Thursday, July 7, 2016

Louis Armstrong in Paris

Louis Armstrong spent a good deal of time in Paris, performing at the best venues in town, recording, and even making a movie (Paris Blues). Here are some fun facts about Satchmo and the City of Light!

Louis Armstrong stencil art
© Discover Paris!

During his first visit to Paris in 1932, Armstrong stayed at Le Grand Hôtel, across from the Palais Garnier and down the street from the Olympia Theater.

Le Grand Hôtel
© Discover Paris!

In 1934-1935, Armstrong lived at the Hôtel Alba Opéra in the 9th arrondissement. A plaque on the façade of the building honors him.

Hôtel Alba Opéra - façade
© Discover Paris!

Plaque at Hôtel Alba Opéra
© Discover Paris!

He frequented Eugene Bullard's Athletic Club, which was also located in the 9th arrondissement, during this stay.

Ad for Eugene Bullard's Athletic Club
© Discover Paris!

In 1947, Armstrong recorded a jazzy version of the Edith Piaf classic song "La Vie en Rose." Listen to it here:

In 1991, a square in the 13th arrondissement was dedicated to him to commemorate his first recording outside the U.S. at a nearby music studio.

Place Louis Armstrong
© Discover Paris!

Flower bed at Place Louis Armstrong
© Discover Paris!

In 2003, Didier Jeunesse published a children's book on Armstrong for its Guinguette collection. Called Armstrong, it was written by Claude Nougaro and Maurice Vander.

Armstrong - book cover
© Discover Paris!


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