Louis Armstrong: The Soundtrack of the American Experience

Louis Armstrong: The Soundtrack of the American Experience

by David Stricklin


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In the twentieth century, African Americans not only helped make popular music the soundtrack of the American experience, they advanced American music as one of the preeminent shapers of the world's popular culture. Vast numbers of black American musicians deserve credit for this remarkable turn of events, but a few stand out as true giants. David Stricklin's superb new biography explores the life of one of them, Louis Armstrong.

The life story of this great instrumentalist and bandleader illustrates much of the black entertainer's impact on American culture and illuminates how popular culture often intersects with politics and economics. Armstrong emerged from a precarious background and triumphed over almost impossible odds, becoming a transcendent public figure and an international icon. Mr. Stricklin concentrates on Armstrong's musical talent, something many observers called a thing of genius. But he also pays special attention to Armstrong's identity a black man in America and the ways in which he triumphed over the mistreatment and disrespect dealt countless people like him. The creativity and exuberance he shared with the world came from his unique vantage as an artist and as an African American with a striking and lively spirit of freedom. He might have been able to demonstrate that determination in any line of work, but his story has special urgency because he expressed his creative power through music. With 16 black-and-white photographs.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781442245990
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 02/15/2015
Series: Library of African American Biography Series
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 200
Sales rank: 740,584
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

David Stricklin is professor of history and head of the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies at the University of Arkansas, Little Rock. With Bill C. Malone, he has also written Southern Music/American Music. He lives in Little Rock, AK.

Table of Contents

Preface Introduction Chapter 1: Humble Origins Chapter 2: A Rising Talent Chapter 3: Hot Music in a Strange Time Chapter 4: An Independent Musician Chapter 5: Fully Free African American Chapter 6: Looking to a New Future Chapter 7: International Icon Chapter 8: The Soundtrack of the American Experience

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