armstrong appeared in the movie Hello Dolly with Barbra Streisand. His rendition of the song Hello Dolly won him a Grammy for best vocal performance
  • Louis Armstrong Death

    Louis Armstrong Death
    Armstrong died just after a heart attack on July 6, 1971, a month before his 70th birthday, and 11 months after playing a famous show at the Waldorf-Astoria's Empire Room.
  • Louis Armstrong inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as an early influence

    Louis Armstrong inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as an early influence
    One of the greatest jazz musicians of all time, Louis Armstrong was responsible for innovations that filtered down through popular music to rock and roll. Armstrong himself put it like this: “If it hadn’t been for jazz, there wouldn’t be no rock and roll.” If it hadn’t been for Armstrong, popular music of all kinds - from jazz and blues to rock and roll - would be considerably poorer.
  • New Orleans Airport renamed Louis Armstrong International Airport

    New Orleans Airport renamed Louis Armstrong International Airport
    Monsanto Stock Yards airport opened after World War II, replacing the older New Orleans Lakefront Airport (which kept the NEW and KNEW airport codes and now serves general aviation) as the city's main airport[citation needed]. MSY was renamed in 2001 after Louis Armstrong, a famous jazz musician from New Orleans.