Louis Armstrong Centennial - 100 Years of Satchmo
Satchmo.com's Tribute to Jazz Legend Louis Armstrong
WWNO 89.9 FM Radio To Repeat NPR Specials

New Orleans non-profit public radio station WWNO 89.9 FM will be repeating National Public Radio's Jazz Profiles series "Satchmo: The Wonderful World of Louis Armstrong", a 13-week centennial tribute to the late jazz master and American icon. The series originally aired beginning July 5, 2000. The shows will air weekly, on Fridays at 6:30 pm. See below for schedule and program details.

05/11/2001 - Armstrong: The Man And His Music, Part 1

Louis Armstrong always claimed July 4, 1900, as his birthday. It is a tribute to his stature that no one would deny him this pretense -- he was the ultimate showman and a larger than life personality. There were so many facets, to, arguably, this single greatest innovator in jazz. Armstrong broke new ground everywhere - as a trumpeter, singer, soloist, composer, bandleader, entertainer, and jazz ambassador. The first two programs in this series provide a comprehensive overview of the amazing "Satchmo" and his illustrious life, music, and contribution to world culture. This show begins with a turn-of-the-century look at New Orleans where young Louis received the rudiments of his musical education. Like jazz itself, Louis traveled up the Mississippi to Chicago and there began playing with his mentor Joe "King" Oliver. We will then follow Armstrong to New York for his path-breaking work with the Fletcher Henderson group. In the mid-1920s Armstrong made his Hot 5's and Hot 7's, still considered some of the most important recordings in jazz history. By 1931 Armstrong was known as "The World's Greatest Trumpet Player." We'll hear his trumpet and his distinctive voice as they blossom, mature, and gain worldwide recognition.

05/18/2001 - Armstrong: The Man And His Music, Part 2

This show picks up with a look at the second half of Armstrong's career. After a one-year hiatus in Europe, Louis Armstrong returned to the United States in 1935 to find his career in a slump. With help from a new manager, he soon bounced back, appearing in Hollywood movies, Broadway plays, national radio shows, and dance halls across the country. In 1947 he disbanded his orchestra and founded the All Stars, a smaller group he would lead for the rest of his life. Though sometimes dismissed by younger musicians and critics, Armstrong remained one of America's best-known and best-loved entertainers throughout the world until his death in 1971.

05/25/2001 - Armstrong: The Trumpeter

This program traces Armstrong's development as a trumpeter and reflects on his contributions. Interviewees include the late trumpeters Doc Cheatham and Harry "Sweets" Edison, along with Nicholas Payton, Ruby Braff, Jon Faddis and Joe Wilder. The show also features archival interviews with Armstrong.

06/01/2001 - Armstrong: The Singer

In February 1926, Armstrong's vocal recording of "Heebie Jeebies" elevated "scat" style singing to an art form and for the next forty-five years, his singing voice would become one of the world's most recognized and enjoyed in jazz and popular music. The "Singer" program features interviews with authors and Armstrong scholars, including Garry Giddins, Dan Morgenstern, and Laurence Bergreen. Also included will be interviews with George Avakian and Milt Gabler who produced many of Armstrong's most durable recordings.

06/08/2001 - Armstrong's New Orleans

This show looks at how New Orleans indelibly stamped the music of Louis Armstrong and how he, in turn, changed the city forever. Louis Armstrong grew up in the segregated, impoverished black community of New Orleans. He was arrested at age 12 and sent to a waif's home. Yet despite his hardships, Armstrong fondly remembers his early years because that's when he learned to play jazz.

06/15/2001 - Armstrong: The Chicago Years

One of Armstrong's most formative and creative periods took place in Chicago in the 1920s. He left his hometown of New Orleans to play second cornet in the popular band led by his mentor and father figure, Joe "King" Oliver. Armstrong spent six years in Chicago, where he made his first recordings with King Oliver and then with the Hot Fives and Sevens. On these records, and in clubs and theaters in the Windy City, Armstrong emerged as a singer, instrumental soloist, and all-around entertainer. The Hot Fives and Sevens became among the most studied and influential recordings in all of jazz.

06/22/2001 - Armstrong: The Big Band Years, Part 1

At the root of the Swing Era is the big band, and at the root of the big band is Louis Armstrong. From 1929 - 1947, Armstrong led a variety of big bands that produced many of his most famous and most enduring recordings. In this show, we examine the early years on the West Coast, the bands with which Armstrong toured the United States, and the early interracial bands he led in Europe in the early 30's. We hear from Armstrong big band alumni such as Lionel Hampton and Lawrence Brown, from Bobby Short, trumpeters Jimmy Owens and Brian Lynch, and from Armstrong himself.

06/29/2001 - Armstrong: The Big Band Years, Part 2

The Depression-era orchestra takes center stage on "Louis and the Big Band, Part Two." We'll hear from band alumni such as Charlie Holmes and Russell "Big Chief" Moore about life on the road with this tireless performer. We'll unearth gems such as "When the Saints Go Marching In," the recording that turned a New Orleans favorite into a new jazz standard. We'll also learn from experts such as Dan Morgenstern and Gary Giddins why critics have dismissed this band for so long-and why it's high time for a reappraisal.

07/06/2001 - Armstrong's Hollywood

Louis Armstrong appeared in over 30 films, dating back to the earliest years of talking pictures. His film career reflects the full spectrum of his musical evolution: from traditional jazz, to swing, to pop. Although his musical performances were superb, as an actor, he was forced to play demeaning and racist parts. He came under criticism for continuing to play such roles well into the 1950s. Why did he accept such roles while Duke Ellington and others refused? Armstrong's appearance in film reveals a great deal about him as an artist and about institutional racism in America. Interviewees include Floyd Levin, Donald Bogle, Fayard Nicholas, Bing Crosby and others.

07/13/2001 - Armstrong: The Duets

"The Duets" program will feature the music of many whom had the extraordinary experience of joining Louis in radio and recording studios. In addition to comments from Ella Fitzgerald, Jack Teagarden, Earl Hines, Bing Crosby, and the Mills Brothers, authors Will Frieldwald and Gary Giddins will provide background and perspective on some of the century's most memorable and enduring music.

07/20/2001 - Louis Armstrong All Stars

From 1947 until the end of his life, Louis Armstrong worked with a small band unit that he called the All Stars. The All Stars featured pianist Earl Hines and trombonist Jack Teagarden. It was a return to Armstrong's musical roots! From Carnegie Hall to Africa and everywhere in between, audiences had the same wonderful reaction! Interviewees include Gary Giddins, Leonard Feather, Ernie Anderson, Bobby Hackett, Arvell Shaw, Jack Bradley, Cozy Cole and others.

07/27/2001 - Armstrong's World (Ambassador Satch)

This show will examine the effect Louis Armstrong's tours had on the world and on him. Armstrong's world travels commenced in 1932 and he spent the rest of his life trotting the globe in search of a good groove. From his first foray into England - performing to audiences initially shocked at the raw, "primitive" nature of his performances with a rag-tag pickup band - to triumphant tours in the company of his All Stars, the tireless Louis Armstrong relished the road of foreign travel.

08/03/2001 - Armstrong Today

How does the influence of Louis Armstrong linger at the centennial of his birth? In Europe, answers come from Jacques Bureau, co-founder of the Hot Clubs of Paris, France; Hans Zurbrugg, producer of the Berne, Switzerland Jazz festival; Gianni Tollara, jazz impresario in Milan, Italy, and others. In America, oral historians and critics such as Dan Morgenstern of the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers University, Armstrong biographers Gary Giddins and Laurence Bergreen, Bruce Raeburn of the Hogan Archives at Tulane University in New Orleans, Armstrong friend and confidante Jack Bradley and others share their views. We visit Princeton University, where a class on Louis Armstrong is being taught, and we hear from students of Armstrong. Finally, we visit the Louis Armstrong High School in Queens and The Louis Armstrong Archives at Queens College in New York City. And, of course, musicians and singers reflect on his legacy.

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"Louis Armstrong is the master of the jazz solo. He became the beacon, the light in the tower, that helped the rest of us navigate the tricky waters of jazz improvisation." ~ Ellis Marsalis