Louis Armstrong early birthday wishes
July 2, 1970: Louis Armstrong receives early birthday wishes from actresses Gloria Swanson and Fifi D’Orsay at NBC after a Johnny Carson taping of “Sun City Scandals.”
The following evening, “Satchmo” Armstrong threw a lavish 70th birthday party at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. The jazz musician, best known for his coronet and trumpet playing, plus his trademark throaty singing, was honored by a crowd of 6,000.
“The night was filled not just with music,” wrote Times staff writer Leonard Feather, “but with well planned retrospection and most of all, with love.”
But the real frosting came on the cake — an 11-foot high cake with six tiers, weighing in at 800 pounds. “I’ve had a lot of wonderful honors in my life,” said Armstrong at his party, “but tonight has been the biggest thrill of all.” The party wrapped at midnight, July 4, 1970, a date that Armstrong always acknowledged as his birthday. The day, as it turned out, was wrong.
Decades later, baptism records surfaced, indicating that the musician was most likely born on August 4, 1901. Armstrong died in 1971, but if he were still alive, he would be 110 today.
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