‘All music is folk music. I ain’t never heard a horse sing a song.’ – Louis Armstrong
This was one of my favorite drawings in my 7th sketchbook. I thought I nailed his likeness with the pen and ink. Bringing Satchmo into the ‘LickedinPop Series’ was a priority to anchor the musicians.
When I was a kid I remember seeing Louis Armstrong all the time on the Ed Sullivan Show, in Mame and other 60s variety shows. This sweet old man could really play the horn. His voice was like baked gravel in the summertime, but boy could it carry a tune! It wasn’t until years later that I was ‘introduced’ to the young Armstrong! Hip, pot smoking Jazz musician! It’s funny when you’re a kid you always think anyone over thirty is OLD and BORING and could never ever have been cool. Too bad youth is wasted on the young.
There is two kinds of music, the good, and the bad. I play the good kind.
Louis Armstrong, nicknamed “Satchmo,” “Pops” and, later, “Ambassador Satch,” was born on August 4, 1901, in New Orleans, Louisiana. An all-star virtuoso, he came to prominence in the 1920s, influencing countless musicians with both his daring trumpet style and unique vocals. Armstrong’s charismatic stage presence impressed not only the jazz world but all of popular music. He recorded several songs throughout his career, including he is known for songs like “Star Dust,” “La Via En Rose” and “What a Wonderful World.” Armstrong died at his home in Queens, New York, on July 6, 1971.
In a memoir written for Robert Goffin between 1943 and 1944, Armstrong states, “All white folks call me Louie,” suggesting that he himself did not. That said, Armstrong was registered as “Lewie” for the 1920 U.S. Census On various live records he’s called “Louie” on stage, such as on the 1952 “Can Anyone Explain?” from the live album In Scandinavia vol.1. It should also be noted that “Lewie” is the French pronunciation of “Louis” and is commonly used in Louisiana.
Musicians don’t retire; they stop when there’s no more music in them.
All work in the LickedinPop Series begins as an original pen and Ink illustration. Rich and colorful, it is my homage to the work of Roy Lichtenstein tuned to my favorites in pop culture. Beautiful reproductions of ‘Louis Armstrong Satchmo’ and all my work in the LickedinPop Series are available for sale at my Etsy Store. Please come visit!