Listen to RSA Staff Favorites by Louis Armstrong

By , August 4, 2022 7:09 pm

Happy Birthday, Louis Armstrong! Today would have been Louis Armstrong’s 121st birthday. Did you know that a Jewish immigrant family helped Armstrong buy his first horn?

In a memoir from 1970 titled Louis Armstrong and the Jewish Family in New Orleans, LA the year of 1907 Armstrong described his time working for the Karnofsky family, a local Lithuanian-Jewish family who hired him to do odd jobs for their peddling business.

The jazzman would later write that the Karnofskys treated him as though he were their own child, often giving him food and even loaning him money to buy his first instrument, a $5 cornet which he paid back. (he wouldn’t begin playing the trumpet until 1926). As a sign of his gratitude to his Jewish benefactors, Armstrong later took to wearing a Star of David pendant around his neck until the end of his life in memory of the family who had helped him.

Listen to RSA Staff Favorites by Louis Armstrong

Here are a few RSA staff favorites of Louis Armstrong to get you started:

RSA Staff Favorites by Louis Armstrong

  1. You’re Next
  2. Melancholy
  3. Frankie And Johnny
  4. When the Saints Go Marching In
  5. Satchel Mouth Swing

Celebrate Armstrong’s birthday today by listening to the music behind one of the most influential figures in jazz by visiting the RSA Website:

And let us know in the comments, what is your favorite Louis Armstrong song?

Please note, due to copyright some items may only be available as a 45 second snippet.

If you are a Researcher or Educator in need of full access to these recordings, click here.

FAU Students, Faculty and Staff can listen to recordings unrestricted by logging into the Research Station using their FAU NET ID.

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