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Happy Birthday Satchmo! (Aug 4, 1901–July 6, 1971)

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Amos 04 Aug 10 - 11:50 PM
My guru always said 05 Aug 10 - 02:28 AM
Roger the Skiffler 05 Aug 10 - 06:05 AM
GUEST,Janet 06 Aug 10 - 03:14 AM
PoppaGator 06 Aug 10 - 01:12 PM
greg stephens 06 Aug 10 - 01:18 PM
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Subject: Happy Birthday Satchmo!
From: Amos
Date: 04 Aug 10 - 11:50 PM

Today is the birthday of Louis Armstrong, born in New Orleans, in 1901. In 1964, Louis Armstrong became the oldest performer to have a Billboard No. 1 song, knocking the Beatles from the top with his hit "Hello Dolly!" Louis Armstrong (books by this author) was 63 years old at the time.

His many hit recordings include "What a Wonderful World," "Ain't Misbehavin," "Stardust," and "Dream a Little Dream of Me."

His nickname was "Satchmo." short for "Satchel Mouth." He got the nickname because that's what his embouchure looked like. Embouchure is the technical term for the shape that a trumpet player's lips make when blowing into the instrument and the way he uses facial muscles. When Louis Armstrong played the trumpet, his mouth resembled something like a messenger bag, or a satchel bag, so he got the nickname Satchel Mouth, or Satchmo.

He loved New Orleans cooking and food in general, and he sang songs named "Cheesecake" and "Struttin' with Some Barbecue" and "Cornet Chop Suey." He also was very concerned about his weight, and he raved to his friends about how amazing his brand of laxatives were.

He helped popularize scat singing, that thing where jazz singers vocalize nonsense syllables Ñ like "doo wop dee wa ba doobee doo" Ñ often to the melody. His first big recording to use scat singing was "Heebie Jeebies" in 1926; he claims he dropped the papers with the lyrics, couldn't remember them, and started singing scat as a result.

He loved to write letters, he enjoyed dirty limericks, he smoked a lot of pot, and he embraced a bevy of Judeo-Christian religions. Whenever someone asked him about his religion, he said he was friends with the pope, raised Baptist in the South, and wore a Star of David around his neck.

He's the author of the memoirs Swing That Music (1936) and Satchmo: My Life in New Orleans (1954).

When asked to define jazz, he said: "Man, if you have to ask what it is, you'll never know."

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Subject: RE: Happy Birthday Satchmo! (Aug 4, 1901–July 6, 1971)
From: My guru always said
Date: 05 Aug 10 - 02:28 AM

Thanks for this Amos, brought back some good memories of hearing his songs. And I learnt a bit too! Cheers Louis!

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Subject: RE: Happy Birthday Satchmo! (Aug 4, 1901–July 6, 1971)
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 05 Aug 10 - 06:05 AM

When I first heard Satch when I was about 8 or 9 that was it for me, no more pop music or "Children's favourites" it was jazz from then on and through his recordings with Bessie Smith I got into the blues. I was priviledged to see him twice live on his rare visits to Britain and though I quickly gave up the hope that I had any musical talent (or money for a trumpet) to follow in his footsteps, he has always been the main man in my book.


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Subject: RE: Happy Birthday Satchmo! (Aug 4, 1901–July 6, 1971)
From: GUEST,Janet
Date: 06 Aug 10 - 03:14 AM

I thought he was wonderful and enjoyed his performances in two movies: "High Society" an "The Five Pennies." (Also like the first because parts were filmed in my state, RI.)

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Subject: RE: Happy Birthday Satchmo! (Aug 4, 1901–July 6, 1971)
From: PoppaGator
Date: 06 Aug 10 - 01:12 PM

FWIW, this weekend is the annual "Satchmo Summerfest" series of free concerts and lectures, etc., held in and around the old US Mint building at Decatur and Esplanade, at the very edge of the French Quarter. (I realize it's too late for anyone to make travel plans, but I'm letting y'all know anyway.)

I'm not sure exactly how many years this event has been held, but it is of fairly recent vintage. Whatever year it was that the festival began, the public in general still believed Pops' assertion that he had been "born on the Fourth of July," not on his true birthday, the fourth of August. Promotion of the new festival emphasized that it would coincide with Louis' real birthday.

This festival was organized, in part, to bring tourists to town during a traditionally "slow" period for the hospitality business ~ it's brutally hot in New Orleans in August. In this regard, Satchmo Summerfest has been quite successful; while the general public is not as hyper-aware of this event as they are of, say, Mardi Gras or the Jazz Festival, hard-core fans of trad-jazz in general and of Louis Armstrong in particular come from all corners of the globe for the first weekend of August every year.

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Subject: RE: Happy Birthday Satchmo! (Aug 4, 1901–July 6, 1971)
From: greg stephens
Date: 06 Aug 10 - 01:18 PM

And, just to be clear what a genius we are celebrating, here is his classic West End Blues

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