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During a stay in Paris the the early '30s, working as an apprentice at French and German movie magazines, Leonard Feather heard that his idol, Louis Armstrong, was going to be playing at the London Palladium, and flew home immediately. The electrifying experience of hearing this legend play live, was followed by the equally amazing one of finding Louis and his future third wife Alpha to be approachable and even friendly at a nearby bar after the show.


Photo Credit: Ed Lawless Leonard said of the meeting that "...it was impossible for me as an unsophisticated teenager to understand fully the enormity of the crimes visited on even the most prominent of Afro-Americans. This in turn left me minimally capable of understanding how Armstrong and Alpha reacted to the new identity England was now giving him as a mature and greatly respected artist." Soon after, Leonard interviewed Louis Armstrong for Melody Maker. They were to become lifelong friends.

Louis Cautions the Fans
The Melody Maker
January 13, 1934
Louis Armstrong
Louis Armstrong Volume IV