Great Louis Armstrong Quotes

Very few of the men whose names have become great in the early pioneering of jazz and of swing were trained in music at all. They were born musicians: they felt their music and played by ear and memory. That was the way it was with the great Dixieland Five.

I do believe that my whole success goes back to that time I was arrested as a wayward boy at the age of thirteen. Because then I had to quit running around and began to learn something. Most of all, I began to learn music.

I like kissable lips. A woman's lips must say, 'Come here and kiss me, Pops.'

We never did try to get together and to show the younger Negroes such as myself, to try and even to show that he has ambitions - and with just a little encouragement, I could have really done something worthwhile. But instead, we did nothing but let the young upstarts know that they were young and simple, and that was that.

Music is life itself. What would this world be without good music? No matter what kind it is.

The memory of things gone is important to a jazz musician.

What we play is life.

When this ugly gangster told Joe Glaser that he must take the name of Armstrong down, off of the marquee, and it was an 'order from Al Capone,' Mr. Glaser looked this cat straight in the face and told him these words: 'I think that Louis Armstrong is the world's greatest, and this is my place, and I defy anybody to take his name down from there.'

Musicians don't retire; they stop when there's no more music in them.

I never want to be anything more than I am; what I don't have, I don't need.

There is two kinds of music, the good, and the bad. I play the good kind.

All music is folk music. I ain't never heard a horse sing a song.

If you have to ask what jazz is, you'll never know.

See also