Cover image for Heart full of rhythm : the big band years of Louis Armstrong
Heart full of rhythm : the big band years of Louis Armstrong
Publication Information:
New York, NY : Oxford University Press, [2020]

Physical Description:
viii, 414 pages : illustrations (black and white) ; 25 cm
"The Apollo Theatre in Harlem is synonymous with some of the greatest names in African-American entertainment such James Brown, Redd Foxx, Ray Charles, Billie Holiday, Michael Jackson-and Louis Armstrong. Louis Armstrong? A man seemingly vilified by the black press and who lost his black fan base over the years because of his out-of-date stage persona? A hero at the Apollo? And in the black press? The way Armstrong's story is often told, this might be difficult to fathom but it's all true. Upon his return to the United States in January 1935 after 18 months in Europe, Armstrong's first stop was the brand-new Apollo. Lip troubles prevented him from playing that evening, but his appearance shook up the Theatre, causing management to put up a placard stating: "Coming Shortly-Louis Armstrong." On August 30, 1935, Armstrong finally graced the Apollo stage. There was much apprehension before his appearance. It was his first New York engagement in nearly two years. He hadn't recorded in America since April 1933. He spent much of the first half of 1935 physically unable to play his trumpet. What kind of shape would he be in? Could he still hit his famed high notes? Should he retire? The black press whipped itself into a frenzy in previewing his return to Harlem. Armstrong himself knew this was a defining moment and took a snapshot of the marquee, keeping it for his personal collection"-- Provided by publisher.