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Louis Armstrong, in His Own Words
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Table of Contents

"Seing a Lot of Type Writing": An Introduction to Louis Armstrong's Writings Editorial Policy Acknowledgments "Home Sweet Home": Childhood and Apprenticeship in New Orleans1: "Louis Armstrong + the Jewish Family in New Orleans, La., the Year of 1907" (March 31, 1969-1970) 2: "Joe Oliver is Still King" (1950) 3: "Bunk Didn't Teach Me" (1950) 4: Letter to Isidore Barbarin (September 1, 1922) "Some Kind of a God": Chicago, New York, and California, 1922-19315: "The Armstrong Story" (1954) 6: Letters to Robert Goffin (May 7 and July 19, 1944) 7: The "Goffin Notebooks" (ca. 1944) 8: "The Satchmo Story" (early 1959) 9: "Jazz on a High Note" (1951) "Book Anywhere - Anytime": Life on the Road during the 1940s and 1950s10: Early Years with Lucille (ca. 1970) 11: Letter to Leonard Feather (September 18, 1941) 12: Letter to Betty Jane Holder (February 9, 1952) 13: Letter to Joe Glaser (August 2, 1955) 14: "Lombardo Grooves Louis!" (1949) "Music Has No Age": Late Years in Corona, New York15: Letter to L/Cpl. Villec (1967) 16: "Scanning the History of Jazz" (1960) 17: "Our Neighbourhood" (ca. 1970) 18: Open Letter to Fans (June 1, 1970) 19: "Goodbye to All of You" (1969)

About the Author

Thomas Brothers is an Associate Professor of Music at Duke University and the author of Chromatic Beauty in the Late Medieval Chanson. He lives in Durham, North Carolina.

Reviews

In this collection jazz trumpeter Armstrong (1900-71) gives a fascinating glimpse into his "early musical influences, rise to fame, life on the road, role in the Civil Rights movement, and final years." (LJ 9/15/99) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

"A fascinating collection of the unpublished writings of jazz trailblazer Armstrong, perhaps the most prolific writer among the jazz greats.... These revealing letters and writings give readers a fascinating glimpse into Armstrong's early musical influences, rise to fame, life on the road, role in the Civil Rights movement, and final years. Carefully preserving Armstrong's idiosyncratic style and adding previously unpublished photos, Brothers illuminates the character and times of a jazz icon."--Library Journal "Louis Armstrong was a wonderful writer, vivid and candid, but until now his most personal reflections were known only to researchers. Thomas Brothers has superbly collected them in an entertaining volume that will prove indispensable to anyone who wants to understand the genius who transformed American music."--Gary Giddins, author of Visions of Jazz "This book is like a long visit to Louis Armstrong's house in Queens.... Delightful and revealing.... By itself, this book explains why Louis Armstrong was by far the greatest and warment communicator jazz shall ever know."--George Avakian, jazz record producer "Scholarly but approachable and engrossing, the book adds vitally to our knowledge of one of the greatest twentieth-century Americans."--Booklist Louis Armstrong, In His Own Words is essential reading on the life of this legendary figure and the early jazz scene."--Down Beat "Louis Armstrong: In His Own Words, offers a rare opportunity to get to know the human being who was the greatest trumpet player of the 20th century....Armstrong's sense of humor and irony comes across clearly and frequently in his writing....He reigns supreme forever."--Dorothy Ferebee, Michigan Citizen "Louis Armstrong was more than a brilliant jazz innovator and wonderful entertainer. He was also a great communicator--on and off the stage....Although I was among those privileged to know the great man, I am now more aware of his greatness after reading 'Louis Armstrong, in His Own Words.'"--Floyd Levin, The American Rag "The luminary jazz musician was also a pungent writer, as this selection of work drawn from his books and articles, his correspondence and his unpublished manuscripts attests."--Times Herald Record "A fascinating collection of the unpublished writings of jazz trailblazer Armstrong, perhaps the most prolific writer among the jazz greats.... These revealing letters and writings give readers a fascinating glimpse into Armstrong's early musical influences, rise to fame, life on the road, role in the Civil Rights movement, and final years. Carefully preserving Armstrong's idiosyncratic style and adding previously unpublished photos, Brothers illuminates the character and times of a jazz icon."--Library Journal "Louis Armstrong was a wonderful writer, vivid and candid, but until now his most personal reflections were known only to researchers. Thomas Brothers has superbly collected them in an entertaining volume that will prove indispensable to anyone who wants to understand the genius who transformed American music."--Gary Giddins, author of Visions of Jazz "This book is like a long visit to Louis Armstrong's house in Queens.... Delightful and revealing.... By itself, this book explains why Louis Armstrong was by far the greatest and warmest communicator jazz shall ever know."--George Avakian, jazz record producer "Scholarly but approachable and engrossing, the book adds vitally to our knowledge of one of the greatest twentieth-century Americans."--Booklist Louis Armstrong, In His Own Words is essential reading on the life of this legendary figure and the early jazz scene."--Down Beat "These writings from jazz great Louis Armstrong swing with the same warmth, rhythms, and inventive phrasings that made his music so popular."--Kirkus Reviews "Brothers...is a skillful and sensitive editor, and though some of the pieces he includes have previously seen print, this is the first time they have appeared in authoritative texts in which Armstrong's flavorful orthographic peculiarities are scrupulously preserved. The only things wrong with Louis Armstrong, In His Own Words are that it does not contain more letters and is not twice as long."--The New York Times Book Review "In the nearly three decades since Louis Armstrong's death, our understanding of this stupendously accomplished and influential artist has both broadened and deepened, a process that should be significantly accelerated by the publication of this selection of his written work." "It is a remarkable book, taking us inside the heart and head of the man in ways that, until now, inly the music had done. It reveals him, among many things, as a person of strong and fiercely independent opinions..." "He was also smart, self-confident, ambitious, hard-working and conscientious, and in the bargain may have been the ultimate senualist, taking his pleasure where he found it and reveling in every moment of it. He gave joy to millions because he was joyful--full of joy--himself, as almost every word of this book attests."--Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post "By his own account, Armstrong was a singer even before he played the horn. His richly human timbre can be heard here in every typed or handwritten phrase."--Tom Nolan, San Francisco Chronicle "The joy he took in expressing himself on paper is abundantly evident."--The New Yorker "Armstrong would be 'tickled pink' to know that Thomas Brothers has really done his homework and cracked the code of Armstrong's special variety of scat and jive, and, more importantly, that Brothers has put [Armstrong's] words to paper just as he wrote them."--The Bloomsbury Review "The primary emphasis in Louis Armstrong's In His Own Words, is where it should be, on the wonderful fact that nothing was ever more important to Armstrong than blowing that horn.... The wide range of autobiographical documentation that Brothers has included in his volume makes it a very significant source for the study of Louis Armstrong."--New Republic "Provides an exceptional glimpse into the multifaceted personality behind the cheerful stage persona."--Publishers Weekly "Scholarly but approachable and engrossing, the book adds vitally to our knowledge of one of the greatest twentieth-century Americans."--Booklist "A remarkable assemblage--more insightful in many ways than all the essays and critical evaluations written about this seminal jazz artist."--Don Hickman, LA Times "The new Louis Armstrong in His Own Words offers a stark contrast to the methodical plod of biography....To read Armstrong like this is to get another crack at understanding an improvisational genius at work, and another chance to bask in the warm, irrepressible spirit that came twinkling through his every expression."--The Philadelphia Inquirer

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