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  • (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.