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Louis Armstrong's Life

            "Did Louis Armstrong really invent jazz music?" Some people think that Louis Armstrong was the sole creator of jazz music. Others think that Louis Armstrong was a great musician that helped make jazz popular. Louis Armstrong: An American Success Story by James Lincoln Collier is the story of Louis Armstrong's life. Collier's book tells how Louis Armstrong lived a poor childhood without enough money to buy a cornet and how he became one of the greatest jazz musicians of his time and ours. .
             Louis grew up in New Orleans, and most will agree that jazz was created here. Louis was able to listen to the sounds of blues. He lived in an area where there were tonks, which were rough bars, and musicians played on the streets. He also listened to the bands on the steamboats. Louis was a good singer so he taught himself about music and he developed perfect pitch, which is being able to hear a tune or note and being able to identify it correctly. He and a few friends sang on the streets and made a little money. .
             When Armstrong was in his teens he got into trouble and had to go to the Waif's home, which was a school for boys. He joined the band here and learned to play the cornet, although he was taught incorrectly and ruined his lips. He never learned to read music either. When Louis was around 17 or 18 (his age is unknown because Louis never knew when he was born) he began to play jazz but he was very shy. Louis was afraid to come up to the front of the band and solo. King Oliver, a jazz musician, asked Louis to play in his band in Chicago and Louis reluctantly agreed to play. .
             James Collier's book Louis Armstrong an American Success Story, gave me an idea of Louis Armstrong's journey to becoming a great jazz musician. Louis Armstrong grew up listening to the blues, not jazz. When Armstrong began to play, he understood the music more than many other performers. Louis would change the melody a little when he played and he gave jazz more of a swing than others had.

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