Good Read: Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong by Terry Teachout
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Louis Armstrong was the greatest jazz musician of the twentieth century and a giant of modern American culture. He knocked the Beatles off the top of the charts, wrote the finest of all jazz autobiographies–without a collaborator–and created collages that have been compared to the art of Romare Bearden. The ranks of his admirers included Johnny Cash, Jackson Pollock and Orson Welles. Offstage he was witty, introspective and unexpectedly complex, a beloved colleague with an explosive temper whose larger-than-life personality was tougher and more sharp-edged than his worshipping fans ever knew.
Todd Hill says:
“Pops is the best BY ANY MEASURE of all Louis Armstrong biographies – Wonderfully readable even by the non-musician. Most informative (and largely so) due to recent discoveries among Armstrong’s personal correspondence and other writings held by the Armstrong House curated by Queens College. More about Louis’ strong feelings during the civil-rights movement (he has been vastly misjudged in this regard) than has ever been revealed previously.”