A Life of Louis Armstrong

Book - 2009
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Louis Armstrong was the greatest jazz musician of the twentieth century and a giant of modern American culture. He knocked the Beatles off the top of the charts, wrote the finest of all jazz autobiographies - without a collaborator - and created collages that have been compared to the art of Romare Bearden. The ranks of his admirers included Johnny Cash, Jackson Pollock and Orson Welles. Offstage he was witty, introspective and unexpectedly complex, a beloved colleague with an explosive temper whose larger-than-life personality was tougher and more sharp-edged than his worshipping fans ever knew.

Wall Street Journal arts columnist Terry Teachout has drawn on a cache of important new sources unavailable to previous Armstrong biographers, including hundreds of private recordings of backstage and after-hours conversations that Armstrong made throughout the second half of his life, to craft a sweeping new narrative biography of this towering figure that shares full, accurate versions of such storied events as Armstrong's decision to break up his big band and his quarrel with President Eisenhower for the first time. Certain to be the definitive word on Armstrong for our generation, Pops paints a gripping portrait of the man, his world and his music that will stand alongside Gary Giddins' Bing Crosby: A Pocketful of Dreams and Peter Guralnick's Last Train to Memphis: The Rise of Elvis Presley as a classic biography of a major American musician.

Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009.
ISBN: 9780151010899
Characteristics: xii. 475 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.


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Jul 30, 2018

WEEKLY PUBLISHERS is wrong! When Armstrong criticized President Eisenhower for ' lack of guts', he was knocked farther back than to the beginning to start all over again: he had to weather climbing out of an enormous crater while other 'black champions' ran for cover, some pausing only long enough to say "I think he spoke too harshly" before diving under a rock. Pops uncomplainingly did it, climbing higher than ever before and earning his place as ...well... AS POPS!

Vincent T Lombardo Nov 18, 2014

Well written and informative.

nobonesclean Oct 23, 2014

Seems this is the complete life of Louis Armstrong--at least I believe it is so--wonderful man, amazing talent, beautiful book.
Swiss Krissly yours,

Jun 11, 2010

This well-written book tells the story of Louis Armstrong and his times, and does it in a balanced and scholarly manner. Armstrong comes through as a real person, at once simple and complex, but in any event a genius at his music. I come to like him and respect him for what he managed to do in spite of the odds against him.


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