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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.
Louis Armstrong is one of my favorite musicians and it was great to get an up close look at his life.Published 1 day ago by John Gray
This was a very interesting book that my son who is 16 enjoyed reading. I would recommend this book to others.Published 1 month ago by Lara Dragaloski
I do not plan to read another Louis Armstrong biography and might even read this author's new Duke Ellington biography. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Roderick T. Leupp
This book is amazing, but the author fails to chronicle the events leading to the historic moon landing and the accomplishment of Louis Armstrong becoming the first man on the... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Ian B. Cooper
I had purchased this book new a few years ago, and I lost it - left it in a hotel room I think. It's a great repeat read, and getting a nice used one was great.Published 9 months ago by Byron Defenbach
This is a lazy and pale portrait of a genius that gets some -- but far from all -- of the minor details correct while managing to miss the soul and heart of Armstrong almost... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Frank O'File
My starting point for POPS was Hot Fives & Sevens, which sustained me recently during my workouts at the gym. (I'm the skinny mature guy on the recumbent bike. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Ethan Cooper
Terry Teachout's biography is brilliant from start to finish. Here's why. Mr. Teachout painstakingly cited much of his material using interviews with those who knew Mr. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Efrem Sepulveda
It took me a while to fully commit to this book. I wasn't sure in the beginning that it would live up to its hype. Read morePublished 18 months ago by J. Smallridge