The first book to cover a uniquely transformative period in the life of one of the 20th century's most-lasting icons. Nearly 50 years after his death, Louis Armstrong remains one of the 20th century's most iconic figures. Popular fans still appreciate his later hits such as "Hello, Dolly!," "What a Wonderful World," and "La Vie En Rose," while in the jazz community, he remains venerated for his groundbreaking innovations in the 1920s. The achievements of Armstrong's middle years, however, possess some of the trumpeter's most scintillating and career-defining stories. But the story of this crucial time has never been told in depth--until now. Between 1929 and 1947, Armstrong transformed himself from a little-known trumpeter in Chicago to an internationally renowned pop star, setting in motion the innovations of the Swing Era and Bebop. He had a similar effect on the art of American pop singing, waxing some of his most identifiable hits such as "Jeepers Creepers," "When You're Smiling," and "When the Saints Go Marching In." Along the way, he became the first black man to host a nationally sponsored radio show and to receive featured billing in a Hollywood film. However as author Ricky Riccardi shows, Armstrong's most transformative era wasn't without its problems, from racist performance reviews and being held up at gunpoint by gangsters to struggling with an overworked embouchure and getting arrested for marijuana possession. Utilizing a prodigious amount of new research, Riccardi traces Armstrong's mid-career fall from grace--why his career faltered; the ways in which the rise of swing and bop affected his musical approach and identity; the sacrifices he made to reenter the limelight; and the choices he made during this period that ultimately led to his resurgence as an iconic vocalist and performer whose nuance influenced the musical stylings of Bing Crosby, Billie Holiday, and countless others for decades to follow. Featuring never-before-published photographs and brand new stories culled from Armstrong's personal archives, Heart Full of Rhythm: The Big Band Years of Louis Armstrong tells the story of how the man called "Pops" became the first "King of Pop."
Jazz -- 1931-1940 -- History and criticism.
Jazz -- 1941-1950 -- History and criticism.
Jazz musicians -- United States -- Biography.
Jazz singers -- United States -- Biography.