10 Facts About Louis Armstrong

Trumpeter and jazz legend Louis Armstrong.
Trumpeter and jazz legend Louis Armstrong.

Louis Armstrong is one of the most famous musicians in American history. He is one of the most celebrated musicians of all time, known all over the world for his jazz and musical abilities. He was also very famous because he was an African American who gained fame at a time when people’s talents were not always recognized because of their skin color. He is an inspiration to musicians all over the world.

1. Born on the 4th of July

Many people know that Louis Armstrong, known for his very wide smile and very bright white teeth, was born in New Orleans. Armstrong drew attention to New Orleans, a center for musical genius, and made it very famous. Some people don’t know that he was born on Independence Day, July 4, 1900.

2. The Coronet

Bunk Jones, who played the coronet, was Louis Armstrong’s hero. Louis took interest in music at a very young age and wanted to learn how to play the coronet. Bunk Jones became his mentor and taught Louis how to play the coronet by ear. Though Louis Armstrong had very little formal training in his early career as a musician, he still became very talented. Improvisation was one of the very difficult skills that he had and this was related to the fact that he learned first by ear.

3. Cigar Box Guitar

While Louis Armstrong was famous as a trumpeter, it was not his first instrument. It is said that his first instrument was actually a cigar box guitar. This instrument was improvised and would have taught him about music in general but wouldn’t have helped him learn the trumpet.


4. Wrong Place, Wrong Time

Like many young children, Louis was interested in many things and would have seemed mischievous to many others. He was arrested and sent to Waif’s Home for a year to be disciplined because he shot off an old 38. He may have simply been in the wrong place at the wrong time, but he learned a lot from his detention.

5. Joe Oliver

Armstrong’s parents separated when he was only five years old, after which he went to live with his grandparents. Joe Oliver really acted as Armstrong’s father and gave him his first trumpet. He taught him about discipline and inspired him to continue his music.

6. Marrying His High School Sweetheart

Daisy Parker was Louis Armstrong’s childhood sweetheart and they got married. Despite having grown up together, their marriage didn’t last long and they were divorced shortly they married.

7. Hello Dolly and What a Wonderful World

Louis Armstrong’s two biggest hits were Hello Dolly and What a Wonderful World. Hello Dolly was a hit everywhere. Many people don’t know that Hello Dolly knocked the Beatles off the top of the charts.

8. Louis Armstrong and his Orchestra

Armstrong formed a band that would take the name Louis Armstrong and his Orchestra. They stayed together for a long time and toured for 10 years after they changed the name of their band. It is uncommon to find a band, especially a jazz band, that stays together this long.

9. Traveling the World

Louis Armstrong and his band were, of course, very popular in the U.S., especially in New Orleans; they were also popular throughout the world. They traveled all over the world, playing in places like South America, Africa and Europe.

10. Satchmo

Armstrong’s nickname, Satchmo, came from an earlier nickname, Satchelmouth. He was called this because of the shape his face and cheeks made while he was playing the trumpet. Basically, his cheeks puffed out and it made it look like his mouth could hold anything, like a satchel.

Photo courtesy of www.free-stock-photo.com.

Cite This Page

"10 Facts About Louis Armstrong." Surfnetkids. Feldman Publishing. 22 Mar. 2009. Web. 3 Sep. 2015. <http://www.surfnetkids.com/go/1235/louis-armstrong/ >.

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