Lil Hardin Armstrong
American musician
Lil Hardin Armstrong
Lil Hardin Armstrong was a jazz pianist, composer, arranger, singer, and bandleader, and the second wife of Louis Armstrong with whom she collaborated on many recordings in the 1920s. Hardin's compositions include "Struttin' With Some Barbecue", "Don't Jive Me", "Two Deuces", "Knee Drops", "Doin' the Suzie-Q", "Just For a Thrill" (which became a major hit when revived by Ray Charles in 1959), "Clip Joint", and "Bad Boy" (a minor hit for Ringo Starr in 1978).
Lil Hardin Armstrong's personal information overview.
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Eccentric clan stay in tune - The West Australian
Google News - over 5 years
In the early 50s he worked on Fleet Street where he interviewed stars such as Billie Holiday, Sidney Bechet, Lil Armstrong and Mary Lou Williams. Back in Sydney, he worked as a reporter and reviewer, and still broadcasts a fortnightly radio jazz
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Huey Long, 105, Guitarist for Ink Spots
NYTimes - over 7 years
Frank Davis and his Louisiana Jazz Band were booked to play at the Rice Hotel in Houston in 1925. The banjo player never showed. For Huey Long, who shined shoes outside the hotel and occasionally got onstage to announce the bands, this was the unmistakable sound of opportunity knocking. Putting down his ukulele, he ran out to a music store, got a
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NYTimes article
Jonah Jones, 91, a Master Jazz Trumpeter
NYTimes - almost 17 years
Jonah Jones, a jazz trumpeter who played with some of the great swing bands and sold a million copies of his versions of ''On the Street Where You Live'' and ''Baubles, Bangles and Beads,'' died on Sunday. He was 91 and lived in Manhattan. Mr. Jones, who was born in Louisville, Ky., learned to play the trumpet at a community center where he played
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Doc Cheatham, Jazz Journeyman Who Blossomed Into a Star, Dies at 91
NYTimes - over 19 years
Doc Cheatham, a lyrical, elegant trumpet player whose career blossomed when he was in his 70's and who then became one of the jazz's best known stars, died yesterday at George Washington University Hospital in Washington. Mr. Cheatham, who would have turned 92 on June 13, lived in Manhattan. An indefatigable player, he performed last weekend at
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Jazz Series Turns Focus to Women
NYTimes - over 25 years
ROBERT ARTHURS had several aims when he organized the Women in Jazz series that opens here Friday at the Westchester Conservatory of Music. First, said Mr. Arthurs, a trumpet teacher and dean of students and faculty at the school, he wanted to give the "great foremothers" of such contemporary artists as Aretha Franklin their due. On Friday in the
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Review/Cabaret; Susannah McCorkle's Point of View
NYTimes - almost 29 years
LEAD: The probing curiosity with which Susannah McCorkle gathers songs for her repertory brings a special sparkle to her program at Fat Tuesday's (190 Third Avenue, at 17th Street), where she is singing through Sunday. The probing curiosity with which Susannah McCorkle gathers songs for her repertory brings a special sparkle to her program at Fat
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NYTimes - about 33 years
Avon Long, who danced at the Cotton Club, sang in ''Porgy and Bess'' and acted in ''Roots: The Next Generations,'' died of cancer Wednesday at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center. He was 73 years old and lived in Manhattan. Although he had not been well for some time, Mr. Long's final stage appearance was on New Year's Eve in West Germany where he
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NYTimes - almost 34 years
THE current engagement of Jonah Jones, the master of the muted trumpet, at Jimmy Weston's, where his quintet is playing, had its roots at the Embers, the legendary 52d Street jazz club of the 1950's more than a quarter of a century ago. In fact, Mr. Jones's career as a muted trumpet specialist began at the Embers at the same time. Before that he
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Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Lil Hardin Armstrong
  • 1971
    Age 73
    When Armstrong died, in 1971, Hardin was deeply shaken by the loss.
    More Details Hide Details She traveled to New York for the funeral and rode in the family car. Returning to Chicago, Hardin felt that work on her autobiography could now continue, but the following month, performing at a televised memorial concert for Louis, Lil Hardin Armstrong collapsed at the piano and died on the way to the hospital. In the aftermath of her funeral, her letters and the unfinished manuscript of her autobiography disappeared from her house. In 2004, the Chicago Park District renamed a community park in her honor.
  • 1962
    Age 64
    In 1962, Hardin began writing her autobiography, in collaboration with Chris Albertson, but she had second thoughts when she realized that such a book could not be written without including personal experiences that might discomfit Louis Armstrong, so the project was shelved until his death.
    More Details Hide Details She died before she was able to finish the book.
  • 1961
    Age 63
    The Riverside recordings led to her inclusion in a star-studded 1961 NBC network special, "Chicago and All That Jazz", and a follow-up album released through the Verve Records imprint.
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    She would again appear on that label in 1961, participating in its "Chicago: The Living Legends" project as accompanist for Alberta Hunter and leader of her own hastily assembled big band.
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  • 1931
    Age 33
    Louis and Hardin separated in 1931, when he had begun a liaison with Alpha Smith, who threatened to sue Armstrong for breach of promise, so he begged Hardin not to grant him a divorce.
    More Details Hide Details In the 1930s, sometimes billing herself as "Mrs. Louis Armstrong", Hardin led an "All Girl Orchestra", then a mixed-sex Big Band which broadcast nationally over the NBC radio network. The same decade she recorded a series of sides for Decca Records as a swing vocalist, and appeared as piano accompanist for many other singers. She also recorded with Red Allen. In the late 1940s and early 1950s, Hardin worked mostly as a soloist singing and playing piano. In the late 1940s, she decided to leave the music and become a tailor, so she took a course in tailoring. Her graduation project was to make a tuxedo for Louis. It was displayed prominently at a New York cocktail party she threw to announce her new field of endeavor. "They looked at Louis' tux and all the other things I had made and they were very impressed", she recalled, "but then someone asked me to play the piano. That's when I knew that I would never be able to leave the music business." Louis wore Hardin's tuxedo and she continued to tailor, but only as a sideline and then only for friends. Her shirts, which friends received regularly on birthdays, proudly bore a label with her mother's name, "Decie", and beneath that, "Hand made by Lil Armstrong."
  • 1926
    Age 28
    Hardin had actually recorded five selections for Vocalion, leading the same group, in April and May 1926.
    More Details Hide Details She also recorded a session for Columbia Records as the New Orleans Wanderers. In the late 1920s Hardin and Louis grew apart. Armstrong formed a new Hot Five, with Earl Hines on piano. Hardin reformed her own band with Freddie Keppard on cornet (whom Hardin considered second only to Louis).
  • 1925
    Age 27
    Louis was gaining an impressive reputation when Richard M. Jones convinced Okeh Records to make a series of sessions under his name: the classic Armstrong "Hot Five" recordings. With Hardin at the piano, Kid Ory on trombone, Johnny Dodds on clarinet, and Johnny St. Cyr on banjo, this stellar group rehearsed at Louis and Hardin's residence on Chicago's East 41st Street and held its first session on November 15, 1925.
    More Details Hide Details Few recordings are as celebrated as the ones made by the Hot Five (and, sometimes, with Earl Hines replacing Hardin, the "Hot Seven") between then and the end of 1928.
  • 1924
    Age 26
    Armstrong eventually resigned from Oliver's band and, in September 1924, accepted a job with Fletcher Henderson in New York City.
    More Details Hide Details Hardin stayed in Chicago, first with Oliver, then leading a band of her own. When Hardin's band got a job at the Dreamland Café in Chicago, the following year, she prepared for Louis' return to Chicago by having a huge banner made to advertise him as "The World's Greatest Trumpet Player".
    Hardin and Louis were married on February 4, 1924.
    More Details Hide Details Hardin took Louis shopping and taught him how to dress more fashionably—she also got rid of his bangs, and began working on his career. Recognizing his extraordinary talent, she felt that he was wasting it in a secondary role. Louis was happy to be playing next to his idol, but Hardin eventually persuaded him to leave Oliver and go it on his own.
  • 1922
    Age 24
    In Chicago, Hardin went back to work at the Dreamland, as pianist in an orchestra for Mae Brady, a violinist and vaudeville stalwart. While there, she fell for Jimmie Johnson, a young singer from Washington, D.C., whom she married on August 22, 1922.
    More Details Hide Details The marriage was short-lived, ending in divorce. In the meantime, the Oliver band returned from California and opened at the Royal Gardens, with Bertha Gonzales at the piano, but soon found itself back at the Dreamland, with Hardin at the piano. His band was enjoying enormous success at the Dreamland when King Oliver sent for Louis Armstrong to join as second cornetist. Armstrong was beginning to make a name for himself in their hometown, New Orleans, and regarded Oliver ("Papa Joe") as his mentor. Some say that Oliver saw Louis as a threat to his jazz throne and decided that having him in his band was a good form of containment, although by all accounts both cornetists enjoyed working together. At first, Hardin was unimpressed with Louis, who arrived in Chicago wearing clothes and a hair style that she deemed to be "too country" for Chicago, but she worked to "take the country out of him" and a romance developed (to the surprise of other band members, some of whom had been trying to woo pretty Hardin for some time with no success). She already had divorce experience and helped Louis get a divorce from his first wife Daisy, from whom he had separated back in New Orleans.
  • 1921
    Age 23
    She was with Oliver at the Dreamland in 1921, when an offer came for the orchestra to play a six-month engagement at San Francisco's Pergola Ballroom.
    More Details Hide Details At the end of that booking, Hardin returned to Chicago while the rest of the Oliver band went on to Los Angeles. She later studied at the New York College of Music where she earned a postdoctorate degree in 1929.
  • 1918
    Age 20
    In August 1918, she moved to Chicago with her mother and stepfather.
    More Details Hide Details By then, she had become proficient in reading music, a skill that landed her a job as a sheet music demonstrator at Jones Music Store. The store had been paying Hardin $3 a week, but bandleader Lawrence Duhé offered $22.50. Knowing that her mother would not approve of her working in a cabaret, she made it known that her new job was playing for a dancing school. Three weeks later, the band moved on to a better booking at the De Luxe Café, where the entertainers included Florence Mills and Cora Green. From there, the band moved up to the jewel of Chicago's night life, the Dreamland. Here the principal entertainers were Alberta Hunter and Ollie Powers, and there was no finer night spot in Chicago. When King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band replaced Duhé's group at the Dreamland, Oliver asked Hardin to stay with him.
  • 1917
    Age 19
    Hardin received a diploma from Fisk, returning to Memphis in 1917.
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  • 1898
    Age 0
    Born in 1898.
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