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Amazon Exclusive: A Letter from Terry Teachout, Author of Pops: A Life of Louis ArmstrongDear Amazon Readers: Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong, my new book, is the story of a great artist who was also a good man. A genius who was born in the gutter--and became a celebrity known in every corner of the world. A beloved entertainer who was more complex--and much tougher--than his fans ever imagined. It's not the first Armstrong biography, but it's the first one to tell Satchmo's story accurately. I based it in part on hundreds of private, after-hours recordings made by Armstrong himself, candid tapes in which he tells the amazing tale of his ascent to stardom in blunt, plainspoken language. I'm the first biographer to have had access to those tapes. Read Pops and you'll learn the facts about his 1930 marijuana arrest, his life-threatening run-in with the gangsters of Chicago, his triumphant Broadway and Hollywood debuts, his complicated love life, and much, much more. You'll also come away understanding exactly what it was that made him the most influential jazz musician of the twentieth century, an entertainer so irresistibly magnetic that he knocked the Beatles off the top of the charts four decades after he cut his first record. If you've ever thrilled to the sounds of "West End Blues," "Mack the Knife," "Hello, Dolly!" or "What a Wonderful World," this is the book for you and yours. Give Pops a read and find out all about the man from New Orleans who changed the face of American music. Sincerely yours, Terry Teachout
(Photo © Ken Howard)
Amazon Exclusive: Terry Teachout's Top 10 Louis Armstrong RecordingsIn Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong, I tell the story of a beloved giant of jazz whose greathearted, larger-than-life personality shone through every record he made. Here are ten of my special favorites: 1. "I Gotta Right to Sing the Blues" (1933). Of all Louis Armstrong's records, this is the one I love best. Listen to how he floats atop the beat in the last chorus--he sounds just like a tenor going for a high C. 2. "West End Blues" (1928). The most celebrated of all Armstrong recordings and the quintessence of swing." 3. "Hotter Than That" (1927). “I just played the way I sang," Pops said. His wordless vocal on this Hot Seven track proves it. 4. "Star Dust" (1931). Further proof: listen to how he rewrites the lyrics to this familiar Hoagy Carmichael ballad. 5. "Darling Nelly Gray" (1937). Satchmo transforms an old slave song, backed up by the suavely swinging Mills Brothers. 6. "Jeepers Creepers" (1939). A charming souvenir of Armstrong's film career--he introduced this Johnny Mercer song in "Going Places." 7. "Struttin' with Some Barbecue" (1938). A boiling-hot big-band remake of a classic 1927 Hot Five side in which the trumpeter improves on perfection. 8. "You Rascal, You" (1950). Louis meets Louis in this raucous romp through an Armstrong standard, accompanied to high-spirited effect by Louis Jordan's Tympany Five. 9. "New Orleans Function" (1950). An old-time New Orleans jazz funeral recreated by the All Stars, with Earl Hines on piano and Jack Teagarden on trombone. 10. "Sleepy Time Down South" (1941). Armstrong's theme song, an irreplaceable example of his rich and resplendent lyricism.
My reaction to these CDs was: Lots of this is really good.
Terry Teachout's biography of the great Louis Armstrong is cohesive and revelatory of Armstrong's extraordinary, loving, loyal character and his dazzling talent.
If you're interested in Louis Armstrong, celebrity biographies, or the history of jazz, "Pops" is recommended very highly.
Great book ... deserves the high rating others have provided. You get the feeling to start to understand the man behind the stage presence and music genius. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Paul B.
The book arrived way before the estimated delivery date. It was well packaged and in excellent shape. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Jim J. Rogers
As a musician, and a multiple-time viewer of Ken Burns' Jazz documentary (including reading and re-reading the companion book), I thought I knew a great deal about Louis Armstrong. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Amazon Customer
Book has several library stampings on page ends & within book, but otherwise it is in very good condition & certainly well worth the price.Published 12 months ago by ( :-}D )
Biographies are not the easiest to read (ie boring) unless there are things outside of a persons known genius; e.g. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Taylor
Reading this excellent book, I felt that I was in the presence of two masters -- Armstrong himself, who shares with Duke Ellington (the subject of Teachout's latest book) the... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Jack Schelin