Recently named the most important jazz musician of all time, Louis Armstrong’s impact on modern music is almost impossible to gauge. Nicknamed Satchmo and Pops, Armstrong was a charismatic, innovative performer who revolutionised jazz, and consequently popular music, throughout the early part of the 20th century. One of the most famous jazz musicians of the 20th century, he first achieved fame as a cornet player, later on switching to trumpet, but toward the end of his career he was best known as a vocalist and became one of the most influential jazz singers.
This film traces Armstrong’s story of rags to riches from his impoverished New Orleans childhood via the international jazz circuit, to Hollywood and worldwide renown. Friends from the jazz world, together with others who knew and admired him, give their recollections and appreciation of his talent. Archive interview and performance footage along with home movies paint a vivid picture of the jazz giant who “just had to walk on stage for everyone to start smiling”.