Heart Full of Rhythm The Big Band Years of Louis Armstrong

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2020-09-01
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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Nearly 50 years after his death, Louis Armstrong remains one of the 20th century's most iconic figures. Popular fans still appreciate his later hits such as "Hello, Dolly!" and "What a Wonderful World," while in the jazz community, he remains venerated for his groundbreaking innovations in the
1920s. The achievements of Armstrong's middle years, however, possess some of the trumpeter's most scintillating and career-defining stories. But the story of this crucial time has never been told in depth — until now. Between 1929 and 1947, Armstrong transformed himself from a little-known
trumpeter in Chicago to an internationally renowned pop star, setting in motion the innovations of the Swing Era and Bebop. He had a similar effect on the art of American pop singing, waxing some of his most identifiable hits such as "Jeepers Creepers" and "When You're Smiling." However as author
Ricky Riccardi shows, this transformative era wasn't without its problems, from racist performance reviews and being held up at gunpoint by gangsters to struggling with an overworked embouchure and getting arrested for marijuana possession. Utilizing a prodigious amount of new research, Riccardi
traces Armstrong's mid-career fall from grace and dramatic resurgence. Featuring never-before-published photographs and stories culled from Armstrong's personal archives, Heart Full of Rhythm tells the story of how the man called "Pops" became the first "King of Pop."

Author Biography

Ricky Riccardi is Director of Research Collections for the Louis Armstrong House Museum and author of What a Wonderful World: The Magic of Louis Armstrong's Later Years. He runs the online blog, "The Wonderful World of Louis Armstrong," and has given lectures on Armstrong at venues around the world, including the Institute of Jazz Studies, the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, the Bristol International Jazz and Blues Festival and the Monterey Jazz Festival. He has co-produced numerous Armstrong reissues in recent years, including Satchmo at Symphony Hall 65th Anniversary: The Complete Concert, Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong Cheek to Cheek: The Complete Duets, Pops is Tops: The Verve Studio Albums, and two volumes of Decca Singles for Universal Music, in addition to Columbia and RCA Victor Live Recordings of Louis Armstrong and the All Stars for Mosaic Records.

Table of Contents

Prologue - Bigger Than Jazz

1. "There's a New King" - March 1929
2. "If Louis Did It, It Must Be Right - April-December 1929
3. "I Break It Up Everywhere I Play" - December 1929-May 1930
4. "He Would Just Amaze You" - June-November 1930
5. "Just One of the Cats" - November 1930-May 1931
6. "I Don't Got Northern-fied" - May-August 1931
7. "They Admit You with a Smile" - September-November 1931
8. "An Artist of Eminence" - December 1931-June 1932
9. "The Real Test is Entertainment" - July-November 1932
10. "Always a Way, Man" - November 1932-June 1933
11. "What the Hell is Wrong with Louis Armstrong?" - July 1933-June 1935
12. "A Much Improved Salesman" - June-December 1935
13. "Swing Is My Bread and Butter" - January-December 1936
14. "A Boom to the Colored Race" - January-June 1937
15. "Just Glad to See Us" - July 1937-May 1938
16. "A Solid Man for Comedy" - May 1938-December 1939
17. "He is Like the Armstrong of the Old Days" - January 1940-July 1941
18. "I Never Tried to Be God" - July 1941-July 1942
19. "A Little Higher on the Horse" - August 1942-December 1943
20. "A Great Deal Less Than Grown Up" - January-December 1944
21. "Why Should I Go Back?" - January 1945-Deceber 1945
22. "We Really Did Romp" - January 1946-February 1947
23. "Ain't No Music Out of Date as Long as You Play It Perfect" - 1947

Epilogue - I Can't Give You Anything But Love

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