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“I Was Singing Selling Coal”

“I Was Singing Selling Coal”

(p.55) Chapter 8 “I Was Singing Selling Coal”
Creating the Jazz Solo
Vic Hobson
University Press of Mississippi

This chapter explores the contradictions raise by Armstrong’s unpublished last autobiography and what this tells us about Armstrong’s development as a musician.In this revised account, Armstrong claimed to have been playing the cornet from the age of 7 years old having borrowed the money from the Karnofsky Family. This account cannot be substantiated in historical terms or in Armstrong’s other recollections of his development as a musician. This chapter also discusses when Armstrong first owned a cornet and when he began playing at Henry Matranga’s bar and with New Orleans bands including the Tuxedo band and “Kid” Ory. Ory along with clarinettist Johnny Dodds and his brother “Baby” Dodds, all started out singing in informal quartets. This chapter also discusses King Oliver leaving for Chicago and Armstrong taking his place in Ory’s band.

Keywords:   Karnofsky, Cornet, Henry Matranga, Tuxedo

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