Announcer: The King was dead. That's what they said when Louis Armstrong died. The great jazz trumpeter passed away two days after his 71st birthday on July 4th. (Editorial correction: Armstrong was born on August 4, 1901 and died July 6, 1971)
Satchmo, perhaps the single greatest figure in jazz, grew up in a New Orleans orphanage and became a musical ambassador for the United States; playing for Kings and Queens and traveling all over the world.
Peggy Lee sang the Lord's prayer at his funeral, and Al Hibbler, 'Nobody Knows The Trouble I've Seen'. The eulogy was given by Fred Robbins, radio personality and long time friend.
A few days before he died, Louis played his trumpet. Little did he know then, he wouldn't be playing it very many more times.
Unknown Speaker: “Louis Armstrong is a lovable, beautiful, darling man, with a beautiful soul. He loved all kinds of people, all kinds of people loved him. He had a full, rich, rewarding life. It was an epic. And he had a ball. He spread a lot of sunshine around. Move over Gabriel, because here comes Satchmo.
“The saints are marching in, and so Pop takes his place as the King, at the head of that big jam session in the sky, and that special niche in heaven that God keeps to hold our idols.”
Announcer: And so another year has gone and a new one is born. 1971 was a year of changes; some good, some not so good. But whether good or bad, we will look back and say, 1971, what a year.
You have been listening to 1971 In Review, a production of the United Press International Audio Network. This program was written, produced, and directed by Stan Savic, technical direction by Bill Wilson. This is Ed Garand (ph).