October 1931, Memphis, Tennessee
Louis Armstrong and His Orchestra are performing at the Peabody Hotel, giving local jazz fans a chance to finally see and hear in person the singer-cornetist whose records they have been collecting and whose radio broadcasts they have been tuning in to. "Master of Modernism and Creator of His Own Song Style" is how he is billed, and no one dismisses it as mere marketing hype. Few performers, black or white, are more exciting or innovative. Armstrong has been packing them in on his tour of the South, in city after city, segregated white hall after segregated black hall, with an occasional thrill of mixed patronage now and then, carefully guarded by the police.
-Thomas Brothers, from the Introduction to Louis Armstrong: Master of Modernism