New York City has an impressive collection of historic homes, but none as unique and or as joyful as the Louis Armstrong House and Museum, located in Corona, Queens.
What other historic home in the United States has a gift shop in its garage, aqua blue kitchen cabinets, bathroom speakers behind silver wallpaper, mirrored bathrooms and chandeliers over the bed? Elvis Presley's Graceland perhaps comes close, but the Louis Armstrong House has a charming comfort and a genuine grace and modesty to it, befitting its legendary former occupants.
Louis Armstrong is one of the most influential and most popular musicians in American history. Louis, like jazz itself, was born in New Orleans; in 1943, Armstrong moved to this house in Corona, thanks to the influence of his wife Lucille Armstrong, a former Cotton Club dancer and a fascinating personality in her own right.
In this episode Greg charts Armstrong's path to international fame -- and then his journey to becoming a New Yorker. And he pays a visit to the house itself, a magnificent treasure on a quiet street in Queens.
FEATURING audio of Louis and Lucille courtesy the Louis Armstrong House and Museum. And lots of music!