Louis Armstrong: An Extravagant Life

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Broadway Books, 1997 - Biography & Autobiography - 564 pages
10 Reviews
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.

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Review: Louis Armstrong: An Extravagant Life

User Review  - Goodreads

Amazing. The book, the life, the music, everything. A good book to read by any who love music, especially jazz, or by those who love Louis Armstrong. Learned so much about the early 1900's, and about ... Read full review

Review: Louis Armstrong: An Extravagant Life

User Review  - Goodreads

I really enjoyed this book, especially the first few chapters that set the New Orleans scene. So many great musicians and a wonderful timeline of Armstrong's life. Read full review



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About the author (1997)

Laurence Bergreen was born in New York City and educated at Harvard University.  He is the author of As Thousands Cheer: The Life of Irving Berlin (winner of the Ralph J.  Gleason Music Book Award); James Agee: A Life; and Capone: The Man and the Era.  A frequent contributor to Esquire, Newsweek, the New York Times, and other publications, he lives in New York City with his family.

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