Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles (women sing scat) (inspirational music) (deep tone) - Hello, I'm Daryl Johnson, and today we're gonna talk about Louis Armstrong and the people that made Louis the Louis Armstrong we know today. Louis Armstrong grew up in the roughest and poorest part of New Orleans. He'd be like, "I'm gonna sing for some money." When people would throw pennies at him he would pick up the pennies and throw them in his mouth so that the big kids wouldn't take them from him and that's how he got his first nickname, Satchmo. "You take all the coins and put them in your mouth like a satchel, Satchmouth." His mom works as an off and on again prostitute in a brothel where all the jazz music was playing, so Louis would be like, "Hey girl, can I listen real quick to the band that's playing on the other side of this wall?" So he would listen to the Kid Ory band and "King" Joe Oliver, the baddest cornetist in town. Couldn't nobody touch King Oliver and little Louis was listening through those walls and was like, that's what I wanna do. I wanna play that music. Whew. (Daryl yells) It's burning the inside of my body. Okay, so one day, a Jewish coal merchant, Bernhardt Karnofsky, saw little Louis at the brothels and said, "Hey little kid, I can give you a job if you work for me delivering coal to the prostitutes. Come into our family and we're gonna feed you and treat you like one of our own." Mrs. Karnofsky would sing little Jewish lullabies to Louis as a young boy and it'd be like (sings in foreign language). No wait, no, that's the prayer. The lullaby'd probably be like ♪ We're Jewish and we love it ♪ That's nice, right? - [Male Voice] That's perfect. - So, at seven years old, he's working for the Karnofskys. On the truck, he used to play a horn, like (imitates cornet playing), we're coming. And they were driving past this pawn shop and in the window of this pawn shop was this old beat up cornet and he was like, "I want that." Little Louis asked Karnofsky, "Do you think you can advance me the $5 to buy that cornet?" He said, "Of course, I could loan you the $5." And it was a piece of junk but it was his piece of junk. He used to polish it. He was like (imitates cornet playing) 'cause he wasn't really that good yet but he would say, "I'm gonna be the best cornetist in all Louisiana." And wore a Star of David for the rest of his life to commemorate how much the Karnofsky family meant to him. That was way before all these celebrities today made it popular to just go grab a little black kid off the street. (laughs) So, he's out one night and he decides to shoot a gun into the air to celebrate New Year's. The police was like "Uh uh, can't be a little black kid in New Orleans shooting a gun in the air. We're gonna arrest you." He got taken to the New Orleans Home for Colored Waifs. - [Derek] It sounds racist. - [Daryl] I'm sure it was pretty racist. We're talking 1913. And that's when he meets Pete Davis, the musical instructure, musical instructor. Pete Davis taught him how to read music and how to play technically. He was like, "You're gonna be the best damn horn player in New Orleans." And so, a couple years later when he gets out and he's playing in all these seedy bars, everybody in New Orleans was like, hey, that's little Louis Armstrong. He used to make the horn talk. - Is that what they said? - That's what it sounded like. (horn sings) ♪ Go get you a prostitute ♪ ♪ Get you some whiskey ♪ ♪ And have a good time ♪ And one day, his idol, "King" Joe Oliver heard him play and he was like, "Man, this kid's good." (bottles crash) (beep) (laughs) (bottle crashes) - Oh, there's another one. - I told you. Sazarack can do something special. All right, it was King Oliver who taught him how to perform. So, they used to march all around town in parades, marching bands, and that's how Louis got his soul. Papa Joe would be like, "If you heard the crowd getting into the music, give 'em a little bit more." So if he was like (imitates cornet playing), just throw more notes (imitates cornet playing). And little Louis was like, "Sure, I'm drunk (beep). I'll do whatever you want." I'm so drunk. What do you want now? What was I talking about? (Derek laughs) We're talking about Louis Armstrong. So, to be honest, he was playing better than Papa Joe. Louis became the number one cornetist in New Orleans and everybody was like, man, this Louis Armstrong is good and that's when he blew up. - Cheers. - Louis Armstrong. - To Louis. - To Louis. - [Derek] Without that love that he was given, he might- - [Daryl] He might not be the Louis Armstrong we know of today. Always remember where you got that inspiration from. - Thank you. - Thank you. - [Derek] Louis. - Louis Armstrong was the greatest. - Oh, okay, do it slow. - You want me to crack your back? - Yeah, okay, but do it slow. (Daryl laughs) You're drunk. - I'm drunk. (deep tone) - Hello, my name is Tymberlee Hill and today, we're gonna talk about Ella Fitzgerald and Marilyn Monroe. Cheers. Ella Fitzgerald, she's the queen of song. Nobody sings better than Ella Fitzgerald. So, Ella's on the Chitlin' Circuit. She's killing it everywhere. Chitlin' Circuit is for anybody who's black that performs. Now, let's talk about the Mocambo. Can we, really quickly? The Mocambo is a place where (beep) Frank Sinatra debuted in the '40s. This is a place where Lana Turner, Charlie Chaplin, Cary Grant, this was the hot spot and you couldn't do it bigger, except they do not want to let her in and they're like, "She's too black, she's too chubby, she's too ugly." Ah, shit and (beep) and all kinds of shit. I'm pissed. - You wanna clean that? - That's okay, I Scotchgard. I Scotchgard like a (beep). I can keep it going, I can keep it going. What was the last thing that she said? Oh, okay, so, so, so, so, so. Marilyn Monroe, she's huge. People didn't get it and they were like, "Can't you just be our hot thing with no clothes on with her dress blowing up that we love so much?" And she was like, "No, I can't. I wanna do some real acting." So, Marilyn Monroe goes in to her voice teacher. She says, "I wanna be a triple threat. I wanna do everything. I'm taking this class in acting. I'm doing these dancing classes, blah, blah, blah. You are my man for the voice." Her voice coach says, "If you want to learn how to sing, buy Ella Fitzgerald's album." She gets this record, she lays down on the floor, and listens to this record 100 times in a row. She goes, "This is the most astonishing voice I've ever heard in my life." She calls the Mocambo and they're like, "Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God, Marilyn Monroe? What the (beep)?" And she's like, "Bring it all down. If you let my favorite, my favorite baby girl jump on stage and sing her songs, I will show up and I will sit in the... And I will sit in the front row of the audience every single night. And you can take as many pictures of me as you want." (laughs) I'm sorry. - [Derek] You're very excited. - I am. I love these two and I've known this story forever. Ella Fitzgerald, she gets a phone call and they're saying we would love to have you at the Mocambo. What? What the (beep) are we talking about right now? He's like, "Somebody made a phone call. Somebody named Marilyn Monroe, boom!" So, she's like, "Marilyn? I don't know Marilyn Monroe. What are we saying?" You know, like, she didn't (gasps) know anything about that. - [Derek] Are you okay? - Yes, I just have weird hiccups and a lot of catch breaths. Ella shows up at the Mocambo and Marilyn takes a front row center table, the lights go down, Ella walks out on this stage and then, boom, it comes out of her voice. (imitates Ella singing scat) And then, people are going crazy and one person is like, "I didn't even know music could sound like that." And then, Marilyn was like, "I've heard these songs before but I never heard them." What is going on right now, like I can't even understand my own mind. That is a human voice singing to us. And Marilyn, true to her word, shows up every single night and she sits in the front row. One night, after Ella performed, Marilyn came backstage. So, it's just two girls talking about what real life is like. Marilyn is like, "You know, I'm a (beep) orphan." And, uh, what's her name? Ella is like, "I'm a (beep) orphan, too." Then, Marilyn's like, "I had two marriages." And Ella's like, "Oh, my God, I was married to somebody when I was really young and then I married another guy." And then, Marilyn's like, "I cannot be accepted in this business because of the way that I look." And Ella's like, "I cannot be accepted in this business because of the way that I look." And these two women, they literally need each other because Marilyn Monlowet, Marilyn Monr... Roe, Murow, Murow, Marilyn. In this moment that Marilyn helps Ella, she frees them both. The fact is, sometimes sisters have to hook each other up. And when Marilyn passes away, because they stayed friends, Ella Fitzgerald said, "I owe Marilyn a great debt. After she personally called the managers of the Mocambo Room and allowed me to play there, I was never, ever, ever, ever again in my life relegated to a small club." She says, "Marilyn was extraordinary and ahead of her time." She loved that lady. (inspirational music) (deep tone) - Greetings, I'm Carl Tart and today, we're gonna talk about the man, the myth, the legend, Mr. Berry Gordy. Our story begins in Detroit, Michigan and Berry Gordy got this job at General Motors. He would be on the assembly line and be like, oh, I feel the revving of the engine. It's like, rhythmic, like (imitates engine revving). The sounds that these cars are making, it's like music to my ears. I got to be a music producer. It's hitting me, Derek. - It's okay. - This liquor's hitting me now. Anyway, Berry Gordy bought this house and he was so dope he called it Hitsville, U.S.A. - Hitsville? - Hitsville. He's like, this is where hits come from in Detroit.