Sunday, 9 March 2014

Louis Armstrong


Louis Armstrong, legendary and charismatic singer
 and Jazz trumpeter. Born-1901, died-1971.
 
The Back of Town, a true story.
 
A boy was born in a poor neighbourhood in New Orleans, which was known as the "Back of town". His father abandoned the family when he was still an infant. His mother became a prostitute and the boy and his sister had to live with their grandmother.
 
Early in life he proved to be gifted for music and with three other kids he sang in the streets of New Orleans. His first gains were the coins thrown at him.
 
A suave, young and handsome
Louis Armstrong at his prime.
 
A Jewish family, Karnovsky, who had migrated to USA from Lithuanian, had pity on the 7-year old boy and brought him to their home. Initially given work in the house, to feed the hungry child. There he remained and slept in this Jewish family where for the first time the boy was treated with kindness and tenderness. When he went to bed Mrs Karnovsky would sing him a Russian lullaby, and he would sing along with her. Later he learned to sing and played a few Russian and Jewish and songs. Over time, this boy became the adopted son of this Jewish family.
 
He was fondly called "Satchmo" for his
 enchanting performance and musical talent.
 
The Karnovskys gave him money to buy his first trumpet, as was the
custom of the Jewish family; they sincerely admired his musical talent. Later when he became a professional musician and composer, he used these Jewish melodies in compositions, such as St. James infirmary, and Go down, Moses.  The little boy grew up and wrote a book on his adoption in 1907 by a Jewish family.
 
In 1969 Louis Armstrong sang "Hello Dolly" in his unique low voice together with Barbara Streisand in the musical movie titled "Hello Dolly!" and that was an instant hit.
 
In memory of this family and until the end of his life,  he wore a Star of David. He said that it is in this family where he had learned "how to live real life and determination". This little boy was known as Louis Armstrong.
 
 
                  "What a wonderful World!"
 
Many thanks to CC Koh for sharing.
Alan CY Kok
 
 

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