Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Hikers

This joke I found on the belifnet website and I hope y'all will think it is cute as well.

 One day Joe, Bob and Dave were hiking in a wilderness area when they came upon a large, raging, violent river. They need to get to the other side, but had no idea of how to do so.

 Joe prayed to God saying "Please God, give me the strength to cross this river."

 POOF! God gave him big arms and strong legs and he was able to swim across the river in two hours, although he almost drowned a couple of times.

Seeing this, Dave prayed to God, saying "Please God give me the strength and the tools to cross this river." POOF! God gave him a rowboat and he was able to cross the river in about an hour, after almost capsizing the boat a couple of times.

 Bob had seen how this had worked out for the other two, so he also prayed to God saying "Please God, give me the strength and the tools and the intelligence, to cross the river."

 POOF! God turned him into a woman. She looked at a map, hiked upstream a couple of hundred yards, then walked across the bridge.

I hope you enjoyed this little joke. Maybe I'll post one every so often. That and maybe something on the saints, the religious kind and the New Orleans kind. But if I do a post on the New Orleans Saints, I feel I should also do one on the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Monday, August 29, 2011


I had a cat named Katrina at one time and my Mom always said if there was ever a hurricane with her name to look out. Well, found out how right my Mom was six years ago.

  It's hard to believe that it has already been 6 years since Hurricane Katrina made her presence known. I remember being at a family reunion in Gulfport, Mississippi and going to the beach, looking out at the Gulf of Mexico and thinking that it was so beautiful but yet could be so dangerous. Two months later the Louisiana and Mississippi Gulf coasts  found out just how dangerous the water could be.

  I started waking up at around 5:30 in the morning an listening to my radio trying to find out what I could about Hurricane Katrina and then I would turn my radio off a get some more sleep. At one point one of the radio stations was playing "Walking On Sunshine" by Katrina and the Waves, so twisted. Anyway, I did this until about a quarter to nine in the morning that is when the fuse at the end of my driveway blew and no one had power. So what was a person to do? Just get up and get on with life the best as one can without electricity. Having been a hour away from New Orleans there were some high winds and some rain, but honestly I had been in summer thunderstorms that were worse. Compared to most people, including other family members , who are even farther away from New Orleans including the family in Mississippi,  I came out untouched by Katrina because not having electricity was the worst thing that happened.Just depends on fate I guess.  I was in my kitchen six years ago thinking how was I going to cook supper and that was when the power came back on.But my neighbors across the street still didn't have power because the blown fuse services them and the houses behind them, so it was after 10 pm before the got their power. So that is my Hurricane Katrina experience( such as it was).
Don't worry if your work is hard and your rewards are few.
Remember the mighty oak was once a nut like you.

 I don't know who came up with the quote originally but I thought this was cute and was quite fitting for me. I thought y'all might enjoy this, so I hope you enjoy it.


Saturday, August 27, 2011


"Good Night Irene" is probably, more than likely, what the East Coats of America is hoping for. Can not say that I would blame them if they do. Keep them in your thoughts.



 Irene goodnight, Irene goodnight
 Goodnight Irene, Goodnight Irene
 I'll see you in my dreams.

 Last Saturday night I got married
 Me and my wife settled down
 Now me and my wife have parted
 I'm gonna take a stroll downtown.

Irene goodnight, Irene goodnight
Goodnight Irene, Goodnight Irene
I'll see you in my dreams

 Sometimes I live in the country
Sometimes I live in town
 Sometimes I take a great notion 
 To jump in the river and drown.

 Irene goodnight, Irene goodnight
Goodnight Irene, Goodnight Irene 
 I'll see you in my dreams.

 Quit your rambling, quit your gambling
 Stop staying out late at night
 Stay home with your wife and family
 And stay by the fireside of right

 Irene goodnight, Irene goodnight
 Goodnight Irene, Goodnight Irene
 I'll see you in my dreams.

 Irene goodnight, Irene goodnight
Goodnight Irene, Goodnight Irene
 I'll see you in my dreams.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Do You Like?

I have put up a new background and the color of the lettering...obviously. I feel like it's incomplete or maybe it is to much , something is just not sitting well with me. I know the peachy-pink background for the post isn't the greatest but I'm just having trouble finding one that I like. So I would like your opinion about it all and I will take it under advisement. You can post your comments here and/or at the poll. Whatever your reply will be nice to hear.

 Thank You,

Monday, August 22, 2011

Football Season

In 13 days , September 3,2011, that magnificent thing called college football starts. Yes there are some clouds hanging over it before the season begins: Ohio State is awaiting a decision from the NCAA on ethics violations and hoping that the university's self-imposed punishment of vacating all of their 2010 wins will be enough, we shall see; now we have the University of Miami and their scandal, which makes Ohio State's scandal priggish by comparison, prostitutes, money, bounties on opposing players, jewelry and more.They may face the NCAA death penalty which is a suspension of an entire football season. If it wasn't for this scandal would anybody even care about the university of Miami? then there is L.S.U. and there problem that happened Friday night, a bar fight that a few players may have been involved in because the players have lawyered up and have postponed talking to the police until Tuesday.

  Now with that being said I am still looking forward to this college football season. Nothing says college football like shorter days, 105 degree heat index and hoping to set off a Richter scale with all the noise coming from the football stadium. Setting off the Richter scale was done in 1988 at L.S.U. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earthquake_Game. We in the South, for the most part, LOVE our football games and going tailgating. I mean where else can you make friends with your enemies? Unless your name happens to be Nick Saban who is coaching against L.S.U. and who also happens to also be a lying coward. Yes some of us are still royally ticked off at him for taking the head coaching job in Alabama. That sorry sucker knew better than to take a job with one of the main rivals of L.S.U. it's an unwritten rule. Telling the world that "No I'm not interested in the coaching job in Alabama. I'm happy coaching the Miami Dolphins", then the next thing you know he's half way out of the state and on the phone with Dolphins officials telling them he had taken the job as head coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide. But L.S.U. has Les "the Mad Hatter" Miles and they're doing good, inspite of and despite of Jordan Jefferson. To me and some others I know, he is so overrated it's ridiculous. But hopefully L.S.U. will have a good season this year. They just need to get this mess with the bar fight taken care of and I don't mean having the police cover it up either.

Okay, ANYWAY... I admit to not knowing to much about football like the scoring, I mean are they scoring 2 points or 6 points? And where in the blue blazes are those 6 points coming from anyway? Jiminy Cricket! Now I do know that a field goal is worth 2 points and that sometimes a touchdown is worth 2 points and sometimes it's worth 6 points and that the teams have 4 tries to get the ball down the field to score. I guess that is pretty much a football game but I like to watch them knock the tar out of each other and make some nice catches.

  But then there are the fans and  a fair amount of fans will be there on Friday evening after work and school with their motorhomes tailgating for Saturday's game. They will get out their portable grills, camping stoves, beer coolers etc. and invite the neighbors over, even if they happen to be the opposing teams fans, and cook, drink and be merry. At least in the SEC (Southeastern Conference) that is what is done.I would like to imagine that other football conferences do the same thing. But then  as the saying goes: In the East football is a cultural exercise, in the Midwest  it's cannibalism,  in the West it is a tourist attraction, but in the South football is a religion and every Saturday is it's Holy Day.Plus I recently heard that the late great Alabama coach, Paul"Bear" Bryant could then be considered it's pope. Never heard that before but I can go with it.

Too bad the coaches don't dress and act like Bear Bryant did. Seems that they have become commercial sell outs, but that just maybe the nature of the beast.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Robert Plant

  British rocker Robert Anthony Plant, was born on August 20, 1948 in West Bromwich, Staffordshire (now West Midlands), England to a civil engineer and his wife Robert C. Plant and Annie nee Cain Plant, but grew up in Kidderminster, in Worcestershire. Plant attended King Edward VI Grammar School in Stourbridge until his mid-teens when he dropped out. At this time Plant was developing a strong interest in American blues. At some point, Plant left training as a chartered accountant after only 2 weeks, in an attempt to gain more CGE*passes and to become a part of the English Midland Blues scene. While pursuing his musical career, Robert Plant worked an assorted kinds of jobs including working at Woolworth's for a short time and laying down tarmac on Birmingham roads in 1967. While having these day jobs, Plant cut three obscure singles for CBS Records and sang with a variety of bands including, The Crawling King Snakes, in 1966, in which  John Bonham became the bands drummer and the original Band of Joy, John Bonham on drums for that band as well, merging  blues with newer psychedelic trends. Though he met no commercial success early on in his career, word spread about the "young man with the powerful voice".

After the implosion of the rock band, the Yardbirds on July 7, 1968  Jimmy Page, who was the lead guitarist for the band  looking for a lead singer was looking for a lead singer for a new band he was putting together.Jimmy Page was told about Robert Plant by Terry Reid, an English rock vocalist and guitarist, who was Pages first choice for lead vocalist. At the time Plant was performing in a band called Hobstweedle when Page, along with manager Peter Grant, asked Plant to join the band Page was forming. Plant in turn suggested John Bonham for the drums even though others, including Creme's drummer Ginger Baker or so was the rumor at the time. However, upon seeing Bonham perform at a club in Hampstead, also in July of '68 all other choices went out the window, but it took 8 telegrams before a reluctant John Bonham agreed to join the band. John Paul Jones, was a session musician who crossed paths with  Jimmy Page, knew Page was putting a new band together , so at the urging of his wife Jones asked Page about the vacant bassist position and Page asked John Paul Jones to join the band. So here is a hopefully brief history on the band that would become... The New Yardbirds. This name was taken because the Yardbids had a scheduled Scandinavian  tour booked when they broke up so to keep up the bands end of the bargain they toured as the New Yardbirds. Keith Moon and John Entwistle, drummer and bassist for the rock group "The Who", are said ,by some accounts anyway, tohave been the ones to come up with the name Led Zeppelin, they are to have said that a supergroup containg themselves, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page wold go down like a "lead balloon". The band's manager, Peter Grant suggested that the "a" be dropped so not to have Americans pronounce it "leed". "Balloon" was droped for "zeppelin"and Page thought that this name conjured up the perfect combination of light and heavy, combustibility and grace. Thus we now have the origins of Led Zeppelin. They officially declared the name Led Zeppelin October 14, 1968.

Zeppelin's first concert was at the University of surrey on October 25,1968 and was followed by a U.S. tour debuted on December 26, 1968. Their self-titled album "Led Zeppelin" debuted in America on January 12, 1969 while the band was on tour.  It did not appear in Britain until March 31,1969.

But before Robert Plant embarks on Zeppelin's American tour he marries his girlfriend, Maureen Wilson on November 9,1968 in London. On November 7,1969 "Led Zeppelin II" is released. It is on "Led Zeppelin II" that Plant began to write song lyrics with Led Zeppelin for the first time. This album contains "Whole Lotta Love" which would reach #4 on the American charts and the bands only Top 10 hit  in the U.S.

While on a family vacation in Rhodes, Greece Plant and his wife, Maureen (now divorced), were involved in a serious car accident on August 4, 1975. This changed touring plans Led Zeppelin may have had at the time.Meaning that they had to cancel the remaining tour dates for the year and that the production of "Presence", Zeppelins seventh album had to be put on hold for a few months while Plant recuperated. Plant recovered fully and was able to take his first unaided steps in the begging of 1976. The movie and the soundtrack for "The Song Remains the Same"were released later in 1976 and it filled the void that was there because Led Zeppelin was not touring.

 In 1977 while on tour Robert Plant's young son, Karac, died as suddenly and sadly of a stomach infection on July 26,1977. Forcing Zeppelin to cancel what would be the bands last American tour. With this tragedy Plant retreated to his home in the Midlands and made him question his future for months afterwards.Karac's death would be the later inspiration for the song "All Of My Love", featured on what would be Led Zeppelin's final album, 1979's "In Through the Out Door". In 1982 Robert and maureen divorced, but they still remain friends to this day.

The end of Led Zeppelin came on September 25,1980 with the death of John Bonham, caused by asphyxiation due to inhaling vomit. But what could be called the official end of Led zeppelin came on December 4,1980, when it was confirmed that the band would not continue without Bonham.

 Arguably one of Robert Plant's greatest achievements with Led Zeppelin was his contribution to the epic rock ballad "Stairway To Heaven" from the album "Led Zeppelin IV". "Stairway to Heaven" drew heavily from traditional Celtic music, blues, folk and hard rock. Most of the lyrics were written spontaneously by Plant in 1970, at a former poorhouse, Headley Grange. Though never released as a single the song has topped polls around the world as the greatest song of all time.

 The 1980's marked a new chapter in Robert Plant's life. Starting with a few months after the break-up of Led Zeppelin Plant began playing a series of live gigs at a Stourbridge wine bar called "McCoys". He played old R&B songs with a band known as The Honeydrippers which included Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page and the band made an EP * in the United States in 1981. Also, during August and September of 1981 Plant began working on his first solo album at Rockfield Studios. His first album, 'Pictures At Eleven'  was released on June 28,1982 and debuts at #2 on the U.K. charts. The album includes "Fat Lip", "Moonlight in Samosa" and what would be his first music video, "Burning Down One Side".

In 1983 Plant released his second album,"The Principle of Moments". The song "Big Log" reached #11 on the U.K. charts and became a top 20 hit in America. Other songs on the album included "In the Mood", "Horizontal Departure" and "Open Arms".

 In 1984 The Honeydrippers got back together and released the groups only EP "The Honeydrippers:Volume One". With the remake of Phil Phillips song "Sea of Love" going to #3 on the American charts and hitting the top 30 with "Rockin' at Midnight". In 1985, "Shaken and Stirred" is released, containing the songs " Little By Little", "Sixes and Sevens" and "Pink and Black. Robert Plant does a successful tour supporting both "Shaken and Stirred" and The Honeydrippers albums. Then Live Aid happens in the middle of the tour and Plant joins John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page on July 13, 1985 to sing a few Led Zeppelin classics. But because of poor sale numbers for "Shaken and Stirred", Plant disbands his recording and touring bands.

 Plant eventually gets a new band together and starts work on a new album and has Jimmy Page play on two tracks. This would become the album "Now and Zen" which has the song, that introduced me to Robert Plant, eventually Jimmy Page and Led Zeppelin as a whole, "Tall Cool One",. The song reached only # 87 on the U.K single chart, #25 on Billboard Hot 100 and #1 on Billboard Mainstream Rock chart. "Tall Cool One" is one of the songs that featured Page on guitar. Two other songs on the album that did good are "Ship of Fools" and "Heaven Knows". "Now and Zen" revived Plant's solo career as he performed for over 1 million people in America.

 Through the 1980's and '90's  Plant had three solo albums, "Now and Zen", "Manic Nirvana" (1990) and "Fate of Nations" (1993). "Fate of Nations" has the song "I Believe", another song that was written for and dedicated to his son, Karac.

In 1994 Robert Plant and Jimmy Page teamed up again for the next to last performance of MTV's Unplugged series. The 90 minute special, called "Unledded" premiered to the highest ratings in MTV history. In October of 1994, the session was released as the Cd "No Quarter: Jimmy Page and Robert Plant Unledded". This was followed by a highly successful tour in 1995. In 2004 the DVD "No Quarter Unledded" was released. The follow-up album "Last Train to Clarksdale" was released April 21,1998. It debuted at #8 on Billboard's Billboard 200 album chart and going to #3 on the U.K. Album Chart. In 1999 the single from this album "Most High" won  the Grammy for Best Hard Rock Performance. Even so the album did not sell as well as previous Plant albums, which may have led Robert Plant to return to his solo career.

In 1997, while Page was working with The Black Crowes, Plant was looking for a new outlet for his creativity. Joining with 2 performance art faculty members of Kidderminster College and 2 students, Plant formed a new group, Priory of Brion. The band was together until the end of 2000.

In 2001 Plant came back with his acclaimed collection of mainly folk and blues remake solo album, "Dreamland" which was backed by his newly formed band , at the time, Strange Sensation. Two years later Plant debuted "Sixty Six to Timbuktu", a two disc compilation dedicated exclusively to works that plant had done during his solo career, including "Tall Cool One" and "Upside Down". Then in 2005  it was followed by  his second  album with Strange Sensation  "Mighty Rearranger", which contains new and original songs.Plant earned some of the best reviews of his solo career for both albums and earned 4 Grammy nominations, two in 2003 and two in 2006. In November of 2006 an expansive box set of his solo work, "Nine Lives", was released. It expanded all of Plant's albums with various b-sides, demos and live cuts. "Nine Lives" was also accompanied by a DVD.

2007 saw Robert Plant collaborate with bluegrass singer Allison Krauss for a duet album "Raising Sand" which was released on October 23, 2007. The album was produced by T-Bone Burnett, who I think is one of the greatest record producers to ever walk the face of the earth. Anyway, in April of 2008  Robert Plant and Allison Krauss started an extended American and European tours. The album was nominated for a Mercury Prize in July of 2008. On February 8,2009 they won Grammy Awards for Album of the Year, Pop Collaboration With Vocals, Country Collaboration With Vocals, Contemporary Folk/Americana Album and Record of the Year. In July of 2009, Robert Plant was bestowed with the honor of Commander of the Order of the British Empire for his services to the field of music.

A year late, in July of 2010, Plant went on a twelve date summer tour with a new group called Band of Joy, reprising the name of his very first band in the 1960's. After a show on September 12,2010 at the Bowery ballroom in New York City, an eleven date autumn tour for Europe was announced. The next day, September 13,2010 the studio album "Band of Joy" was released. The European tour  started in October of 2010 and went through November 2010. A North American tour was announced on November 16,2010, with the first show being on January 18,2011 in Asheville, North Carolina and the last one being in Atlantic City, New Jersey on June 25,2011. The Band of Joy did a summer tour of Europe starting on July 19, 2011 in Rome, Italy and with the final concert being at Eastnor Castle Deer Park in Herefordshire, in the West Midlands region of England.

* General Certificate of Education- An academic qualification that examination boards (a bit like the SAT in America) in the United Kingdom and a few Commonwealth countries confer to students.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Pasta Fazool


Ground Meat
15 oz can of Red Kidney Beans
Can of Tomatoes
8oz Can o f Tomato Sauce
Tube Pasta (Penne Pasta for example)
Italian Seasoning
Parmesan Cheese

 Brown down the ground meat in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste. If you want to add Italian seasoning to the meat go right ahead, try and make it your own a little. While the meat is cooking go ahead and get the cans of tomatoes and tomato sauce open and also open the can of kidney beans but pour the beans into a colander to drain. You may need to rinse the beans as well, just put some cold water in the can a couple of times and pour over them. Next put water onto boil for the pasta. I put salt and olive oil in my water when I cook pasta, but however you usually do it is the way to go. Parboil the pasta.

Put the drained kidney beans in a bowl and use the colander to drain the meat. Wipe with some paper towels some of the excess grease that may be at  the bottom of the skillet (try and keep things relatively healthy). Put the stove on medium heat and put a Tablespoon of olive oil in the skillet to heat.Chop some onion and garlic, amount If you don not have fresh garlic or the kind that comes in a jar, rehydrate some granulated garlic in a bowl or a small jar.  http://mishasblue.blogspot.com/2011/04/quick-tip-1.html 
Add onion  to the skillet and turn temperature down to medium-low. When the onion is just tender add the garlic and keep stirring them because garlic can burn quickly. You can stop stirring long enough to reintroduce the ground meat. Stir until ingredients are pretty well mixed together and then add the can of tomatoes, red kidney beans  and tomato sauce. Hopefully, at some point, you have been able to get the pasta off the stove and drained and rinsed with warm water. Rinsing the pasta helps get some of the starch out of the pasta plus some of the taste of the starch. Either that or I'm just overly sensitive to the taste. Anyway, add the pasta, the Italian seasoning, the Parmesan cheese and oregano. Let cook until pasta is tender. If there is tomato sauce that has not been absorbed, let the Pasta Fazool stand in the skillet while you finish getting anything else you need together.

 And there you have Pasta Fazool. My way at least. Some people will put it in a baking dish with some mozzarella cheese on top and put it in a 350 degree oven until the cheese melts. just another option if you would like to try it.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Feelings on the English Riots

 In hindsight I really do wish I had said something about the riots that took place in England over the last week, but I was so stunned by it and it's intensity that I must admit that I am still a bit baffled. I understand that it was a peaceful demonstration for a man that was killed by police and then a bunch of idiots that needed their hides tanned and that probably live in video game la-la land, who may have thought no one would REALLY die, went off their rockers, desecrating the dead man's memory and insulting his family. I had heard that the riots were started by young men who do not have job and were/are upset by the lack of employment.
I have something to say to them about that... SO FRIGGIN' WHAT!! Are you so daft in the head that you ACTUALLY think that you are in a special predicament? GUESS WHAT TOOTS? YOU'RE NOT. The economic situation that Britain and the rest of the world is in has been going on for generations and they will continue to go on into the future when we are no longer here on this Earth. When it comes to sharing financially that is, equally sharing thank you very much, I am extremely pessimistic and it would also seem to be an unreal expectation. That is a crazy thought. I wonder if they have heard of the devil and going to hell. (God protect us)

  Today I think I heard it mentioned that 12 and 13 year old BOYS were involved as well. Where, in everything that is sacred, were the friggin' adults that are supposed to be taking care of these children? Or is teaching them to riot and steal their way of taking care of the children? It is so mind-blowing how negligent some people can be towards children. If the children were to be taken from their guardian and put into a foster care system, would that really help or would it cause more harm for the children? I do not have children of my own but I do have enough common sense that you just don't let them run wild on the streets at night. You set a curfew for them and punish them with extra chores for missing it. Be the adult in the relationship, as it should be and don't let the child run over you. Set boundaries and stick to them. Don't be your child's best friend. Okay a friend to your child to where they can come to you with a problem but not a best friend. Please NO mollycoddling! Guidethe,help them, but please  DO NOT PAMPER THEM. That could also be a cause (one of many) that contributed to the rioting and looting in England, the children feel they are ENTITLED to whatever they want and if they don't get what they want all HELL breaks loose! What is it that The Stones sang? "You can't always get what you want/ But if you try sometimes well you might find/ You get what you need". In my humble opinion that is a very good mantra not just to raise children with but to live by. Yes it is difficult but that's life. 

Now for the innocent citizens of England during this horrible ordeal, God Bless them. May they or you become stronger because of this and not let evil get the better of you for, in my opinion, you/they are better than that. The fear and uncertainty  is undoubtedly still there but do not let them get the best of you. There are more than likely people and places that you can receive help, if you feel this way after a while promise yourself to seek the help. In the meantime, you have world community and mainly your local community and friends to lean on for support. My prayers are with you all.


This was a poster or a series of posters that the British government had made in 1939 at the beginning of World War II. This just seems like a good time in the world for all of us to do.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Louis Armstrong

Born in New Orleans, Louisiana on August 4,1901 Thursday will mark the 110th Anniversary of Louis Armstrong's birth. Lois Armstrong grew up in  Uptown, New Orleans in poverty, abandoned by his father as an infant, for another woman and his mother, who was a prostitute, left him and his younger sister in the care of his paternal grandmother and sometimes his Uncle Isaac. When he was five Louis Armstrong once again lived with his mother and her family and only saw his father at parades.

In hopes of getting his mother out of prostitution and while going to Fisk School for Boys,where he is surmised to have been first exposed to Creole music, Louis Armstrong started working as a paperboy, cleaning graves, hauling coal to New Orleans famed red-light district, Storyville and doing odd jobs for the Karnofsky family. They were Lithuanian-Jewish immigrants who owned a junk hauling business. But even with all of these jobs there was not enough money to get his mother out of prostitution.  While hauling coal around Storyville he would listen to the bands that performed at brothels and dance halls, especially Pete Lala's, where Joe Oliver performed and other famous musicians would drop in to jam. of course he was also exposed to the brass bands that accompany New Orleans funerals and parades. All of the music that surrounded Armstrong was a source of great inspiration for him. When he was 11 years old  Armstrong dropped out of school to join a quartet of boys that sang on the streets to earn money. And even though Armstrong credited "King Oliver with teaching Armstrong to play the horn, cornet player Buck Johnson had said he was the one who taught an 11 year old Armstrong to play the cornet.

 The Karnofsky family not only gave him a job,but took him in and treated him as a member of their family because they knew Armstrong's father was out of the picture and would feed and nurture him. While living with the family Armstrong was exposed to the discrimination that Jewish families experienced by other white people. Because of this Armstrong wore a Star of David pendant for the rest of his life. 

  Even with help from the Karnofsky's Armstrong  could not stay out of trouble, usually for general delinquency but one time it was a more serious case, in which he was sent to New Orleans Home for Colored Waifs, for firing his step-father's pistol in the air while celebrating New Year's Eve. While at the home, Armstrong, started taking his cornet playing seriously, because Prof. Peter Davis, at the request of the Homes administrator, instilled discipline in and provided musical training in the primarily self-taught Louis Armstrong.Davis eventually made him bandleader. The Home band played around New Orleans and at age 13, Louis Armstrong began to receive attention for his cornet plying. This would be the starting point of his career. When he was 14 he was released from the Home and was back with his father and new stepmother and then right back with his mother and also the streets with its temptations. Armstrong was able to find a job at a dance hall where Black Benny, a new Orleans- based bass drummer of legendary importance, became Armstrong's protector and guide.

  Later on Armstrong began to perform with pick-up bands in clubs and to play at funerals and parades. He captured the attention and respect of some of the older musicians,mainly "King " Oliver, who played in Kid Ory's band, became Armstrong's mentor. When Joe "King" Oliver decided to quit Ory's band and to go north, in 1919, Armstrong was his replacement. A year later Armstrong was hired to work on riverboats that traveled the Mississippi. This enabled him to work with many prominent jazz musicians, such as Fate Marable, which gave Armstrong a broader experience working with written arrangements.

  In 1922 Oliver invited Armstrong to play second cornet in his Creole Jazz Band. as a member of the band, Armstrong began his lifetime of touring and recording. Plus as his reputation grew, Armstrong would be challenged to "cutting contest"by hornmen trying to displace the new phenom, who could blow 200 high C's in a row. He moved to New York, in 1924, to play in the Fletcher Henderson Orchestra at the Roseland Ballroom. When he went to play with Fletcher Henderson Orchestra, Armstrong switched to the trumpet in order to blend in with the other musicians in his section. Armstrong quickly adapted to the more tightly controlled style of Henderson, even experimenting with the trombone. other members quickly took up Armstrong's emotional, expressive pulse. Soon Armstrong's act included singing and telling stories of New Orleans characters. In 1925 Louis Armstrong returned to Chicago, due mainly to Lil's urging who wanted to pump up her husband's career and income. He wasn't to thrilled with going back to Chicago, because Armstrong liked New York, but he latter admitted that his wife was right that the Orchestra was limiting his artistic growth. He made his first recordings as the bandleader of his own band, which included Kid Ory on trombone, Johnny St. Cyr on banjo, Johnny Dodds on clarinet and Lil Hardin on piano, known as  Hot Five ( later Hot Seven).St. Cyr stated "One felt so relaxed working with him and he was very broad-minded...always did his best to feature each individual."  From'25 to'28, Armstrong continued his rigorous schedule of recording and performing, which included Heebie Jeebies the song that introduced the world to scat singing and also to West End Blues one of the most famous recordings of jazz.

 Armstrong returned to New York City in 1929 and played in the pit orchestra of the successful musical "Hot Chocolate", an all black review written by Andy RazafenRazaf and piano/composer, Fats Waller. Armstrong also made a cameo as a vocalist,regularly stealing the show with his rendition of "Ain't Misbehavin'". The recording of "Ain;t Misbehavin'" introduced the use of a pop song as material for jazz interpretation, helping set the stage for popular acceptance of jazz that would come. 


  The Great Depression of the early 1930's  was especially hard on the jazz scene causing a lot of jazz clubs, including the famous Cotton Club, to shut down. Because of the evaporation of club gigs many musicians stopped playing all together.But Armstrong was smart and in 1930 moved to Los Angeles to find new opportunities There he played in the new Cotton Club with Lionel Hampton on drums. The band brought in the Hollywood crowd,because they were the ones that still had money, while radio broadcast from the club gave him a greater exposer to people in their homes. Armstrong made his first movie appearance in1931's Ex-Flame. It was also in 1931 that he recorded, what became his theme song, "Sleepytime Down South". In late '31 he returned to Chicago to play in bands more in the line of Guy Lombardo and record more standards. But because of past involvement with the mob, they suggested that Armstrong leave Chicago. So he payed a visit to new Orleans whee he got a hero's welcome and caught up with old friends. He also sponsored a local baseball team and had a cigar named after him. But he was soon back on the road touring America and when he was done here he went on a European tour.

When he came back to the U.S. in 1935 Joe Glaser, a tough mob-connected wheeler-dealer, became  Armstrong's manager.He was able to take care of Armstrong's mob trouble,  his debt and his legal troubles.Glaser remained his manager for the duration of Armstrong's career and help make him an international star. Armstrong branched out developing his vocals style and and making his first theatrical appearance because his unorthodox way of playing the trumpet was causing him problems with his lips and fingers. In 1937, he substituted for Rudy Valee on the CBS radio network, making him the first African-American to host a sponsored,national broadcast.

  After spending many years on the road, he settled down in Queens,New York in 1943, with his fourth wife, Lucille Wilson, who had been a dancer at the Cotton Club. In 1947, Armstrong formed a small ensemble known as the All-Stars, a group of extraordinary players whose success revitalized mainstream jazz. Throughout the 1950's and '60's  he continued to appear in popular films and made many international tours. During a trip to West Africa he was greeted by more than one hundred thousand people. In the early '60's he recorded two albums with Duke Ellington and in 1964 . At the age of 63, Armstrong knocked the Beatles off the #1 spot on the music charts with, what would become his biggest hit, "Hello Dolly!"

Armstrong would perform regularly until recurring health problems gradually curtailed his singing and trumpet playing. Even in the last years of his life, Armstrong went to London twice, appeared in more than a dozen television shows and performed at the Newport Jazz Festival to celebrate his 70th birthday. Up until his death, of a heart attack in his sleep, on July 6,1971, he was setting up band rehearsals in preparation to perform.

Little bit more information about his marriages and other things below.

   While he was busy trying to get his start Louis Armstrong did find time to get married he married Daisy Parker from Gretna, Louisiana on March 19, 1918 ( St. Joseph's Feast Day). They adopted a 3 year old boy,Clarence, whose mother, Louis' cousin Flora, had died in childbirth. As a result of a head injury at an early age, Clarence was mentally disabled and Louis spent the rest of his life taking care of his son. Maybe the strain of having a disabled child was too much for his marriage for Daisy and his marriage quickly fell apart and they divorced. Sadly though Daisy died shortly after their divorce. He married his second wife Lil Hardin, a jazz composer, arranger, singer, bandleader and jazz pianist in her  own right, on February 4,1924. When they first met she thought that his clothes and hair were "too country" so she set about to "take the country out of him". Lil also had her husband play classical music in church concerts to broaden his skill and improve his solo performance. In the late '20's Armstrong and Hardin grew apart finally resulting in a separation  because Armstrong had begun an affair with Alpha Smith. They finally divorced in 1938 letting Armstrong marry Alpha. I don't know when Alpha And he divorced but in 1942 he had married Lucille Watson a dancer at the Cotton Club where his band had a running engagement.

An unbilled Louis Armstrong on horn appeared on Jimmie Rodgers "Standing On the Corner (Blue Yodel #9) July 16.1930.

 First jazz musician to appear on the cove of Time Magazine on February 21,1949.

"What A Wonderful World" was released in 1968. It  reaced #1 on the UK Singles Cart but only made it to #116 in America.

Accused of being an "Unlce Tom" from the late 1950's to the early 1970's. Because according to some other African-Americans he kowtowed to white people at the expense of the black community.

Was highly criticized by outsiders, who did not know or care to understand the history, for his acceptance of the title King of Zulu for 1949's Mardi Gras. In the New Orleans African-American community it is an honored role to head the leading black Carnival Krewe, but bewildering or offensive to outsiders with there traditional costume of grass skirts and blackface  make-up satirizing southern white attitudes.

Armstrong called President Eisenhower gutless and two-faced because of Eisenhower's inaction over school desegregation  in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1957. This made the news. As a protest, Armstrong canceled a plan tour of the U.S.S.R. on behalf of the State Department stating "The way they're treating my people in the South, the government can go to hell." and that he couldn't represent his government overseas when it was in conflict with its own people. Six days later Eisenhower ordered federal troops to Little Rock to escort the children into school.

The F.B.I. kept a file on Armstrong for his outspokenness on integration.

KREWE OF ZULU LINK: http://www.kreweofzulu.com/