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高二人教选修8 Unit1 课文和单词录音MP3免费下载(3)

双击单词可弹出解释框  时间:2012-05-30 07:53  作者:admin


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LOUIS ARMSTRONG: THE GRANDFATHER OF JAZZ
Some people are considered great, not just because of their achievements but also because of their personalities. One such person is Louis Armstrong, who is without a doubt the most influential jazz musician of all time.
      Born in New Orleans in 1901, Louis was so poor that he often went "shopping" in rubbish bins outside fancy restaurants. Although some boys in his situation might have turned to crime to get money for food and clothing, Louis never did. Instead he and several other boys sang on the streets of New Orleans to earn a few cents from passers-by.
      At the age of 12, Louis was arrested by the police for firing a gun into the air at a New Year's Eve party. He was sent to a school for problem boys where the music teacher taught him to play drums and the trumpet. When he left the school two years later, Louis found work wherever he could and in the evenings went to listen and learn at clubs where jazz musicians played. He was noticed by a well-known musician called Joe "King" Oliver who began to teach him about jazz and to find him jobs in bands. When Joe Oliver left New Orleans in 1917, Louis took over his job in one of the best bands in town.
   Over the next few years, Louis improved as a musician and in 1922 he began travelling to other cities in the United States where he introduced his particular style of jazz to enthusiastic audiences. In 1924, he began recording his music and from that time on musicians from everywhere would listen to him. Before long, he had become a very big jazz star, as popular as major rock stars are today. Louis loved entertaining people and toured all over the United States before travelling to Europe in 1932.
      As well as playing with his band and recording his music for almost 50 years, Louis Armstrong acted in over 50 movies and wrote two autobiographies. He was able to communicate with people from many different backgrounds — rich and poor, famous and ordinary, educated and uneducated, musicians and non-musicians. For this reason the government encouraged him to travel to foreign countries, especially Europe and Africa, as an unofficial goodwill ambassador (非官方亲善大使) for the United States. He spoke publicly about the rights of black people in America, using his fame to help in the fight for equal rights for all American citizens.
      Although he became rich and famous, Louis Armstrong continued to live a simple life in a working-class neighbourhood. Although his health was not good in the last three years of his life, he continued playing and recording until July 6th, 1971, when he died in his sleep at his home in New York. Louis Armstrong is still remembered today as the most important person in the early history of jazz. His music is as popular today as it ever was and most of the music he recorded from 1924 to 1971 is still available.
 

 

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