Chapter

Louis Armstrong Loves Guy Lombardo

Elijah Wald

in Jazz/Not Jazz

Published by University of California Press

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780520271036
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520951358 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520271036.003.0003
Louis Armstrong Loves Guy Lombardo

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Louis Armstrong often referred to Guy Lombardo's Royal Canadians as his favorite band, but this fact is rarely cited and almost never pursued. Critics and historians who celebrate African American music tend to dismiss Lombardo's music as boring, mainstream pap, unworthy to be treated alongside the masterpieces of Armstrong or Duke Ellington. Thus, while celebrating Armstrong, they ignore his musical opinion—and that of the public, which made Lombardo's orchestra the most popular dance band not only of white America, but also at Harlem's Savoy Ballroom. How have such prejudices affected our views of the past? How has our understanding of black musicians been limited by an insistence that they fit modern definitions of hipness or authenticity?

Keywords: Louis Armstrong; Duke Ellington; Guy Lombardo; race; authenticity; jazz; hipness

Chapter.  7368 words. 

Subjects: American Music

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