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  #1  
Old 16 March 2010, 06:23 PM
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Israel Louis Armstrong

At the beginning of last century, in the emotional hotbed of New Orleans,
a child slave of the ghetto was born of a prostitute mother and “missing”
father.

He somehow stumbled into the attention of a financially poor but loving
Russian Jewish immigrant family, the Karnofskys. This little fellow, with
an appreciative, magnetic personality, attached himself to the father, to
help him with his horse-and-wagon hauling business. The Karnofskys loved
the child, took him in for dinners, including Shabbat, and provided more
than bed and shelter. They provided him with the love he needed, and his
first musical instrument that led this confused, hungry youngster onto
worldwide fame — as a jazz performer, music innovator and worldwide
ambassador for humanity. Louis Armstrong proudly spoke fluent Yiddish,
from his childhood through his whole life, and always wore a Star of David
around his neck.
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Old 16 March 2010, 06:40 PM
Ryda Wong, EBfCo. Ryda Wong, EBfCo. is offline
 
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Eh. As glurge, I give it 1 out of 5 stars. Where is the "but if his mother was pregnant today, he would have been aborted"? Where is the "he converted to x religion and was saved and you should, too"? There isn't even a "black people are lazy and shiftless" push!

It's not even preachy! It's just a story about "good" people doing "good" things
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  #3  
Old 16 March 2010, 06:56 PM
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I guess Jews are a little more chill in their glurge.
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  #4  
Old 16 March 2010, 07:12 PM
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Stoneage Dinosaur Stoneage Dinosaur is offline
 
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Ken Burns' Jazz relates a similar tale, and states that the Karnofskys lent Louis Armstrong the cash to buy his first cornet.

My Debt to Cousin Louis's Cornet
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  #5  
Old 16 March 2010, 09:45 PM
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Ponder

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stoneage Dinosaur View Post
Ken Burns' Jazz relates a similar tale, and states that the Karnofskys lent Louis Armstrong the cash to buy his first cornet.
The problem is that in some autobiographical accounts Armstrong credits the Karnofskys for lending him money to buy his first cornet in 1912, but in other accounts he says he hadn't ever tried playing that instrument prior to being arrested and sent to a boys' home in 1913.
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Old 16 March 2010, 10:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stoneage Dinosaur View Post
Ken Burns' Jazz relates a similar tale, and states that the Karnofskys lent Louis Armstrong the cash to buy his first cornet.
What, they couldn't even give him an ice cream?
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Old 17 March 2010, 12:23 AM
Steve Eisenberg Steve Eisenberg is offline
 
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I am reasonably sure that Armstrong did not know Yiddish. If he did, it surely would have been mentioned here.

However, there is a little something to the glurge. From my last link:

Quote:
The young Armstrong saw the Karnofskys’ problems up close, for they took him under their wing, treating him almost like a relative. “They were always warm and kind to me, which was very noticeable to me—just a kid who could use a little word of kindness,” he recalled. He shared meals with them and borrowed money from them to buy his first cornet. Thereafter he would identify with the Karnofskys and the other Jews of New Orleans so closely that he became an ardent philo-Semite who wore a Star of David around his neck (Joe Glaser gave it to him). “I will love the Jewish people, all of my life,” he wrote in “Louis Armstrong + the Jewish Family,” adding that he learned from them “how to live—real life and determination.”
As for the cornet -- loan not a gift -- maybe it was a mistaken memory. If they did help him get a cornet, they didn't give him the music lessons needed to be good with it. That he got from the boys' home AKA reform school.

EDIT: I read the new Armstrong biography last month. Recommended.
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