Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Louis Armstrong, In His Own Words: Selected Writings Hardcover – November 11, 1999
See the Best Books of 2017
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for the best books of the year in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
Customers who bought this item also bought
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
From Kirkus Reviews
These writings from jazz great Louis Armstrong swing with the same warmth, rhythms, and inventive phrasing that made his music so popular. Armstrong toured with a typewriter and used it often for journals, writing letters to friends or strangers, and supplying reporters with material about his life. Eavesdropping backstage on Armstrong and his bandmates would make worthwhile reading for any jazz fan or historian, regardless of Armstrong's ability as a writer. But Armstrong writes well, in a style completely his own. Editor Brothers provides context and insight through short introductions to each piece. But he has a deep respect for Armstrong and has interfered as little as possible with his idiosyncratic writing. Armstrong developed a unique usage of quotation marks, commas, dashes, and underscoring that gives the writing its rhythm. In a letter to his manager, Joe Glaser, he writes ``IJust, Love, Your, Checks, in, My POCKETSOH They look so pretty, until, I hate like hell to cash them.'' Armstrong uses jazz argot, much of it now assimilated into the language, translating when he thinks it necessary: ``Here's how we were busted (arrested to you) . . .'' Of some sharp sight-reading musicians he writes, They might read a Fly Speck, if it get in the way.'' The collection covers Armstrong's entire life, from his poor beginnings in New Orleans to his heyday in Chicago to his last years in Corona, New York. But the most compelling reading comes from Armstrong on his passions for music, gage (marijuana), and laxatives. He even signed a telegram to President Eisenhower (offering to take ``those little negro children personally into Central High School'') ``Am Swiss Krissly Yours . . .'' Swiss Kriss was the herbal laxative to which Armstrong credited his health. This collection transcends jazz and conventional grammar, revealing the humor and spirit of a legendary entertainer. (29 halftones) -- Copyright ©1999, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
"This book is like a long visit to Louis Armstrong's house in Queens.... Delightful and revealing.... By itself, this book explains why Louis Armstrong was by far the greatest and warment communicator jazz shall ever know."--George Avakian, jazz record producer
"A fascinating collection of the unpublished writings of jazz trailblazer Armstrong, perhaps the most prolific writer among the jazz greats.... These revealing letters and writings give readers a fascinating glimpse into Armstrong's early musical influences, rise to fame, life on the road, role in the Civil Rights movement, and final years. Carefully preserving Armstrong's idiosyncratic style and adding previously unpublished photos, Brothers illuminates the character and times of a jazz icon."--Library Journal
"Louis Armstrong was a wonderful writer, vivid and candid, but until now his most personal reflections were known only to researchers. Thomas Brothers has superbly collected them in an entertaining volume that will prove indispensable to anyone who wants to understand the genius who transformed American music."--Gary Giddins, author of Visions of Jazz
"Engrossing...adds vitally to our knowledge of one of the greatest twentieth-century Americans."--Booklist
"Armstrong would be 'tickled pink' to know that Thomas Brothers has really done his homework adn cracked the code of Armstrong's special variety of scat and jive, and, more importantly, that Brothers has put [Armstrong's] words to paper just as he wrote them."--The Bloomsbury Review
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
"I'm white inside
that can't help my case
cause I can't hide
what is on my face.
Old feather bed,
Filled up with lead
Feel like Ole Ned
Wish I wuz dead,
What did I do to be so black and blue?
One of the finest music critics writing today, Terry Teachout, says that this book is true Satchmo and he would have loved it to be twice as long as it is. The more Satchmo the better.
While it is true that he knew problems with the black-community in later years because some held him to be serving the 'Man' the truth was he brought great honor and dignity to not only blacks in America but all Americans.
And above all he brought joy and beauty through his music into the lives of so many.