Louis Armstrong was a legendary, innovative trumpeter, a vocalist who had a profound impact on jazz singing, and a dynamic entertainer. He got a chance to showcase all these aspects of his talent in 28 full-length films and several short features between 1931 and 1969.
We’ll celebrate Armstrong’s symbolic birthday this weekend with a program that includes music from the films
- New Orleans
- High Society
- A Man Called Adam
- The Five Pennies
and more, including the outtake “Ain’t It the Truth” from Cabin in the Sky, and a few recorded encounters of Armstrong and one of his most fervent admirers, Billie Holiday.
For More Louis Armstrong…
In addition to Krin Gabbard‘s nearly-40-page treatise on Armstrong in his cinematic-jazz book Jammin’ at the Margins (pg. 204-238), here’s some more background on Satchmo’s celluloid career:
- Louis Armstrong’s film roles (includes several video clips)
- Michael Meckna: Louis Armstrong in the Movies, 1931-1969 (PDF file)
- An online essay about “New Orleans”
And you can watch Holiday and Armstrong perform “Farewell to Storyville” from the 1947 film New Orleans here: