Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong
Thursday, December 3, 2009, 6:00 p.m.
Louis Armstrong was arguably the greatest jazz musician of the twentieth century and a
giant of modern American culture. Offstage, he was witty, introspective, and unexpectedly
complex, a beloved musician with an explosive temper whose larger-than-life personality
was tougher and more sharp-edged than his worshipping fans ever knew. In Pops:
A Life of Louis Armstrong, Terry Teachout has drawn on a cache of important new
sources unavailable to previous Armstrong biographers—including hundreds of private
recordings of backstage and after-hours conversations that Armstrong made during the
second half of his life—to craft a sweeping new narrative biography of a musician who
towered over the development of 20th-century jazz, a most American art form.
Terry Teachout is the drama critic of the Wall Street Journal and the chief culture critic
at Commentary Magazine. He played jazz professionally before becoming a full-time
writer. His books include All in the Dances: A Brief Life of George Balanchine, The Skeptic:
A Life of H.L. Mencken, for which he gave a reading at the Boston Athenæum, and A
Terry Teachout Reader.
Reservations for Boston Athenæum Members: The fee for this event will be $10. Reservations are required but will not be accepted until November 19. Please call the Athenæum’s events reservation line, 617-720-7600.
Reservations for Non-Members: The fee for this event will be $15. Reservations are required but will not be accepted until November 19. Please call the Athenæum's events reservation line, 617-720-7600.