Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Jazz Gems #1: Lil Hardin Armstrong.

Amusing/Amazing snippets from the legends of jazz.

When you see a tune accredited to L. Armstrong it was most likely Louis' second wife Lil Hardin who wrote it. In the early days Louis couldn't read or write music, so Lil stayed up late at night writing material for the next gig. A real go-getter, it was she who pushed Louis along the road to success, even arranging his divorce from Daisy so they could marry in 1923. Lil was a major contributor to the Hot Five and Hot Seven recordings. They divorced in 1938 but remained friends until Louis died in July 1971.

Amazingly, while performing in a memorial concert for him one month later she suddenly collapsed and died on stage. She was playing "St. Louis Blues".

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