Louis Armstrong: An Extravagant Life
Louis Armstrong was the founding father of jazz and one of this century's towering cultural figures. The musical talents of Satchmo - as Armstrong became universally known - were prodigious and groundbreaking. After learning to blow his horn in the bordellos and honky-tonks of Storyville, New Orleans's bustling red-light district, he honed his sound on a Mississippi riverboat and later became a featured solo trumpeter in the nightclub bands of Chicago and New York, where his stunning musicianship, gravelly voice, and irrepressible personality captivated audiences and critics alike. Countless recordings, nonstop touring of America and Europe, a radio show - the first ever hosted by a black man - and film appearances catapulted him to international stardom, yet he always remained true to himself and loyal to his roots. Despite his successes, Armstrong's career was also marked by intense struggle - against the Depression, against the Chicago gangsters of the 1930s, and, above all, against racial prejudice.