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Portrait of Louis Armstrong and Velma Middleton, Carnegie Hall, 1947.
Louis Armstrong, the king of scat (with Velma Middleton) at Carnegie Hall, New York

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Jazz Giant Louis Armstrong Was Born
August 4, 1901

The new style of singing that Louis Armstrong pioneered was called "scat." Scat singing is a lot like improvising on a musical instrument. Instead of singing real words, with scat one sings nonsense words to the melody. Armstrong became as famous for his scat singing and gravelly voice as his trumpet playing. He recorded many songs with another jazz great and scat singer, Ella Fitzgerald.

In addition to all of his accomplishments, Louis Armstrong holds the record for being the oldest artist ever to have a Number 1 record. He accomplished this when he was 63 years old with his version of the song "Hello, Dolly," from the musical of the same name. What is even more extraordinary is that he reached Number 1 in 1964 by toppling the Beatles from the top of the charts! Louis Armstrong had come a long way from his poor Louisiana beginnings.

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