Sunday, December 9

What a Wondeful World!



Behind his blistering trumpet solos, revolutionary vocal improvising and exuberant stage persona, how did Louis Armstrong see himself? What was it like to be the first pop virtuoso of the recorded era -- the man whose earliest releases set the tune for America's love affair with modern black music, and who went on to become one of history's most famous entertainers?
Those questions aren't rhetorical. There's actually a deep well of resources on hand to help answer them. For his entire adult life, away from the spotlight, Armstrong amassed a huge trove of personal writings, recordings and artifacts. But until this month, you would have had to travel far into central Queens to find them. Now anyone can access them. Thanks to a $3 million grant from the Fund II Foundation -- run by Robert F. Smith, the wealthiest African-American -- the Louis Armstrong House Museum has digitized the entire collection he left behind and made it available to the public.