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Jazz/Not JazzThe Music and Its Boundaries$
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David Ake, Charles Hiroshi Garrett, and Daniel Goldmark

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780520271036

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520271036.001.0001

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Louis Armstrong Loves Guy Lombardo

Louis Armstrong Loves Guy Lombardo

Chapter:
(p.31) CHAPTER 2 Louis Armstrong Loves Guy Lombardo
Source:
Jazz/Not Jazz
Author(s):

Elijah Wald

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520271036.003.0003

Louis Armstrong often referred to Guy Lombardo's Royal Canadians as his favorite band, but this fact is rarely cited and almost never pursued. Critics and historians who celebrate African American music tend to dismiss Lombardo's music as boring, mainstream pap, unworthy to be treated alongside the masterpieces of Armstrong or Duke Ellington. Thus, while celebrating Armstrong, they ignore his musical opinion—and that of the public, which made Lombardo's orchestra the most popular dance band not only of white America, but also at Harlem's Savoy Ballroom. How have such prejudices affected our views of the past? How has our understanding of black musicians been limited by an insistence that they fit modern definitions of hipness or authenticity?

Keywords:   Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Guy Lombardo, race, authenticity, jazz, hipness

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