These Louis Armstrong quotes show how he left a mark on the music industry that no true music fan will ever be able to forget. Share your favorite quote with us in the comments below.
Born and raised in New Orleans, Armstrong came to prominence in the 1920s as an innovative trumpet and cornet player. Some of his most popular songs include “Star Dust,” “La Vie En Rose” and “What a Wonderful World.” As an actor, he appeared in more than a dozen Hollywood films and was the first African-American to get featured in a major Hollywood movie.
Armstrong’s music transcended his skin color, and he impacted millions of people. In recognition of his work, he was inducted into the Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame. Besides, his home in Corona, Queens was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1977.
Louis Armstrong died on July 6, 1971, leaving behind a legacy as one of the most influential artists in jazz history. His innovations as a trumpeter and vocalist continue to be recognized.
As someone who rose from a difficult childhood to have a profound impact on the jazz scene, Armstrong clearly managed to tap into his Everyday Power. In that respect, below is our collection of inspirational, wise, and thought-provoking Louis Armstrong quotes and sayings, collected from a variety of sources over the years.
And after reading these awesome quotes, be sure to also check out our compilation of the best Ella Fitzgerald quotes.
Louis Armstrong Quotes To Help Push You Past Your Fears
1. “I was determined to play my horn against all odds, and I had to sacrifice a whole lot of pleasure to do so.” – Louis Armstrong
2. “Don’t do nothing halfway, else you find yourself dropping more than can be picked up.”- Louis Armstrong
3. “I’ve gone on with bad colds, high temperatures and bruised chops. Sometimes you have to play when your lips are so tender, you feel there’s pins in them.”- Louis Armstrong
4. “Music is life itself. What would this world be without good music? No matter what kind it is.” – Louis Armstrong
5. “I’ve Got the World on a String.” – Louis Armstrong
6. “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.” – Louis Armstrong
7. “Jazz is what I play for a living.” – Louis Armstrong
8. “There is no such thing as ‘on the way out’ as long as you are still doing something interesting and good; you’re in the business because you’re breathing.” – Louis Armstrong
9. “Musicians don’t retire; they stop when there’s no more music in them.” – Louis Armstrong
10. “I had a chance to play with the best musicians that were coming through because I was pretty good myself or else they wouldn’t have tolerated with me.” – Louis Armstrong
Louis Armstrong quotes that will inspire you to pursue your passions
11. “I warm up at home. I hit the stage, I’m ready, whether it’s rehearsal or anything.” – Louis Armstrong
12. “Even If I have two three days off, you still have to blow that horn. You have to keep up those chops… I have to warm up everyday for at least an hour.” – Louis Armstrong
13. “My whole life, my whole soul, my whole spirit is to blow that horn.”- Louis Armstrong
14. “There’s a thing I’ve dreamed of all my life, and I’ll be damned if it don’t look like it’s about to come true-to be King of the Zulu’s parade. After that, I’ll be ready to die.” – Louis Armstrong
15. “We all go Do, Re, Mi, but you’ve gotta find all the other notes yourself.” ― Louis Armstrong
16. “When I pick up that horn. . .the world’s behind me, and I don’t concentrate.”- Louis Armstrong
17. “There’s only two ways to sum up music; either it’s good or it’s bad. If it’s good you don’t mess about it, you just enjoy it.”- Louis Armstrong
18. “Never play anything the same way twice.”- Louis Armstrong
19. “Seems to me it ain’t the world that’s so bad but what we’re doing to it, and all I’m saying is: see what a wonderful world it would be if only we’d give it a chance. Love, baby – love. That’s the secret.” ― Louis Armstrong
20. “You’ve got to be good or as bad as the devil.”- Louis Armstrong
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Louis Armstrong quotes that will inspire you to become fearless
21. “You know, some times I sit around the house and think about all the places me and Lucille have been. You name the country and we’ve just about been there.”- Louis Armstrong
22. “I never want to be anything more than I am; what I don’t have, I don’t need.” – Louis Armstrong
23. “As a youngster in the little orphanage home in New Orleans, I was the bugler of the institution. When I got to be around 13 or 14 years old, they took me off the bugle and put me in the little brass band.” – Louis Armstrong
24. “Give me a kiss to build a dream on, and my imagination will thrive upon that kiss.” ― Louis Armstrong
25. “I got a simple rule about everybody. If you don’t treat me right – shame on you.”- Louis Armstrong
26. “There are Two Secrets to Success: 1. Don’t tell ANYONE Everything you know 2.If you have to ask what Jazz is, you’ll never know.”- Louis Armstrong
27. “I like kissable lips. A woman’s lips must say, ‘Come here and kiss me, Pops.” – Louis Armstrong
28. “All them weird chords which don’t mean a thing…you got no melody to remember, and no beat to dance to” – Louis Armstrong
29. “Jazz is played from the heart. You can even live by it. Always love it.”- Louis Armstrong
30. “The memory of things gone is important to a jazz musician. Things like old folks singing in the moonlight in the back yard on a hot night or something said long ago.” ― Louis Armstrong
Louis Armstrong quotes that will open your mind
31. “At first it was just a misdemeanor, but then you lost the “mis-de” and you just got meaner and meaner.” – Louis Armstrong
32. “Each man has his own music bubbling up inside him.”- Louis Armstrong
33. “You either have it or you don’t. You play your horn just like you sing a song or a hymn. If it’s in your heart, you express yourself in the tune.”- Louis Armstrong
34. “I don’t let my mouth say nothin’ my head can’t stand….”- Louis Armstrong
35. “If I don’t practice for a day, I know it. If I don’t practice for two days, the critics know it. And if I don’t practice for three days, the public knows it.” – Louis Armstrong
36. “There is two kinds of music, the good, and the bad. I play the good kind.” – Louis Armstrong
37. “I’m a spade, you’re an ofay. Let’s play.” – Louis Armstrong
38. “It really puzzles me to see marijuana connected with narcotics dope and all of that stuff. It is a thousand times better than whiskey. It is an assistant and a friend.”- Louis Armstrong
39. “If you have to ask what jazz is, you’ll never know.” ― Louis Armstrong
40. “The first time I left NewOrleans I went to St Louis with Fate’s band on the boat and to my surprise – we were the first colored band to play with the Streckfus Steamers.”- Louis Armstrong
You might also like our list of the best Miles Davis quotes from a legendary figure in American music.
Other thoughtful and inspirational quotes by Louis Armstrong
41. “When you’re dead, you’re done.”- Louis Armstrong
42. “All music is folk music. I ain’t never heard a horse sing a song.” ― Louis Armstrong
43. “A lotta cats copy the Mona Lisa, but people still line up to see the original.” – Louis Armstrong
44. “Making money ain’t nothing exciting to me. You might be able to buy a little better booze than the wino on the corner. But you get sick just like the next cat and when you die you’re just as graveyard dead as he is.”- Louis Armstrong
45. “If it hadn’t been for Jazz, there wouldn’t be no rock and roll.” – Louis Armstrong
46. “You got to love to be able to play.” – Louis Armstrong
47. “Every time I close my eyes blowing that trumpet of mine, I look right into the heart of good old New Orleans. It has given me something to live for.” – Louis Armstrong
48. “Love is talkative passion.” – Louis Armstrong
49. “My life has always been my music, it’s always come first, but the music ain’t worth nothing if you can’t lay it on the public. The main thing is to live for that audience, ’cause what you’re there for is to please the people.” – Louis Armstrong
50. “Pops, my motto is ‘Eat Good, Stay Healthy and Don’t Worry About Being Rich.” – Louis Armstrong
Did you enjoy these Louis Armstrong quotes?
Louis Armstrong was one of the most important figures in 20th century music. He impacted millions of people both as a musician and a human being.
Armstrong is remembered not only for his popular tunes, but as a lovable character with the kindest of hearts. Hopefully, his words have made your day better.
Let us know in the comment section which of these Louis Armstrong quotes resonated with you best. Also, if you enjoyed these quotes, please share with your friends and followers.
October 29, 2019 6:42 AM EST