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Louis Armstrong (August 4, 1901 – July 6, 1971), nicknamed Satchmo or Pops, was an American jazz trumpeter and singer from New Orleans, Louisiana.
Coming to prominence in the 1920s as an “inventive” cornet and trumpet player, Armstrong was a foundational influence in jazz, shifting the music’s focus from collective improvisation to solo performance. With his instantly recognizable deep and distinctive gravelly voice, resembling the sound of a trumpet, Armstrong was also an influential singer, demonstrating great dexterity as an improviser, bending the lyrics and melody of a song for expressive purposes. He was also greatly skilled at scat singing (vocalizing using sounds and syllables instead of actual lyrics).
Renowned for his charismatic stage presence and voice almost as much as for his trumpet-playing, Armstrong’s influence extends well beyond jazz music, and by the end of his career in the 1960s, he was widely regarded as a profound influence on popular music in general. Armstrong was one of the first truly popular African-American entertainers to “cross over,” whose skin-color was secondary to his music in an America that was severely racially divided. It allowed him socially acceptable access to the upper echelons of American society that were highly restricted for a black man. While he rarely publicly politicized his race, often to the dismay of fellow African-Americans, he was privately a strong supporter of the Civil Rights movement in America.
Armstrong often stated that he was born on July 4, 1900, a date that has been noted in many biographies. Although he died in 1971, it was not until the mid-1980s that his true birth date of August 4, 1901 was discovered through the examination of baptismal records.
Armstrong was born into a very poor family in New Orleans, Louisiana, the grandson of slaves. He spent his youth in poverty, in a rough neighborhood of Uptown New Orleans, known as “Back of the Town”, as his father, William Armstrong (1881–1922), abandoned the family when Louis was an infant and took up with another woman. His mother, Mary “Mayann” Albert (1886–1942), then left Louis and his younger sister Beatrice Armstrong Collins (1903–1987) in the care of his grandmother, Josephine Armstrong, and at times, his Uncle Isaac. At five, he moved back to live with his mother and her relatives, and saw his father only in parades.
He attended the Fisk School for Boys, where he likely had early exposure to music. He brought in some money as a paperboy and also by finding discarded food and selling it to restaurants, but it was not enough to keep his mother from prostitution. He hung out in dance halls close to home, where he observed everything from licentious dancing to the quadrille. For extra money he also hauled coal to Storyville, the famed red-light district, and listened to the bands playing in the brothels and dance halls, especially Pete Lala’s where Joe “King” Oliver performed and other famous musicians would drop in to jam.
Armstrong with his first trumpet instructor, Peter Davis, in 1965.
After dropping out of the Fisk School at age eleven, Armstrong joined a quartet of boys who sang in the streets for money. But he also started to get into trouble. Cornet player Bunk Johnson said he taught Armstrong (then 11) to play by ear at Dago Tony’s Tonk in New Orleans, although in his later years Armstrong gave the credit to Oliver. Armstrong hardly looked back at his youth as the worst of times but instead drew inspiration from it, “Every time I close my eyes blowing that trumpet of mine—I look right in the heart of good old New Orleans…It has given me something to live for.”
He also worked for a Lithuanian-Jewish immigrant family, the Karnofskys, who had a junk hauling business and gave him odd jobs. They took him in and treated him as almost a family member, knowing he lived without a father, and would feed and nurture him. He later wrote a memoir of his relationship with the Karnofskys titled, Louis Armstrong + the Jewish Family in New Orleans, La., the Year of 1907. In it he describes his discovery that this family was also subject to discrimination by “other white folks’ nationalities who felt that they were better than the Jewish race. I was only seven years old but I could easily see the ungodly treatment that the White Folks were handing the poor Jewish family whom I worked for.” Armstrong wore a Star of David pendant for the rest of his life and wrote about what he learned from them: “how to live—real life and determination.” The influence of Karnofsky is remembered in New Orleans by the Karnofsky Project, a non-profit organization dedicated to accepting donated musical instruments to “put them into the hands of an eager child who could not otherwise take part in a wonderful learning experience.”
Armstrong developed his cornet playing seriously in the band of the New Orleans Home for Colored Waifs, where he had been sent multiple times for general delinquency, most notably for a long term after firing his stepfather’s pistol into the air at a New Year’s Eve celebration, as police records confirm. Professor Peter Davis (who frequently appeared at the Home at the request of its administrator, Captain Joseph Jones) instilled discipline in and provided musical training to the otherwise self-taught Armstrong. Eventually, Davis made Armstrong the band leader. The Home band played around New Orleans and the thirteen year old Louis began to draw attention by his cornet playing, starting him on a musical career. At fourteen he was released from the Home, living again with his father and new stepmother and then back with his mother and also back to the streets and their temptations. Armstrong got his first dance hall job at Henry Ponce’s where Black Benny became his protector and guide. He hauled coal by day and played his cornet at night.
He played in the city’s frequent brass band parades and listened to older musicians every chance he got, learning from Bunk Johnson, Buddy Petit, Kid Ory, and above all, Joe “King” Oliver, who acted as a mentor and father figure to the young musician. Later, he played in the brass bands and riverboats of New Orleans, and began traveling with the well-regarded band of Fate Marable, which toured on a steamboat up and down the Mississippi River. He described his time with Marable as, “going to the University,” since it gave him a much wider experience working with writtenarrangements.
In 1919, Joe Oliver decided to go north and resigned his position in Kid Ory’s band; Armstrong replaced him. He also became second trumpet for the Tuxedo Brass Band, a society band.
On March 19, 1918, Louis married Daisy Parker from Gretna, Louisiana. They adopted a 3-year-old boy, Clarence Armstrong, whose mother, Louis’s cousin Flora, died soon after giving birth. Clarence Armstrong was mentally disabled (the result of a head injury at an early age) and Louis would spend the rest of his life taking care of him. Louis’s marriage to Parker failed quickly and they separated. She died shortly after the divorce.
Through all his riverboat experience Armstrong’s musicianship began to mature and expand. At twenty, he could read music and he started to be featured in extended trumpet solos, one of the first jazzmen to do this, injecting his own personality and style into his solo turns. He had learned how to create a unique sound and also started using singing and patter in his performances. In 1922, Armstrong joined the exodus to Chicago, where he had been invited by his mentor, Joe “King” Oliver, to join his Creole Jazz Band and where he could make a sufficient income so that he no longer needed to supplement his music with day labor jobs. It was a boom time in Chicago and though race relations were poor, the “Windy City” was teeming with jobs for black people, who were making good wages in factories and had plenty to spend on entertainment.
Oliver’s band was the best and most influential hot jazz band in Chicago in the early 1920s, at a time when Chicago was the center of the jazz universe. Armstrong lived like a king in Chicago, in his own apartment with his own private bath (his first). Excited as he was to be in Chicago, he began his career-long pastime of writing nostalgic letters to friends in New Orleans. As Armstrong’s reputation grew, he was challenged to “cutting contests” by hornmen trying to displace the new phenom, who could blow two hundred high C’s in a row. Armstrong made his first recordings on the Gennett and Okeh labels (jazz records were starting to boom across the country), including taking some solos and breaks, while playing second cornet in Oliver’s band in 1923. At this time, he met Hoagy Carmichael (with whom he would collaborate later) who was introduced by friend Bix Beiderbecke, who now had his own Chicago band.
Armstrong enjoyed working with Oliver, but Louis’s second wife, pianist Lil Hardin Armstrong, urged him to seek more prominent billing and develop his newer style away from the influence of Oliver. Armstrong took the advice of his wife and left Oliver’s band. For a year Armstrong played in Fletcher Henderson’s band in New York on many recordings. After playing in New York, Armstrong returned to Chicago, playing in large orchestras; there he created his most important early recordings. Lil had her husband play classical music in church concerts to broaden his skill and improve his solo play and she prodded him into wearing more stylish attire to make him look sharp and to better offset his growing girth. Lil’s influence eventually undermined Armstrong’s relationship with his mentor, especially concerning his salary and additional moneys that Oliver held back from Armstrong and other band members. Armstrong and Oliver parted amicably in 1924. Shortly afterward, Armstrong received an invitation to go to New York City to play with the Fletcher Henderson Orchestra, the top African-American band of the day. Armstrong switched to the trumpet to blend in better with the other musicians in his section. His influence upon Henderson’s tenor sax soloist, Coleman Hawkins, can be judged by listening to the records made by the band during this period.
Armstrong quickly adapted to the more tightly controlled style of Henderson, playing trumpet and even experimenting with the trombone and the other members quickly took up Armstrong’s emotional, expressive pulse. Soon his act included singing and telling tales of New Orleans characters, especially preachers. The Henderson Orchestra was playing in the best venues for white-only patrons, including the famed Roseland Ballroom, featuring the classy arrangements of Don Redman. Duke Ellington’s orchestra would go to Roseland to catch Armstrong’s performances and young hornmen around town tried in vain to outplay him, splitting their lips in their attempts.
During this time, Armstrong made many recordings on the side, arranged by an old friend from New Orleans, pianist Clarence Williams; these included small jazz band sides with the Williams Blue Five (some of the best pairing Armstrong with one of Armstrong’s few rivals in fiery technique and ideas, Sidney Bechet) and a series of accompaniments with blues singers, including Bessie Smith, Ma Rainey, and Alberta Hunter.
Armstrong returned to Chicago in 1925 due mostly to the urging of his wife, who wanted to pump up Armstrong’s career and income. He was content in New York but later would concede that she was right and that the Henderson Orchestra was limiting his artistic growth. In publicity, much to his chagrin, she billed him as “the World’s Greatest Trumpet Player”. At first he was actually a member of the Lil Hardin Armstrong Band and working for his wife. He began recording under his own name for Okeh with his famous Hot Five and Hot Seven groups, producing hits such as “Potato Head Blues”, “Muggles”, (a reference to marijuana, for which Armstrong had a lifelong fondness), and “West End Blues”, the music of which set the standard and the agenda for jazz for many years to come.
The group included Kid Ory (trombone), Johnny Dodds (clarinet), Johnny St. Cyr (banjo), wife Lil on piano, and usually no drummer. Armstrong’s bandleading style was easygoing, as St. Cyr noted, “One felt so relaxed working with him and he was very broad-minded … always did his best to feature each individual.” His recordings soon after with pianist Earl “Fatha” Hines (most famously their 1928Weatherbird duet) and Armstrong’s trumpet introduction to “West End Blues” remain some of the most famous and influential improvisations in jazz history. Armstrong was now free to develop his personal style as he wished, which included a heavy dose of effervescent jive, such as “whip that thing, Miss Lil” and “Mr. Johnny Dodds, Aw, do that clarinet, boy!”
Armstrong also played with Erskine Tate’s Little Symphony, actually a quintet, which played mostly at the Vendome Theatre. They furnished music for silent movies and live shows, including jazz versions of classical music, such as “Madame Butterfly,” which gave Armstrong experience with longer forms of music and with hosting before a large audience. He began to scat sing (improvised vocal jazz using non-sensical words) and was among the first to record it, on “Heebie Jeebies” in 1926. So popular was the recording the group became the most famous jazz band in the USA even though they as yet had not performed live to any great degree. Young musicians across the country, black or white, were turned on by Armstrong’s new type of jazz.
After separating from Lil, Armstrong started to play at the Sunset Café for Al Capone’s associate Joe Glaser in the Carroll Dickerson Orchestra, with Earl Hines on piano, which was soon renamed Louis Armstrong and his Stompers, though Hines was the music director and Glaser managed the orchestra. Hines and Armstrong became fast friends as well as successful collaborators.
Armstrong returned to New York, in 1929, where he played in the pit orchestra of the successful musical Hot Chocolate, an all-black revue written by Andy Razafand pianist/composer Fats Waller. He also made a cameo appearance as a vocalist, regularly stealing the show with his rendition of “Ain’t Misbehavin’”, his version of the song becoming his biggest selling record to date.
Armstrong started to work at Connie’s Inn in Harlem, chief rival to the Cotton Club, a venue for elaborately staged floor shows and a front for gangster Dutch Schultz. Armstrong also had considerable success with vocal recordings, including versions of famous songs composed by his old friend Hoagy Carmichael. His 1930s recordings took full advantage of the new RCA ribbon microphone, introduced in 1931, which imparted a characteristic warmth to vocals and immediately became an intrinsic part of the ‘crooning’ sound of artists like Bing Crosby. Armstrong’s famous interpretation of Hoagy Carmichael’s “Stardust” became one of the most successful versions of this song ever recorded, showcasing Armstrong’s unique vocal sound and style and his innovative approach to singing songs that had already become standards.
Armstrong’s radical re-working of Sidney Arodin and Carmichael’s “Lazy River” (recorded in 1931) encapsulated many features of his groundbreaking approach to melody and phrasing. The song begins with a brief trumpet solo, then the main melody is stated by sobbing horns, memorably punctuated by Armstrong’s growling interjections at the end of each bar: “Yeah! …”Uh-huh” …”Sure” … “Way down, way down.” In the first verse, he ignores the notated melody entirely and sings as if playing a trumpet solo, pitching most of the first line on a single note and using strongly syncopated phrasing. In the second stanza he breaks into an almost fully improvised melody, which then evolves into a classic passage of Armstrong “scat singing”.
As with his trumpet playing, Armstrong’s vocal innovations served as a foundation stone for the art of jazz vocal interpretation. The uniquely gritty coloration of his voice became a musical archetype that was much imitated and endlessly impersonated. His scat singing style was enriched by his matchless experience as a trumpet soloist. His resonant, velvety lower-register tone and bubbling cadences on sides such as “Lazy River” exerted a huge influence on younger white singers such as Bing Crosby.
The Depression of the early Thirties was especially hard on the jazz scene. The Cotton Club closed in 1936 after a long downward spiral and many musicians stopped playing altogether as club dates evaporated. Bix Beiderbecke died and Fletcher Henderson’s band broke up. King Oliver made a few records but otherwise struggled. Sidney Bechet became a tailor and Kid Ory returned to New Orleans and raised chickens. Armstrong moved to Los Angeles in 1930 to seek new opportunities. He played at the New Cotton Club in LA with Lionel Hampton on drums. The band drew the Hollywood crowd, which could still afford a lavish night life, while radio broadcasts from the club connected with younger audiences at home. Bing Crosby and many other celebrities were regulars at the club. In 1931, Armstrong appeared in his first movie, Ex-Flame. Armstrong was convicted of marijuana possession but received a suspended sentence He returned to Chicago in late 1931 and played in bands more in the Guy Lombardo vein and he recorded more standards. When the mob insisted that he get out of town, Armstrong visited New Orleans, got a hero’s welcome and saw old friends. He sponsored a local baseball team known as “Armstrong’s Secret Nine” and got a cigar named after himself. But soon he was on the road again and after a tour across the country shadowed by the mob, Armstrong decided to go to Europe to escape.
After returning to the States, he undertook several exhausting tours. His agent Johnny Collins’ erratic behavior and his own spending ways left Armstrong short of cash. Breach of contract violations plagued him. Finally, he hired Joe Glaser as his new manager, a tough mob-connected wheeler-dealer, who began to straighten out his legal mess, his mob troubles, and his debts. Armstrong also began to experience problems with his fingers and lips, which were aggravated by his unorthodox playing style. As a result he branched out, developing his vocal style and making his first theatrical appearances. He appeared in movies again, including Crosby’s 1936 hit Pennies from Heaven. In 1937, Armstrong substituted for Rudy Vallee on the CBS radio network and became the first African American to host a sponsored, national broadcast. He finally divorced Lil in 1938 and married longtime girlfriend Alpha.
After spending many years on the road, Armstrong settled permanently in Queens, New York in 1943 in contentment with his fourth wife, Lucille. Although subject to the vicissitudes of Tin Pan Alley and the gangster-ridden music business, as well as anti-black prejudice, he continued to develop his playing. He recorded Hoagy Carmichael’s Rockin’ Chair for Okeh Records.
During the subsequent thirty years, Armstrong played more than three hundred gigs a year. Bookings for big bands tapered off during the 1940s due to changes in public tastes: ballrooms closed, and there was competition from television and from other types of music becoming more popular than big band music. It became impossible under such circumstances to support and finance a 16-piece touring band.
The All Stars
Following a highly successful small-group jazz concert at New York Town Hall on May 17, 1947, featuring Armstrong with trombonist/singer Jack Teagarden, Armstrong’s manager Joe Glaser dissolved the Armstrong big band on August 13, 1947 and established a six-piece small group featuring Armstrong with (initially) Teagarden, Earl Hines and other top swing and dixieland musicians, most of them ex-big band leaders. The new group was announced at the opening of Billy Berg’s Supper Club.
This group was called Louis Armstrong and his All Stars and included at various times Earl “Fatha” Hines, Barney Bigard, Edmond Hall, Jack Teagarden, Trummy Young, Arvell Shaw, Billy Kyle, Marty Napoleon, Big Sid Catlett, Cozy Cole, Tyree Glenn, Barrett Deems, Joe Darensbourg and the Filipino-American percussionist, Danny Barcelona. During this period, Armstrong made many recordings and appeared in over thirty films. He was the first jazz musician to appear on the cover of Time Magazine on February 21, 1949.
In 1964, he recorded his biggest-selling record, “Hello, Dolly!” The song went to #1 on the pop chart, making Armstrong (age 63) the oldest person to ever accomplish that feat. In the process, Armstrong dislodged The Beatles from the #1 position they had occupied for 14 consecutive weeks with three different songs.
Armstrong kept up his busy tour schedule until a few years before his death in 1971. In his later years he would sometimes play some of his numerous gigs by rote, but other times would enliven the most mundane gig with his vigorous playing, often to the astonishment of his band. He also toured Africa, Europe, and Asia under sponsorship of the US State Department with great success, earning the nickname “Ambassador Satch.” While failing health restricted his schedule in his last years, within those limitations he continued playing until the day he died.
Armstrong died of a heart attack in his sleep on July 6, 1971, a month before his 70th birthday, and 11 months after playing a famous show at the Waldorf-Astoria’s Empire Room He was residing in Corona, Queens, New York City, at the time of his death He was interred in Flushing Cemetery, Flushing, in Queens, New York City
His honorary pallbearers included Bing Crosby, Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Pearl Bailey, Count Basie, Harry James, Frank Sinatra, Ed Sullivan, Earl Wilson, Alan King, Johnny Carson and David Frost. Peggy Lee sang The Lord’s Prayer at the services while Al Hibbler sang “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen” and Fred Robbins, a long-time friend, gave the eulogy.
Armstrong was a colorful character. His own biography vexes biographers and historians, because he had a habit of telling tales, particularly of his early childhood, when he was less scrutinized, and his embellishments of his history often lack consistency.
He was not only an entertainer. Armstrong was a leading personality of the day who was so beloved by America that gave even the greatest African American performers little access beyond their public celebrity, that he was able to live privately a life of access and privilege accorded to few other African Americans.
He tried to remain politically neutral, which gave him a large part of that access, but often alienated him from members of the black community who looked to him to use his prominence with white America to become more of an outspoken figure during the Civil Rights Era of U.S. history.
The nicknames Satchmo and Satch are short for Satchelmouth. Like many things in Armstrong’s life, which was filled with colorful stories both real and imagined, many of his own telling, the nickname has many possible origins.
The most common tale that biographers tell is the story of Armstrong as a young boy dancing for pennies in the streets of New Orleans, who would scoop up the coins off of the streets and stick them into his mouth to avoid having the bigger children steal them from him. Someone dubbed him “satchel mouth” for his mouth acting as a satchel. Another tale is that because of his large mouth, he was nicknamed “satchel mouth” which became shortened to Satchmo.
Early on he was also known as Dipper, short for Dippermouth, a reference to the piece Dippermouth Blues and something of a riff on his unusual embouchure.
The nickname Pops came from Armstrong’s own tendency to forget people’s names and simply call them “pops” instead. The nickname was soon turned on Armstrong himself. It was used as the title of a 2010 biography of Armstrong byTerry Teachout.
Armstrong and race
Armstrong was largely accepted into white society, both on stage and off, a privilege reserved for very few African-American public figures, and usually those of either exceptional talent and fair skin-tone. As his fame grew, so did his access to the finer things in life usually denied to a black man, even a famous one. His renown was such that he dined in the best restaurants and stayed in hotels usually exclusively for whites.
It was a power and privilege that he enjoyed, although he was very careful not to flaunt it with fellow performers of color, and privately, he shared what access that he could with friends and fellow musicians.
That still did not prevent members of the African-American community, particularly in the late 1950s to the early 1970s, from calling him an Uncle Tom, a black-on-black racial epithet for someone who kowtowed to white society at the expense of their own racial identity.
He was criticized for accepting the title of “King of The Zulus” for Mardi Gras in 1949. In the New Orleans African-American community it is an honored role as the head of leading black Carnival Krewe, but bewildering or offensive to outsiders with their traditional costume of grass-skirts and blackface makeup satirizing southern white attitudes.
Some musicians criticized Armstrong for playing in front of segregated audiences, and for not taking a strong enough stand in the civil rights movement.
Billie Holiday countered, however, “Of course Pops toms, but he toms from the heart.”
The few exceptions made it more effective when he did speak out. Armstrong’s criticism of President Eisenhower, calling him “two-faced” and “gutless” because of his inaction during the conflict over school desegregation in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1957 made national news.
As a protest, Armstrong canceled a planned tour of the Soviet Union on behalf of the State Department saying “The way they’re treating my people in the South, the government can go to hell” and that he could not represent his government abroad when it was in conflict with its own people. Six days after Armstrong’s comments, Eisenhower ordered Federal troops to Little Rock to escort students into the school
The FBI kept a file on Armstrong, for his outspokenness about integration.
When asked about his religion, Armstrong would answer that he was raised a Baptist, always wore a Star of David, and was friends with the Pope. Armstrong wore the Star of David in honor of the Karnofsky family, who took him in as a child and lent him the money to buy his first cornet. Louis Armstrong was, in fact, baptized as a Catholic at the Sacred Heart of Jesus Church in New Orleans, and he met popes Pius XII and Paul VI, though there is no evidence that he considered himself Catholic. Armstrong seems to have been tolerant towards various religions, but also found humor in them.
Armstrong was also greatly concerned with his health and bodily functions. He made frequent use of laxatives as a means of controlling his weight, a practice he advocated both to personal acquaintances and in the diet plans he published under the title Lose Weight the Satchmo Way. Armstrong’s laxative of preference in his younger days was Pluto Water, but he then became an enthusiastic convert when he discovered the herbal remedy Swiss Kriss. He would extol its virtues to anyone who would listen and pass out packets to everyone he encountered, including members of the British Royal Family. (Armstrong also appeared in humorous, albeit risqué, cards that he had printed to send out to friends; the cards bore a picture of him sitting on a toilet—as viewed through a keyhole—with the slogan “Satch says, ‘Leave it all behind ya!’”) The cards have sometimes been incorrectly described as ads for Swiss Kriss.
In a live recording of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” with Velma Middleton, he changes the lyric from “Put another record on while I pour” to “Take some Swiss Kriss while I pour.” The line, slightly garbled in the live recording, could just as likely be “Take some Swiss Miss while I pour”—Swiss Miss is a hot chocolate mix that would have been fairly new on the market in 1951. (The line comes at 1:04 in the song.)
Love of food
The concern with his health and weight was balanced by his love of food, reflected in such songs as “Cheesecake”, “Cornet Chop Suey,” though “Struttin’ with Some Barbecue” was written about a fine-looking companion, not about food. He kept a strong connection throughout his life to the cooking of New Orleans, always signing his letters, “Red beans and ricely yours…”
Armstrong’s gregariousness extended to writing. On the road, he wrote constantly, sharing favorite themes of his life with correspondents around the world. He avidly typed or wrote on whatever stationery was at hand, recording instant takes on music, sex, food, childhood memories, his heavy “medicinal” marijuana use—and even his bowel movements, which he gleefully described. He had a fondness for lewd jokes and dirty limericks as well.
Louis Armstrong was not, as is often claimed, a Freemason. Although he is usually listed as being a member of Montgomery Lodge No. 18 (Prince Hall) in New York, no such lodge has ever existed. Armstrong states in his autobiography, however, that he was a member of the Knights of Pythias, which is not a Masonic group.
Horn playing and early jazz
In his early years, Armstrong was best known for his virtuosity with the cornet and trumpet. The greatest trumpet playing of his early years can be heard on his Hot Five and Hot Seven records, as well as the Red Onion Jazz Babies. The improvisations he made on these records of New Orleans jazz standards and popular songs of the day are unsurpassed by later jazz performers. The older generation of New Orleans jazz musicians often referred to their improvisations as “variating the melody.” Armstrong’s improvisations were daring and sophisticated for the time, while often subtle and melodic.
He often essentially re-composed pop-tunes he played, making them more interesting. Armstrong’s playing is filled with joyous, inspired original melodies, creative leaps, and subtle relaxed or driving rhythms. The genius of these creative passages is matched by Armstrong’s playing technique, honed by constant practice, which extended the range, tone and capabilities of the trumpet.
In these records, Armstrong almost single-handedly created the role of the jazz soloist, taking what was essentially a collective folk music and turning it into an art form with tremendous possibilities for individual expression.
Armstrong’s work in the 1920s shows him playing at the outer limits of his abilities. The Hot Five records, especially, often have minor flubs and missed notes, which do little to detract from listening enjoyment since the energy of the spontaneous performance comes through. By the mid 1930s, Armstrong achieved a smooth assurance, knowing exactly what he could do and carrying out his ideas to perfection.
He was one of the first artists to use recordings of his performances to improve himself. Armstrong was an avid audiophile. He had a large collection of recordings, including reel-to-reel tapes, which he took on the road with him in a trunk during his later career. He enjoyed listening to his own recordings, and comparing his performances musically. In the den of his home, he had the latest audio equipment and would sometimes rehearse and record along with his older recordings or the radio.
As his music progressed and popularity grew, his singing also became very important. Armstrong was not the first to record scat singing, but he was masterful at it and helped popularize it. He had a hit with his playing and scat singing on “Heebie Jeebies” when, according to some legends, the sheet music fell on the floor and he simply started singing nonsense syllables. Armstrong stated in his memoirs that this actually occurred. He also sang out “I done forgot the words” in the middle of recording “I’m A Ding Dong Daddy From Dumas.”
Such records were hits and scat singing became a major part of his performances. Long before this, however, Armstrong was playing around with his vocals, shortening and lengthening phrases, interjecting improvisations, using his voice as creatively as his trumpet.
Colleagues and followers
During his long career he played and sang with some of the most important instrumentalists and vocalists of the time; among them were Bing Crosby, Duke Ellington, Fletcher Henderson, Earl Hines, the singing brakeman Jimmie Rodgers,Bessie Smith and perhaps most famously Ella Fitzgerald.
His influence upon Bing Crosby is particularly important with regard to the subsequent development of popular music: Crosby admired and copied Armstrong, as is evident on many of his early recordings, notably “Just One More Chance” (1931). The New Grove Dictionary Of Jazz describes Crosby’s debt to Armstrong in precise detail, although it does not acknowledge Armstrong by name:
Crosby… was important in introducing into the mainstream of popular singing an Afro-American concept of song as a lyrical extension of speech… His techniques – easing the weight of the breath on the vocal cords, passing into a head voice at a low register, using forward production to aid distinct enunciation, singing on consonants (a practice of black singers), and making discreet use of appoggiaturas, mordents, and slurs to emphasize the text – were emulated by nearly all later popular singers.
Armstrong recorded three albums with Ella Fitzgerald: Ella and Louis, Ella and Louis Again, and Porgy and Bess for Verve Records, with the sessions featuring the backing musicianship of the Oscar Peterson Trio and drummer Buddy Rich. His recordings Satch Plays Fats, all Fats Waller tunes, and Louis Armstrong Plays W.C. Handy in the 1950s were perhaps among the last of his great creative recordings, but even oddities like Disney Songs the Satchmo Way are seen to have their musical moments. And, his participation in Dave Brubeck’s high-concept jazz musical The Real Ambassadors was critically acclaimed. For the most part, however, his later output was criticized as being overly simplistic or repetitive.
Hits and later career
Armstrong had many hit records including “Stardust”, “What a Wonderful World”, “When The Saints Go Marching In”, “Dream a Little Dream of Me”, “Ain’t Misbehavin’”, “You Rascal You,”and “Stompin’ at the Savoy.” “We Have All the Time in the World” was featured on the soundtrack of the James Bond film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, and enjoyed renewed popularity in the UK in 1994 when it featured on a Guinness advert. It reached number 3 in the charts on being re-released.
In 1964, Armstrong knocked the Beatles off the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart with “Hello, Dolly!”, which gave the 63-year-old performer a U.S. record as the oldest artist to have a number one song. His 1964 song, “Bout Time” was later featured in the film “Bewitched” (2005).
Armstrong performed in Italy at the 1968 Sanremo Music Festival where he sang “Mi Va di Cantare” alongside his friend, the Eritrean-born Italian singer Lara Saint Paul. In February 1968, he also appeared with Lara Saint Paul on the Italian RAI television channel where he performed “Grassa e Bella,” a track he sang in Italian for the Italian market and C.D.I. label
In 1968, Armstrong scored one last popular hit in the United Kingdom with the highly sentimental pop song “What a Wonderful World”, which topped the British charts for a month; however, the single did not chart at all in America. The song gained greater currency in the popular consciousness when it was used in the 1987 movie Good Morning, Vietnam, its subsequent rerelease topping many charts around the world. Armstrong even appeared on the October 28, 1970 Johnny Cash Show, where he sang Nat “King” Cole’s hit “Rambling Rose” and joined Cash to re-create his performance backing Jimmie Rodgers on “Blue Yodel #9″.
Armstrong enjoyed many types of music, from blues to the arrangements of Guy Lombardo, to Latin American folksongs, to classical symphonies and opera. Armstrong incorporated influences from all these sources into his performances, sometimes to the bewilderment of fans who wanted Armstrong to stay in convenient narrow categories. Armstrong was inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as an early influence. Some of his solos from the 1950s, such as the hard rocking version of “St. Louis Blues” from the WC Handy album, show that the influence went in both directions.
Literature, radio, films and TV
Armstrong appeared in more than a dozen Hollywood films, usually playing a band leader or musician. His most familiar role was as the bandleader cum narrator in the 1956 musical, High Society, in which he sang the title song and performed a duet with Bing Crosby on “Now You Has Jazz”. In 1947, he played himself in the movie New Orleans opposite Billie Holiday, which chronicled the demise of the Storyville district and the ensuing exodus of musicians from New Orleans to Chicago. In the 1959 film, The Five Pennies (the story of the cornetist Red Nichols), he played himself as well as singing and playing several classic numbers, including a remarkable duet with Danny Kaye of When the Saints Go Marching In during which Kaye does a brilliant impersonation of Armstrong.
He also had a part in the film alongside James Stewart in “The Glenn Miller Story” in which Glenn (played by Stewart) went along to Connies Inn and had a jam session with him and a few other noted musicians of the time, Louis sang “Basin St. Blues”..
He was the first African American to host a nationally broadcast radio show in the 1930s. In 1969, Armstrong had a cameo role in the film version of Hello, Dolly! as the bandleader, Louis, to which he sang the title song with actress Barbra Streisand. His solo recording of “Hello, Dolly!” is one of his most recognizable performances.
He was heard on such radio programs as The Story of Swing (1937) and This Is Jazz (1947), and he also made countless television appearances, especially in the 1950s and 1960s, including appearances on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.
Armstrong has a record star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7601 Hollywood Boulevard.
Many of Armstrong’s recordings remain popular. Almost four decades since his passing, a larger number of his recordings from all periods of his career are more widely available than at any time during his lifetime. His songs are broadcast and listened to every day throughout the world, and are honored in various movies, TV series, commercials, and even anime and video games. “A Kiss to Build a Dream On” was included in the video game Fallout 2, accompanying the intro cinematic.
Basin Street Blues – Armstrong 1959 by boberwig
It was also used in the 1993 film Sleepless in Seattle and the 2005 film Lord of War. His 1923 recordings, with Joe Oliver and his Creole Jazz Band, continue to be listened to as documents of ensemble style New Orleans jazz, but more particularly as ripper[jargon] jazz records in their own right. All too often, however, Armstrong recorded with stiff, standard orchestras leaving only his sublime trumpet playing as of interest.
Summertime – Ella & Louis. playback original by artmusic_studio
“Melancholy Blues,” performed by Armstrong and his Hot Seven was included on the Voyager Golden Record sent into outer space to represent one of the greatest achievements of humanity. Most familiar to modern listeners is his ubiquitous rendition of “What a Wonderful World”. In 2008, Armstrong’s recording of Edith Piaf’s famous “La Vie En Rose” was used in a scene of the popular Disney/Pixar film WALL-E. The song was also used in parts, especially the opening trumpets, in the French Film Jeux d’enfants (English: Love Me If You Dare)
Argentine writer Julio Cortázar, a self-described Armstrong admirer, asserted that a 1952 Louis Armstrong concert at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris played a significant role in inspiring him to create the fictional creatures called Cronopios that are the subject of a number of Cortázar’s short stories. Cortázar once called Armstrong himself “Grandísimo Cronopio” (Most Enormous Cronopio).
Armstrong appears as a minor character in Harry Turtledove’s Southern Victory Series. When he and his band escape from a Nazi-like Confederacy, they enhance the insipid mainstream music of the North. A young Armstrong also appears as a minor character in Patrick Neate’s 2001 novel Twelve Bar Blues, part of which is set in New Orleans, and which was a winner at that year’s Whitbread Book Awards.
There is a pivotal scene in 1980s Stardust Memories in which Woody Allen is overwhelmed by a recording of Armstrong’s Stardust and experiences a nostalgic epiphany. The combination of the music and the perfect moment is the catalyst for much of the film’s action, prompting the protagonist to fall in love with an ill-advised woman.
Armstrong is referred to in The Trumpet of the Swan along with Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday. Three siblings in the film are named Louis, Billie, and Ella. The main character, Louis, plays a trumpet, an obvious nod to Armstrong. In the original E. B. White book, he is referred to by name, by a child who hears Louis playing and comments, “He sounds just like Louis Armstrong, the famous trumpet player.”
In the 2009 Disney Film The Princess and the Frog, one of the supporting characters is a trumpet-playing alligator named Louis. During the song “When I’m Human”, Louis sings a line and it says “Y’all heard of Louis Armstrong”.
Awards and honors
Armstrong was posthumously awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1972 by the Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. This Special Merit Award is presented by vote of the Recording Academy’s National Trustees to performers who, during their lifetimes, have made creative contributions of outstanding artistic significance to the field of recording.
Year Category Title Genre Label Result
1964 Male Vocal Performance “Hello, Dolly!”
Pop Kapp Winner
Grammy Hall of Fame
Recordings of Armstrong were inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, which is a special Grammy award established in 1973 to honor recordings that are at least twenty-five years old, and that have “qualitative or historical significance.”
Grammy Hall of Fame
Year recorded Title Genre Label Year inducted Notes
1929 “St. Louis Blues”
OKeh 2008 with Bessie Smith
1928 “Weather Bird” Jazz (Single) OKeh 2008 with Earl Hines
1930 “Blue Yodel #9
(Standing on the Corner)”
Country (Single) Victor 2007 Jimmie Rodgers (Featuring Louis Armstrong)
1932 “All of Me”
Jazz (Single) Columbia 2005
1958 Porgy and Bess
Jazz (Album) Verve 2001 with Ella Fitzgerald
1964 “Hello Dolly!”
Pop (Single) Kapp 2001
1926 “Heebie Jeebies”
Jazz (Single) OKeh 1999
1968 “What a Wonderful World”
Jazz (Single) ABC 1999
1955 “Mack the Knife”
Jazz (Single) Columbia 1997
1925 “St. Louis Blues”
Jazz (Single) Columbia 1993 Bessie Smith with Louis Armstrong, cornet
1928 “West End Blues”
Jazz (Single) OKeh 1974
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame listed Armstrong’s West End Blues on the list of 500 songs that shaped Rock and Roll.
Year recorded Title Label Group
1928 West End Blues
Louis Armstrong and his Hot Five
Inductions and honors
In 1995, the U.S. Post Office issued a Louis Armstrong 32 cents commemorative postage stamp.
Year inducted Title Results Notes
2007 Louisiana Music Hall of Fame
2007 Gennett Records Walk of Fame, Richmond, Indiana
2007 Long Island Music Hall of Fame
2004 Nesuhi Ertegün Jazz Hall of Fame
at Jazz at Lincoln Center
1990 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
1978 Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame
1952 Down Beat Jazz Hall of Fame
Hollywood Walk of Fame
Star at 7601 Hollywood Blvd.
The house where Louis Armstrong lived for close to 28 years was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1977 and is now a museum. The Louis Armstrong House Museum, at 34-56 107th Street (between 34th and 37th Avenues) in Corona, Queens, presents concerts and educational programs, operates as a historic house museum and makes materials in its archives of writings, books, recordings and memorabilia available to the public for research. The museum is operated by the City University of New York’s Queens College, following the dictates of Lucille Armstrong’s will.
The museum opened to the public on October 15, 2003. A visitors center is currently being planned, and estimated to open in 2011.
The influence of Armstrong on the development of jazz is virtually immeasurable. Yet, his irrepressible personality both as a performer, and as a public figure later in his career, was so strong that to some it sometimes overshadowed his contributions as a musician and singer.
As a virtuoso trumpet player, Armstrong had a unique tone and an extraordinary talent for melodic improvisation. Through his playing, the trumpet emerged as a solo instrument in jazz and is used widely today. He was a masterful accompanist and ensemble player in addition to his extraordinary skills as a soloist. With his innovations, he raised the bar musically for all who came after him.
Though Armstrong is widely recognized as a pioneer of scat singing, Ethel Waters precedes his scatting on record in the 1930s according to Gary Giddins and others Billie Holiday and Frank Sinatra are just two singers who were greatly indebted to him. Holiday said that she always wanted Bessie Smith’s ‘big’ sound and Armstrong’s feeling in her singing. Even special musicians like Duke Ellington have praised Armstrong through strong testimonials. Duke Ellington said, “If anybody was a master, it was Louis Armstrong.” In 1950, Bing Crosby, the most successful vocalist of the first half of the 20th century, said, “He is the beginning and the end of music in America.”
On August 4, 2001, the centennial of Armstrong’s birth, New Orleans’s airport was renamed Louis Armstrong International Airport in his honor.
In 2002, the Louis Armstrong’s Hot Five and Hot Seven recordings (1925–1928) are preserved in the United States National Recording Registry, a registry of recordings selected yearly by the National Recording Preservation Board for preservation in the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress.
The US Open tennis tournament’s former main stadium was named Louis Armstrong Stadium in honor of Armstrong who had lived a few blocks from the site
Today, there are many bands worldwide dedicated to preserving and honoring the music and style of Satchmo, including the Louis Armstrong Society located in New Orleans, LA.
Louis Armstrong albums
The Complete Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong on Verve
Ella and Louis
Ella and Louis Again
The Great Summit
Louis and the Angels
Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington: The Great Summit/Complete Sessions
Louis Armstrong at the Crescendo, Vol. 1
Louis Armstrong Hot Five and Hot Seven Sessions
Louis Armstrong Meets Oscar Peterson
Louis Armstrong Plays W.C. Handy
Porgy and Bess (Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong album)
The Real Ambassadors
Struttin’ (Louis Armstrong album)
Gwendolen Mary John (22 June 1876 – 18 September 1939) was a Welsh artist who worked in France for most of her career. She is noted for her still lifes and for her portraits, especially of anonymous female sitters. John was an artist’s model for (and later the lover of) the sculptor
Gwen John was born in Haverfordwest, Wales, the second of four children of Edwin William John and his wife Augusta (née Smith). Edwin John was a solicitor whose dour temperament cast a chill over his family, and Augusta was often absent from the children due to ill health, leaving her two sisters—stern Salvationists—to take her place in the household.
Despite the considerable tension in the family (whose neighbours knew them as “those turbulent Johns”) the children’s interest in literature and art was encouraged. Following the mother’s premature death in 1884, the family moved to Tenby in Pembrokeshire, Wales.
Although she painted and drew from an early age, Gwen John’s earliest surviving work dates from her nineteenth year. From 1895 to 1898, she studied at the Slade School of Art, where her younger brother, Augustus, had begun his studies in 1894.
Cat Cleaning Itself (1904–1908), pencil and watercolor
During this period they shared living quarters, and further reduced their expenses by subsisting on a diet of nuts and fruit. Even as a student, Augustus’ brilliant draughtsmanship and personal glamour made him a celebrity, and stood in contrast to Gwen’s quieter gifts and reticent demeanour.
The Convalescent (ca. 1923-1924) is one of a series of ten similar portraits
Augustus greatly admired his sister’s work, but urged her to take a “more athletic attitude to life” and cautioned her against what he saw as the “unbecoming and unhygienic negligence” of her mode of living. She refused his advice, and demonstrated throughout her life a marked disregard for her physical well-being.
Dorelia McNeill, 1903
In 1898 she made her first visit to Paris with two friends from the Slade, and while there she studied under James McNeill Whistler at the Académie Carmen. She returned to London in 1899, and exhibited her work for the first time in 1900, at the New English Art Club (NEAC Her material circumstances were poor, and in 1900–01 she lived as a squatter in a derelict building.
Study of Gwen for Rodin’s sculpture The Muse
In the autumn of 1903, she travelled to France with her friend Dorelia McNeill (who would later become Augustus John’s second wife). Upon landing in Bordeaux, they set off on a walking tour with their art equipment in hand, intending to reach Rome.
The Nun, Mere Poussepin, 1915 – 21
Sleeping in fields and living on money earned along the way by selling portrait sketches, they made it as far as Toulouse In 1904 the two went to Paris, where John found work as an artist’s model; in that same year, she began modelling for the sculptor Auguste Rodin, and became his lover.
The Nun 1915-1920
Her devotion to the much older Rodin, who was the most famous artist of his time, continued unabated for the next ten years, as documented in her thousands of fervent letters to him. Although quiet in manner, Gwen John was strong-willed and passionate, given to fierce attachments to both men and women that were sometimes disturbing to them. Rodin, despite his genuine feeling for her, eventually resorted to the use of concièrges and secretaries to keep her at a distance.
Nude girl 1910
During her years in Paris she met many of the leading artistic personalities of her time, including Matisse, Picasso, Brâncuşi, and Rainer Maria Rilke. In 1910 she found living quarters in Meudon, a suburb of Paris where she would remain for the rest of her life.
As her affair with Rodin drew to a close, Gwen John sought comfort in Catholicism, and around 1913 she was received into the Church Her notebooks of the period include meditations and prayers; she wrote of her desire to be “God’s little artist” and to “become a saint.” In an often-quoted letter of ca. 1912, she wrote: “As to whether I have anything worth expressing that is apart from the question. I may never have anything to express, except this desire for a more interior life”.
She stopped exhibiting at the NEAC in 1911, but gained an important patron in John Quinn, an American art collector who, from 1910 until his death in 1924, purchased the majority of the works that Gwen John sold.
As an obligation to the Dominican Sisters of Charity at Meudon, she began a series of painted portraits of Mère Marie Poussepin (1653–1744), who founded their order. These paintings, based on a prayer card, established a format—the female figure in three-quarter length seated pose—which became characteristic of her mature style. She painted numerous variants on such subjects as Young Woman in a Spotted Blue Dress, Girl Holding a Cat, and The Convalescent. The identities of most of her models are unknown.
Rear View of Girl and Nun Sitting in Church circa 1920
In Meudon she lived in solitude, except for her cats. In an undated letter she wrote, “I should like to go and live somewhere where I met nobody I know till I am so strong that people and things could not effect me beyond reason.” She wished also to avoid family ties and her decision to live in France after 1903 may have been the result of her desire to escape the overpowering personality of her famous brother, although, according to art historian David Fraser Jenkins, “there were few occasions when she did anything against her will, and she was the more ruthless and dominating of the two.”
Black Cat Sleeping, Facing Right circa 1910-1920
John exhibited in Paris for the first time in 1919 at the Salon d’Automne, and exhibited regularly until the mid-1920s, after which time she became increasingly reclusive and painted less. She had only one solo exhibition in her lifetime, in London in 1926 In that same year she purchased a bungalow in Meudon. In December 1926, distraught after the death of her old friend Rilke, she met and sought religious guidance from her neighbor, the neo-Thomist philosopher Jacques Maritain. She also met Maritain’s sister-in-law, Véra Oumançoff, with whom she formed her last romantic relationship, which lasted until Oumançoff terminated it in 1930.
Cat Sitting, with Eyes Closed 1904
Gwen John’s last dated work is a drawing of 20 March 1933, and no evidence suggests that she drew or painted during the remainder of her life. On 10 September 1939, she wrote her will and then travelled to Dieppe, where she collapsed and was hospitalized. She died there on 18 September 1939.
Seated woman circa 1915
Gwen John’s work consists almost entirely of small-scale portraits and still lifes. Her portraits (usually of anonymous sitters) favored seated women in a three-quarter length format, with their hands in their laps. One of her models, Jeanne Foster, wrote of John: “She takes down my hair and does it like her own … she has me sit as she does, and I feel the absorption of her personality as I sit”. John painted slowly, often returning to a theme repeatedly. She preferred painting of reduced tone and subtle colour relationships, in contrast to her brother’s far more vivid palette.
Half Length Portrait of Girl in Pinafore, Her Hands in Her Lap, circa 1920s
In addition to studio work, she made many sketches and watercolours of women and children in church. Unlike her oil paintings of solitary women, these sketches frequently depict their subjects from behind, and in groups. She also made many sketches of her cats. Aside from two etchings she drew in 1910, she made no prints.
Girl with Long Hair, in Blue Dress, circa 1910s
In 1916 she wrote in a letter: “I think a picture ought to be done in 1 sitting or at most 2. For that one must paint a lot of canvases probably and waste them.” Her notebooks and letters contain numerous personal formulae for observing nature, painting a portrait, designating colors by a system of numbers, and the like. Their meaning is often obscure, but they reveal John’s predilection for order and the lasting influence of Whistler, whose teaching emphasised systematic preparation.
Nocturne Rue Terre Neuve circa 1920s
Though she was once overshadowed by her popular brother, critical opinion now tends to view Gwen as the more talented of the two. Augustus himself had predicted this reversal, saying “In 50 years’ time I will be known as the brother of Gwen John.”
The artist in her room Circa 1920s
John’s pictures are held in many public collections. Some of the best examples are in the National Museum Cardiff and in Tate Britain, London.
Still Lives, by Candida Cave, is a three woman play about Gwen, Ida (Augustus John’s wife) and Dorelia (Augustus John’s mistress).
An art mystery novel The Gwen John Sculpture, by John Malcolm, features her stay in Meudon, France and her relationship with Rodin.
Girl with a cat 1916
Nikāḥ al-Mutʿah (Arabic: نكاح المتعة “Pleasure marriage”), is a fixed-term contractual marriage in Shia Islam, which is automatically dissolved upon completion of its term. Marriage in Islam, including the normal nikah Nikāḥ al-Mutʿah, is contractual. Mutah has the same rulings and Mahr (a marriage gift from groom to bride) as conventional marriage.
All the rights are given to the contractual wife while she is within the contractual period. The mutah offspring have the same rights as the conventional marriage offspring. There are some basic rules and requirements which must be fulfilled for a justified Nikah al-Mutah; for example a virgin girl cannot contract a Mutah without permission from her father or grandfather.
Shi’a and Sunnis agree that Mut’ah was legal in early times, but Sunnis consider that it was was abrogated. Ibn Kathir writes:
“There’s no doubt that in the outset of Islam, Mut’ah was allowed under the Shari’ah”.
Temporary marriage was a custom of the pre-Islamic Arabs. It was used as a convenience shield, useful in the case where a man had to travel away from home for long periods of time, or was not able to commit fully to marriage.
The hadith (prophetic statements and traditions) can be quoted to support this position.
In the hadith collection of Tirmizi, Abdullah Ibn Abbas narrates:
“Temporary marriage was at the beginning of Islam. A man comes by a town where he has no acquaintances, so he marries for a fixed time depending on his stay in the town, the woman looks after his provisions and prepares his food, until the verse was revealed: ‘Except to your wives or what your right hands possess.’”
A majority of Sunnis believe that Muhammad later abolished this type of marriage at several different large events, the most accepted being at Khaybar in 7 AH (629 CE) Bukhari 059.527 and at the Victory of Mecca in 8 AH (630 CE). Most Sunnis believe that Umar later was merely enforcing a prohibition that was established during Muhammad’s time.
Shi’a believe that Umar ibn al-Khattab abolished it, not the prophet of Islam.
He did it during the third year of his reign, 15 ah (637 CE), 6 year after the revelation of verse 4:24, in the Hadith of Umar’s speech of forbidding Mut’ah, but since he, according to them, had no authority to do so, Umar’s prohibition seems to have been temporary and applicable to one place, hence may be ignored (Muslim 2801 1, 2).
Shia Muslims believe that this institution was established by God through the Islamic prophet Muhammad in the Qur’an. Its single mention in the Qur’an is verse 4:24. Tafsir:
فَمَا اسْتَمْتَعْتُمْ بِهِ مِنْهُنَّ فَـَاتُوهُنَّ أُجُورَهُنَّ فَرِيضَةً
“Then give those of these women you have enjoyed the agreed dower” was revealed on the subject of the mut‘ah marriage.”
Shia Muslims have “consensus” (ijma) on interpretation of the following verse in the Quran.
And all married women (are forbidden unto you) save those (captives) whom your right hands possess. It is a decree of Allah for you. Lawful unto you are all beyond those mentioned, so that ye seek them with your wealth in honest wedlock, not debauchery. And those of whom ye seek content (by marrying them), give unto them their portions as a duty. And there is no sin for you in what ye do by mutual agreement after the duty (hath been done). Lo! Allah is ever Knower, Wise
al-Tabari, in his Tafsir, writes under this verse a hadith from Mujahid: “The phrase “Then give those of these women you have enjoyed the agreed dower” means the temporary marriage.”
But Sunni commentators disagree in their Tafsirs, arguing the phrase “Then give those of these women you have enjoyed the agreed dower” refers to permanent marriage.
Mut’ah is one of the distinctive features of Ja’fari jurisprudence. No other school of Islamic jurisprudence allows it. According to Imam Jafar as Sadiq, “One of the matters about which I shall never keep precautionary silence (taqiyya) is the matter of mu’tah.”
Allameh Tabatabaei explains in Tafsir al-Mizan, there are mutawatir or nearly mutawatir traditions narrated from the Shia Imams that Mut’ah is permitted. For example, it has been narrated from Muhammad al-Baqir and Ja’far al-Sadiq that they said “regarding the [above] verse, and there is no blame on you about what you mutually agree after what is appointed.” It means that he increases her dowry or she increases his (fixed) period.
According to Shia scholar Ali Khamenei
“Temporary marriage like permanent marriage, requires a marriage contract. Moreover there is no difference between permanent marriage and temporary marriage except in some aspects of the law, such as there is no divorce in temporary marriage – it terminates with the expiration of the time period. Likewise, neither spouse in a temporary marriage inherits from the other. The temporary marriage contract is as follows: The female says: ” I marry myself to you for the specified dowry (mention the amount) and for the specified time period (mention the time period)”. Then the man says: “I accept”.”
The Nikah al-Mut‘ah is used various ways:
It is used in modern times when people move from one place to another, such as from one country to another. Thus students, workers, scholars may enter into a contractual marriage under the verse of the Qur’an which allows ones emotional needs and human needs to be fulfilled if they are in another country. It may lead to permanent marriage afterwards.
It may be used to become mahram (unmarriable) with somebody with whom they do not intend to cohabit or have a married relationship, but with whom they spend a lot of time (for example, share a house). In order to ease the hijab”modest dress” rules, they engage in a nikah al-Mut‘ah, specifying in the marriage contract that no physical contact is allowed.
Two people who live under the same roof but are not mahram (unmarriable) and must observe hijab may engage in a symbolic nikah al-mut‘ah with the others’ offspring for a few minutes. The Nikahu’l-Mut‘ah does not need to have any practical consequence, but it will make the parent and the offspring’s husband or wife permanently mahram to each other, and thus no longer obliged to observe hijab rules.
Young unmarried couples may decide to use nikahu l-Mut‘ah as a permissible alternative to entering into a relationship on the premise of future permanent marriage.
It might also be seen as a cover for legalized prostitution, as the nikahu l-Mut’ah can last for as little as half an hour, and the woman receives financial compensation. In accordance with the Quran she must wait three months (iddah) before the next contract.
Nikah al-Mut‘ah resembles an ordinary conventional marriage in many, but not all, aspects. It commences in the same way as a Nikah except that a date of expiration for the marriage is added to the marriage contract and the wife’s rights are restricted to some extent. The duration is decided by the couple involved. There are no restrictions on minimum and maximum duration. If the period is longer than what can be reasonably expected to be a lifetime, it will transform into a nikah.
During the period of the marriage, the couple are considered husband and wife, just as in a permanent marriage. At the expiration, the marriage is voided without undergoing a talaq (divorce). In case of sexual intercourse, the woman must observe the iddah (waiting period) before she can marry anyone else.
Differences from permanent marriage
Nikah Mut’a is a marriage with a pre-set time. Different Marja (authorities) may give different fatwa (legal rulings) on some issues. Many of the following rules may be changed in the Islamic marriage contract.
The marriage is agreed to be voided after a pre-set time. This permits the couple to expect and prepare emotionally for the end of the marriage.
No divorce is necessary. In Shi‘a fiqh, divorce is viewed as a complex process and a period aimed at giving the couple the chance to reconcile. This is not necessary in Nikahu’l-Mut‘ah, since the marriage does not end due to disharmony but due to the preset time being reached.
The husband may void the Nikahu l-Mut‘ah earlier than agreed. If he does and they have had sexual intercourse, he must give her full mahr “bride gift”. If they have not had intercourse, he must give her half that amount, though therecommended precaution is that he should give her full mahr. A distinction between a talaq (divorce) in a nikah and voiding a nikahu l-mut‘ah is made in a conversation reported in a hadith collection.
The couple do not inherit from each other. Since the marriage is not permanent, the couple is not considered a single, merged unit.
The husband is financially responsible for any children resulting from the marriage. As it is believed that a woman should not be burdened with the responsibility of providing for a family, she is allowed to work and spend her money as she chooses.
The wife may leave her house against her husband’s will.
The husband need not pay for the wife’s expenses. This complements the above point.
It is permitted to marry a woman from Ahl al-Kitab “People of the Book” (followers of monotheistic religions). The difference in jurisprudence between different religions is overcome by this rule. It is understood that the Muslim Nikah does not have an equivalent form among the People of the Book. Therefore, women who are of the People of the Book are unaccustomed to the special rules of Nikah, for example, the husband’s responsibility for the wife’s expenses or the wife’s not leaving her house against the husband’s wishes. These difference in religious laws make it desirable to wait with the higher level of commitment that Nikah requires until they are overcome, in order to minimize potential friction in family life.
The wives are not counted toward the maximum of four. Since the husband is not required to support the wife, and the marriage is not permanent, the circumstances leading to the restriction of having no more than four wives does not apply. However, many Shi‘a scholars have ruled that one cannot take more than four temporary wives.
The woman might require the consent of her wali (“Legal Guardian”) if she is a virgin. However, there is no consensus among the Grand Ayatollahs on this issue. Most Marjas like Ali Sistani require the father’s permission, to prevent someone taking advantage of her inexperience; while there are few others who do not require guardian’s permission
A contract is engaged when entering the marriage. Shi‘a believe that the marriage contract does not require having witnesses, a written contract or permission from authorities.
The woman observes iddah at the end of the marriage. That is, she must wait before remarrying – but only if she had sexual intercourse
Men are not allowed to marry women of non-monotheistic religions, and women can only marry Muslims.
This topic is highly controversial in the Muslim world. Muslims believe that in the first period of Islam, Mut’ah was permissible, but Sunni Muslims believe that it was later abolished. The duration of this type of marriage is fixed at its inception and is then automatically dissolved upon completion of its term. For this reason, nikah mut‘ah has been widely criticised as the religious cover and legalization of prostitution.
Al-Qurtubi, a 13th century Sunni Islamic scholar writes:
“ All the early scholars have no disputes that Mut’ah is Nikah for a set period of time, this Nikah has no inheritance and man and woman separate when the time expires.
There are hadiths in Sahih Bukhari permitting mut’ah, but then abrogating it.
There are several narrations regrding Sabrah ibn Ma’bad reporting on the prohibition of Mut’ah.
Chapter 4 ayah 24 of the Quran is a controversial verse that has been called “the verse of Mut’ah” due to its reference to Nikah Mut‘ah. Shias cite this verse as demonstrating the permissibility of mutah.
” لا أعلم شيئًا أَحلّه اللَّه ثُم حرّمه, ثُم أحَلّه ثم حرّمه, سوى المتعة …”
ما عرفت موضوعًا أرقنى وأرهقنى مثل هذا الموضوع, وحسبى أن أذكر للقارئ أننى ظللت أقرأ عنه, وأحاول كتابته ثلاثة أعوام كاملة وفى كل مرة كنت أمزق ما كتبت, رغم أننى عادة لا أكتب إلا بعد أن تختمر الفكرة فى ذهنى, وساعة أن أضع القلم فى يدى ينتهى الأمر, ويصعب علىّ أن أبدّل كلمة واحدة, لكنى هذه المرة كنت أبدّل وأغير, وأمزق وأعيد الكتابة وأبتهج وأنا أقرأ, وأنزعج وأنا أكتب, وأتعجب فى كل الأحوال, وكم عبرت عن عجبى بتساؤلات ما زلت عاجزًا عن إجابتها,
كيف أهمل كل طرف ما أورده الطرف الآخر وهو غير قابل للإهمال,
وكيف ارتضوا لأنفسهم أن يصلوا إلى النتائج دون تمعن فى حجج المخالفين,
وكيف لم يتوقفوا كثيرًا أمام موضوع من أخطر الموضوعات,
وهل كان عذرهم أن دلالات قبولهم بزواج المتعة خطيرة,
لأنها لا تتناسق مع ما ألفناه منهم من احترام لنصوص وردت فى كتب السنة وفى تفاسير القرآن وفى أقوال كبار الفقهاء,
وأن موقفهم فى الحالتين صعب, وليس موقفهم وحدهم, بل موقف كاتب هذه السطور, وهو أيضًا موقف القارئ إن استكمل قراءة الموضوع, لأن أصعب ما يمر به صاحب الفكر أو التفكير أن يكشف أن ما يتعاطف معه وجدانيًا ليس بالضرورة هو الصواب, فقد يكون وقد لايكون, وأن الصواب المطلق أحيانًا عسير المنال, خاصة إذا كان لدى الطرف الآخر من المنطق بقدر ما لدينا من الشك, وعنده من الحجج بقدر ما عندنا من علامات الاستفهام.
حسنًا … ليس الأمر أمر لوم أو تساؤل بقدر ما هو أمر تمهيد لرياضة ذهنية ما أظن أن لها نظيرًا فى قضية فقهية أخرى, فطرفا الحوار مختلفان أشد الاختلاف,
فالسنة ترى أن المتعة حُرمت إلى الأبد,
والشيعة ترى أن المتعة حلال إلى الأبد,
والسنة تستند إلى مراجعها المعتمدة من صحاح وسنن ومسانيد وتفاسير,
والشيعة تبالغ فى استعراض قوة حججها بالاستناد إلى نفس المصادر, والاعتماد على أحاديث واردة فيها أيضًا,
والطرفان يحتكمان إلى نفس الآيات القرآنية, لكنهما يخرجان منها بتفسيرات ودلالات لا تلتقى أبدًا ولا تتفق مطلقًا, بل يخرج هذا بعكس ما يخرج ذاك ويؤكده, ويخرج ذاك بنقيض تفسيره هذا وبسنده,
وكل طرف يلقى بحجته فتظنها نهاية المطاف فإذا بالطرف الآخر يثبت لك أنها بدايته وأنها مردود عليها بل كأنها لم تكن,
وكل رأى لكل طرف مهما بلغت وجاهته له رد يبدو لك وكأنه لا رد عليه,
فإذا بالرد عليه جاهز وإذا بدحضه ممكن,
وإذا بك بعد عشرات الآراء والردود تعود إلى نقطة البدء من جديد.
ما الذى يطمع فيه القارئ أكثر من ذلك؟,
وهل هناك أمتع من مناقشة قضية يرى أحد طرفى النقاش أنها بغاء لا شك فيه, بينما يرى الطرف الآخر أنها زواج لا شبهة فيه,
فإذا استمع القارئ إلى حجة هذا اقتنع بها, ثم إذا استمع إلى حجة ذاك وجدها مقنعة, ثم إذا بهذا يرد على ذاك ومعه حق, فإذا بذاك ينتقد هذا ومعه حق, وهكذا لا يصل القارئ إلى قرار إلا وتراجع عنه ولا يقتنع برأى إلا وتخلى عنه, ولا يصل فى النهاية إلا إلى ما بدأ به, هذا يراه بغاء عن اقتناع, وهذا يراه زواجًا ويعرض حجته عن إقناع, وما على القارئ إلا أن يختار, ليس كما يقول أحد الشعراء المعاصرين, ما بين الجنة والنار, بل بين اختيار واختيار,
وهو حائر فى اختياره على ما نظن, فهو إن رفض زواج المتعة فحجته أن جمعًا من كبار الصحابة وأئمة التابعين قد رفضوه, ومنهم عمر وعبدالله بن الزبير, والأئمة الخمسة, أبو حنيفة ومالك والشافعى وابن حنبل وزيد, وغيرهم كثير,
وما أظن أن هؤلاء يجتمعون على خطأ أو ينتصرون لباطل,
وهو إن قبل بزواج المتعة فحجته أن جمعًا آخر من كبار الصحابة والتابعين قد ناصروه, منهم عبدالله بن عباس , عبدالله بن مسعود, وأبىّ بن كعب, وابن جريج, وقتادة, وسعيد بن جبير, وسعد بن المسيّب, والإمام جعفر الصادق, وباقى الأئمة الإثنى عشر وغيرهم كثير,
وما أظن أن هؤلاء أيضًا يجتمعون على خطأ أو ينتصرون لباطل,
وأغلب الظن ان الله قد اراد برحمته أن يظل هذا الموضوع مثارًا, بل مثيرًا للخلاف, لحكمة ربما كشفتها لنا الأيام؟؟؟.
لقد خطر لى وأنا أكتب هذا الموضوع أن أمارس تجربة جديدة فى الكتابة, أشرك فيها القارئ معى ومع طرفى الحوار, بحيث لا يغيب القارئ ولا الكاتب عن إطار المحاورة, وبحيث يتدخل الكاتب حين يشعر بضرورة ذلك ليس من خلال طرفى الحوار, بل من خلال صفته كطرف ثالث مستقل يراقب الحوار الدائر ولا تغفل عينه عن القارئ منذ البداية وحتى الختام,
على أمل أن يتسع صدر القارئ للحوار معى وللمشاركة منذ البدء فى صياغة منهج العرض والتحليل, وهو منهج غريب استرشدت فيه بأسلوب الرسامين حين يخطون ما يسمون ( اسكتش ) بالقلم الرصاص, ثم يضيفون الألوان بعد ذلك وأقصد هنا ( بالاسكتش ) أننى تصورت كيف سيدور الحوار ومن الذى سيبدأ وكيف سيكون الرد, ثم متى تأتى الحجة التالية وكيف يقود الرد عليها إلى حجة جديدة , وهكذا.
وأكثر من هذا فقد كتبت مختصرًا لهذا التصور حتى لا أنساه, وما إن شرعت فى تلوين اللوحة, وأقصد بالطبع كتابة أسانيد كل طرف عند عرضه لوجهة نظره, حتى واجهت مشكلة صعبة تتمثل فى أن بعض الأسانيد مثل الأحاديث النبوية الواردة فى مصادر متعددة, أو التفسيرات القرآنية أو الآراء الفقهية, يمكن أن تشغل مساحة واسعة خلال عرض الرأى, ولكونها توثيقًا لا أكثر, ونتيجة أيضًا لطول بعضها ولتكراره, فإن وضعها بين سطور الحوار يؤدى إلى فقد القارئ لذة المتابعة للحجة والحجة النقيض, وغياب سلاسة العرض وسرعة إيقاعه, وقد خطر لى أن أكتب الأسانيد فى المذكرات التفسيرية, فوجدتها سوف تبتلع مساحة الصفحات, وفكرت فى نقلها لنهاية الفصل بعد تمامه فوجدتها ستبتعد عن السياق, وهنا خطر لى أن أفعل شيئًا آخر, وهو ما أسميته بالمداخلة وأقصد بها قطع الحوار فيما يشبه الاستراحة, ثم المداخلة بذكر أسانيد الطرفين مع تمييز كتابتها بخط مختلف يحيث يمكن للقارئ أن يراجعها إذا أراد, أو أن يعبرها مستكملاً الحوار إذا شاء,
لا شك أننا أطلنا فى المقدمة, ولا شك أن القارئ يتعجلنا للبدء فى شوق, ولا شك أننا لسنا أقل شوقًا منه لاستعراض حجج الطرفين:
سؤال و جواب
ما هو زواج المتعة؟.
هو زواج لأجل ( زواج مؤقت ) مقابل أجر ( مهر ) يُتفق عليه بالتراضى ( ولو كان قبضة من تمر أو من دقيق ).
ماذا يحدث إذا انتهى الأجل؟.
ينتهى الزواج بغير طلاق.
وهل هناك حد أدنى أو أقصى للأجل؟.
لا, فقد يكون الأجل ساعة أو ساعات, يومًا أو أيامًا, شهرًا أو شهورًا, سنة أو سنوات.
هل يثبت بهذا الزواج النسب؟.
نعم, يثبت به نسب الأبناء, وميراثهم أيضًا …
وهل ترث الزوجة؟.
لا, إلا إذا اشترطت ذلك عن الزواج …
هل تستحق الزوجة نفقة؟.
لا, إلا إذا اشترطت ذلك عند الزواج.
وهل زواج المتعة محدد بعدد؟.
لا, ليس محددًا بعدد بعكس الزواج الدائم المحدد بأربع زوجات …
ما معنى هذا؟.
معناه: أنه لا حد لعدد زوجات المتعة, وقد روى عن ابن جريج فقيه مكة الشهير أنه تزوج سبعين بالمتعة تأكيدًا لحِلّها …
وهل يجوز تجديد المدة بعد انتهاء الأجل؟.
نعم, يجوز تجديد المدة مرة ومرات بعد انتهائها دون حاجة لمحلل ..
وكيف ينعقد الزواج؟.
ينعقد الزواج بلفظ من ثلاثة تذكره الزوجة ( زوجتك أو أنكحتك أو متعتك نفسى ) …
وهل لزواج المتعة أحكام تفصيلية أخرى؟.
نعم, لزواج المتعة أحكام تفصيلية أخرى يستطيع القارئ الرجوع إليها فى مراجع الفقه الشيعى.
ماهى المراجع الشيعية؟.
المراجع الشيعية متعددة ومنها:
المختصر النافع فى فقه الإمامية للشيخ أبو القاسم ـ دار الأضواء ـ بيروت.
إسلامنا فى التوفيق بين السنة والشيعة: للدكتور مصطفى الرافعى ـ مؤسسة الأعلمى للمطبوعات ـ بيروت.
روح التشيع: للشيخ عبد الإله نعمة ـ دار الفكر اللبنانى ـ بيروت.
نقض الوشيعة: للإمام السيد محسن العاملى ـ مؤسسة الأعلمى للمطبوعات ـ بيروت.
المراجعات: للإمام عبد الحسين الموسو ـ دار علاء الدين ـ بيروت.
ونوصى بقراءة الكتب الثلاث الأخيرة لسعة العلم ووضوح العرض وبلاغة الأسلوب واعتدال المنهج وهى من أهم ما استندنا إليه من مراجع.
ما معنى ما سبق؟.
معناه: أن المسلم يستطيع أن يتزوج مسلمة أو كتابية, بعقد زواج محدد المدة ( ساعة مثلاً ), مقابل مبلغ معين ( خمسة جنيهات مثلاً ) يتفقان على, فإذا انتهت المدة, انتهى الأمر بغير طلاق.
A scientist gets on a train to go to New York. His cabin also has a poor farmer in it. To pass the time the scientist decides to play a game with the guy.
“I will ask you a question and if you get it wrong, you have to pay me 1 dollar. Then you ask me a question, and if I get it wrong, you get 10 dollars. You ask me a question first.” The farmer thinks for a while.
“I know. What has three legs, takes 10 hours to climb up a palm tree, and 10 seconds to get back down?”
The scientist is confused and thinks long and hard about the question. Finally, the train ride is coming to an end. As it pulls into the station, the scientist takes out 10 dollars and gives it to the farmer.
“I don’t know. What has 3 legs, takes 10 hours to get up a palm tree and 10 seconds to get back down?”
The farmer takes the 10 dollars and puts it into his pocket. He then takes out 1 dollar and hands it to the scientist.
“I don’t know.”
Tutankhamun (alternately spelled with Tutenkh-, -amen, -amon), Egyptian twt-ˤnḫ-ı͗mn, approx. [təwaːt ʕaːnəx ʔaˈmaːn]; 1341 BC – 1323 BC) was an Egyptian pharaoh of the 18th dynasty(ruled c.1333 BC – 1323 BC in the conventional chronology), during the period of Egyptian history known as the New Kingdom. His original name, Tutankhaten, means “Living Image of Aten”, while Tutankhamun means “Living Image of Amun”. In hieroglyphs the name Tutankhamun was typically written Amen-tut-ankh, because of a scribal custom that placed a divine name at the beginning of a phrase to show appropriate reverence. He is possibly also the Nibhurrereya of the Amarna letters. He was likely the 18th dynasty king ‘Rathotis’ who, according to Manetho, an ancient historian, had reigned for nine years — a figure which conforms with Flavius Josephus’s version of Manetho’s Epitome.
The 1922 discovery by Howard Carter and George Herbert, 5th Earl of Carnarvon of Tutankhamun’s nearly intact tomb received worldwide press coverage. It sparked a renewed public interest in ancient Egypt, for which Tutankhamun’s burial mask remains the popular symbol. Exhibits of artifacts from his tomb have toured the world. In February 2010, the results of DNA tests confirmed that Tutankhamun’s Y-chromosome belongs to the R1b haplogroup. R1b is the most common Y-chromosome haplogroup in Europe reaching its highest concentrations in Ireland, Scotland, western England and the European Atlantic seaboard, rippling through the rest of Europe. The tests also confirmed that he was the son of Akhenaten (mummy KV55) and his sister/wife (mummy KV35YL), whose name is unknown but whose remains are positively identified as “The Younger Lady” mummy found in KV35.
Tutankhamun was born in 1341 BC, the son of Akhenaten (formerly Amenhotep IV) and one of his sisters As a prince he was known as Tutankhaten. He ascended to the throne in 1333 BC, at the age of nine, taking the reign name of Tutankhamun. His wet-nurse was a certain woman called Maia, known from her tomb at Saqqara.
When he became king, he married his half sister, Ankhesenepatan, who later changed her name to Ankhesenamun. They had two daughters, both stillborn.
Given his age, the king must have had very powerful advisers, presumably including General Horemheb, the Vizier Ay, and Maya the “Overseer of the Treasury”. Horemheb records that the king appointed him lord of the land as hereditary prince to maintain law. He also noted his ability to calm the young king when his temper flared.
In his third regnal year, Tutankhamun reversed several changes made during his father’s reign. He ended the worship of the god Aten and restored the god Amun to supremacy. The ban on the cult of Amun was lifted and traditional privileges were restored to its priesthood. The capital was moved back to Thebes and the city of Akhetaten abandoned. This is also when he changed his name to Tutankhamun.
As part of his restoration, the king initiated building projects, in particular at Thebes and Karnak, where he dedicated a temple to Amun. Many monuments were erected, and an inscription on his tomb door declares the king had “spent his life in fashioning the images of the gods”. The traditional festivals were now celebrated again, including those related to the Apis Bull, Horemakhet, andOpet. His restoration stela says:
The temples of the gods and goddesses … were in ruins. Their shrines were deserted and overgrown. Their sanctuaries were as non-existent and their courts were used as roads … the gods turned their backs upon this land … If anyone made a prayer to a god for advice he would never respond – and the same applied to a goddess.
The country was economically weak and in turmoil following the reign of Akhenaten. Diplomatic relations with other kingdoms had been neglected, and Tutankhamun sought to restore them, in particular with the Mitanni. Evidence of his success is suggested by the gifts from various countries found in his tomb. Despite his efforts for improved relations, battles with Nubians and Asiatics were recorded in his mortuary temple at Thebes. His tomb contained body armour and folding stools appropriate for military campaigns. However, given his youth and physical disabilities, which seemed to require the use of a cane in order to walk, historians speculate that he did not take part personally in these battles.
Health and appearance
Tutankhamun was slight of build, and was roughly 170 cm (5 ft 7 in) tall. He had large front incisors and the overbite characteristic of the Thutmosid royal line to which he belonged. He also had a pronounced dolichocephalic (elongated) skull, although it was within normal bounds and highly unlikely to have been pathological. Given the fact that many of the royal depictions of Akhenaten often featured such an elongated head, it is likely an exaggeration of a family trait, rather than a distinct abnormality. The research also showed that the Tutankhamun had “a slightly cleft palate”and possibly a mild case of scoliosis.
Cause of death
There are no surviving records of Tutankhamun’s final days. What caused Tutankhamun’s death has been the subject of considerable debate. Major studies have been conducted in an effort to establish the cause of death.
Although there is some speculation that Tutankhamun was assassinated, the general consensus is that his death was accidental. A CT scan taken in 2005 shows that he had badly broken his leg shortly before his death, and that the leg had become infected. DNA analysis conducted in 2010 showed the presence of malaria in his system. It is believed that these two conditions combined led to his death.
Product of incest
According to an article in the September 2010 issue of National Geographic magazine, Tutankhamun was the result of a incestuous relationship and, because of that, may have suffered from several genetic defects that contributed to his early death. For years, scientists have tried to unravel ancient clues as to why the boy king of Egypt, who reigned for 10 years, died at the age of 19. Several theories have been put forth. As stated above, one was that he was killed by a blow to the head. Another put the blame on a broken leg. As recently as June 2010, German scientists said they believe there is evidence he died of sickle cell disease.
Research conducted by archaeologists, radiologists, and geneticists who started performing CT scans on Tutankhamun five years ago found that he was not killed by a blow to the head, as previously thought. That same team began doing DNA research on Tutankhamun’s mummy, as well as the mummified remains of other members of his family, in 2008. DNA tests finally put to rest questions about Tutankhamun’s lineage, proving that his father was Akhenaten, but that his mother was not one of Akhenaten’s known wives.
His mother was one of Akhenaten’s five sisters, although it is not known which one. New CT images discovered congenital flaws, which are more common among the children of incest. Siblings are more likely to pass on twin copies of harmful genes, which is why children of incest more commonly manifest genetic defects. It is suspected he also had a partially cleft palate, another congenital defect.
The team was able to establish with a probability of better than 99.99 percent that Amenhotep III was the father of the individual in KV55, who was in turn the father of Tutankhamun. The DNA of the so-called Younger Lady (KV35YL), found lying beside Queen Tiye in the alcove of KV35, matched that of the boy king. Her DNA proved that, like Akhenaten, she was the daughter of Amenhotep III and Tiye; thus, Tut’s parents were brother and sister. Queen Tiye held much political influence at court and acted as an adviser to her son after the death of her husband.
While the data are still incomplete, the study suggests that one of the mummified fetuses found in Tut’s tomb is the daughter of Tutankhamun himself, and the other fetus is probably his child as well. So far only partial data for the two female mummies from KV21 has been obtained. One of them, KV21A, may well be the infants’ mother and thus, Tutankhamun’s wife, Ankhesenamun. It is known from history that she was the daughter of Akhenaten and Nefertiti, and thus likely her husband’s half sister. Another consequence of inbreeding can be children whose genetic defects do not allow them to be brought to term.
The research team consisted of Egyptian scientists Yehia Gad and Somaia Ismail from the National Research Center in Cairo. The CT scans were conducted under the direction of Ashraf Selim and Sahar Saleem of the Faculty of Medicine atCairo University. Three international experts served as consultants:
Carsten Pusch of the Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen, Germany; Albert Zink of the EURAC-Institute for Mummies and the Iceman in Bolzano, Italy; and Paul Gostner of the Central Hospital Bolzano.
As stated above, the team discovered DNA from several strains of a parasite proving he was infected with the most severe strain of malaria several times in his short life. Malaria can trigger circulatory shock or cause a fatal immune response in the body, either of which can lead to death. And while Tut did suffer from a bone disease which was crippling, it would not have been fatal. “Perhaps he struggled against others [congenital flaws] until a severe bout of malaria or a leg broken in an accident added one strain too many to a body that could no longer carry the load,” wrote Zahi Hawass, archeologist and head of Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquity involved in the research.
Tutankhamun was buried in a tomb that was small relative to his status. His death may have occurred unexpectedly, before the completion of a grander royal tomb, so that his mummy was buried in a tomb intended for someone else. This would preserve the observance of the customary seventy days between death and burial.
King Tutankhamun’s mummy still rests in his tomb in the Valley of the Kings. November 4, 2007, 85 years to the day after Carter’s discovery, the 19-year-old pharaoh went on display in his underground tomb at Luxor, when the linen-wrapped mummy was removed from its golden sarcophagus to a climate-controlled glass box. The case was designed to prevent the heightened rate of decomposition caused by the humidity and warmth from tourists visiting the tomb.
Discovery of tomb
Tutankhamun seems to have faded from public consciousness in Ancient Egypt within a short time after his death, and he remained virtually unknown until the 1920s. His tomb was robbed at least twice in antiquity, but based on the items taken (including perishable oils and ) and the evidence of restoration of the tomb after the intrusions, it seems clear that these robberies took place within several months at most of the initial burial. Eventually the location of the tomb was lost because it had come to be buried by stone chips from subsequent tombs, either dumped there or washed there by floods. In the years that followed, some huts for workers were built over the tomb entrance, clearly not knowing what lay beneath. When at the end of the twentieth dynasty the Valley of the Kings burials were systematically dismantled, the burial of Tutankhamun was overlooked, presumably because knowledge of it had been lost and his name may have been forgotten.
Relics from Tutankhamun’s tomb are among the most traveled artifacts in the world. They have been to many countries, but probably the best-known exhibition tour was The Treasures of Tutankhamun tour, which ran from 1972 to 1979. This exhibition was first shown in London at the British Museum from March 30 until September 30, 1972. More than 1.6 million visitors came to see the exhibition, some queuing for up to eight hours and it was the most popular exhibition in the Museum’s history. The exhibition moved on to many other countries, including the USA, USSR, Japan, France, Canada, and West Germany. The Metropolitan Museum of Art organized the U.S. exhibition, which ran from November 17, 1976 through April 15, 1979. More than eight million attended.
In 2004, the tour of Tutankhamun funerary objects entitled “Tutankhamen: The Golden Hereafter” made up of fifty artifacts from Tutankhamun’s tomb and seventy funerary goods from other 18th Dynasty tombs began in Basle, Switzerland, went to Bonn Germany, the second leg of the tour, and from there toured the United States. The exhibition returned to Europe and to London. The European tour was organised by the Art and Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), and the Egyptian Museum in cooperation with the Antikenmuseum Basel and Sammlung Ludwig. Deutsche Telekom sponsored the Bonn exhibition.
In 2005, Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, in partnership with Arts and Exhibitions International and the National Geographic Society, launched the U.S. tour of the Tutenkahamun treasures and other 18th Dynasty funerary objects this time called “Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs”. It was expected to draw more than three million people.
The exhibition started in Los Angeles, California, then moved to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Chicago and Philadelphia. The exhibition then moved to London before finally returning to Egypt in August 2008. Subsequent events have propelled an encore of the exhibition in the United States, beginning with the Dallas Museum of Art in October 2008 which hosted the exhibition until May 2009. The tour will continue to other U.S. cities. After Dallas the exhibition moved to the de Young Museum in San Francisco, to be followed the Discovery Times Square Exposition in New York City.
The exhibition includes 80 exhibits from the reigns of Tutankhamun’s immediate predecessors in the Eighteenth dynasty, such as Hatshepsut, whose trade policies greatly increased the wealth of that dynasty and enabled the lavish wealth of Tutankhamun’s burial artifacts, as well as 50 from Tutankhamun’s tomb. The exhibition does not include the gold mask that was a feature of the 1972-1979 tour, as the Egyptian government has determined that the mask is too fragile to withstand travel and will never again leave the country.
A separate exhibition called “Tutankhamun and the World of the Pharaohs” began at the Ethnological Museum in Vienna from March 9 to September 28, 2008 showing a further 140 treasures from the tomb. This exhibition continued to Atlanta and the Indianapolis Children’s Museum.
Main article: Curse of the Pharaohs
For many years, rumors of a “Curse of the Pharaohs” (probably fueled by newspapers seeking sales at the time of the discovery[ persisted, emphasizing the early death of some of those who had first entered the tomb. However, a recent study of journals and death records indicates no statistical difference between the age of death of those who entered the tomb and those on the expedition who did not. Indeed, most lived past seventy.
Aftermath of death
Although it is unknown how he meet his death, the Amarna letters indicate that Tutankhamun’s wife, recently widowed, wrote to the Hittite king Suppiluliuma I, asking if she could marry one of his sons, saying that she was very afraid, but would not take one of her own people as husband. However, the son was killed before reaching his new wife. Shortly afterward Ay Tutankhamun’s vizier married Tutankhamun’s widow and became Pharaoh as a war between the two countries was fought, and Egypt was left defeated.
Tutankhamun was nine years old when he became pharaoh and reigned for approximately ten years. In historical terms, Tutankhamun’s significance stems from his rejection of the radical religious innovations introduced by his predecessor and father, Akhenaten. Secondly, his tomb in the Valley of the Kings was discovered by Carter almost completely intact — the most complete ancient Egyptian royal tomb ever found. As Tutankhamun began his reign at such an early age, his vizier and eventual successor Ay was probably making most of the important political decisions during Tutankhamun’s reign.
Tutankhamun was one of the few kings worshiped as a god and honored with a cult-like following in his own lifetime A stela discovered at Karnak and dedicated to Amun-Re and Tutankhamun indicates that the king could be appealed to in his deified state for forgiveness and to free the petitioner from an ailment caused by wrongdoing. Temples of his cult were built as far away as in Kawa and Faras in Nubia. The title of the sister of the Viceroy of Kush included a reference to the deified king, indicative of the universality of his cult.
In popular culture
Main article: Ancient Egypt in the Western imagination
If Tutankhamun is the world’s best known pharaoh, it is partly because his tomb is among the best preserved, and his image and associated artifacts the most-exhibited. As Jon Manchip White writes, in his foreword to the 1977 edition of Carter’s The Discovery of the Tomb of Tutankhamun, “The pharaoh who in life was one of the least esteemed of Egypt’s kings has become in death the most renowned.” As a side effect, the interest in this tomb and its alleged “curse” led to horror movies featuring a vengeful mummy.
Film and television
- We Want Our Mummy, a 1939 film by the Three Stooges. In it, the slapstick comedy trio explore the tomb of the midget King Rutentuten (pronounced “rootin’-tootin’”) and his Queen, Hotsy Totsy. A decade later, they were crooked used-chariot salesmen in Mummy’s Dummies, in which they ultimately assist a different King Rootentootin (Vernon Dent) with a toothache.
- King Tut, played by Victor Buono, was a villain on the Batman TV series which aired from 1966 to 1968. Mild-mannered Egyptologist William Omaha McElroy, after suffering a concussion, came to believe he was the reincarnation of Tutankhamun. His response to this knowledge was to embark upon a crime spree that required him to fight against the “Caped Crusaders”, Batman and Robin.
- The Discovery Kids animated series Tutenstein stars a fictional mummy based on Tutankhamun, named Tutankhensetamun and nicknamed Tutenstein in his afterlife. He is depicted as a lazy and spoiled 10-year-old mummy boy who must guard a magical artifact called the Scepter of Was from the evil Egyptian god of Set.
- The first episode of the 2005 BBC series Egypt: Rediscovering a Lost World focuses on the life and death of Tutankhamun and the serendipitous discovery of his tomb.
- La Reine Soleil (2007 animated film by Philippe Leclerc), features Akhenaten, Tutankhaten (later Tutankhamun), Akhesa (Ankhesenepaten, later Ankhesenamun), Nefertiti, and Horemheb in a complex struggle pitting the priests of Amun against Akhenaten’s intolerant monotheism.
A total naked woman rushed in a taxi. The taxi driver turned back and stared at her so keenly. The woman asked the taxi driver, “Why are you staring at me that way, haven’t you ever seen a naked woman?” The taxi driver replied, “No, No, I just wonder where you have my money.”Share on Facebook
(CNN) – Rush Limbaugh’s apology for labeling a law student a “slut” and “prostitute” failed to stem an exodus of advertisers from his radio show, as another company said Monday it was withdrawing spots from the conservative program.
AOL Inc. became the eighth company to announce in a statement online they were removing ads from “The Rush Limbaugh Show,” which is the most listened to talk radio show in the United States.
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“At AOL one of our core values is that we act with integrity,” the company wrote in a post on their corporate Facebook page. “We have monitored the unfolding events and have determined that Mr. Limbaugh’s comments are not in line with our values. As a result we have made the decision to suspend advertising on The Rush Limbaugh Radio show.”
Other sponsors dropping spots from Limbaugh’s show include mattress companies like Sleep Number and The Sleep Train, and companies that assist small businesses like Citrix, LegalZoom and QuickenLoans.
One company, Carbonite, a data backup service, said feedback from customers led to the decision to remove advertising from Limbaugh’s show. The company’s CEO said Limbaugh’s apology Saturday wasn’t enough to put his company’s ads back on the air.
“No one with daughters the age of Sandra Fluke, and I have two, could possibly abide the insult and abuse heaped upon this courageous and well-intentioned young lady,” Carbonite CEO David Friend said. “Mr. Limbaugh, with his highly personal attacks on Miss Fluke, overstepped any reasonable bounds of decency. Even though Mr. Limbaugh has now issued an apology, we have nonetheless decided to withdraw our advertising from his show. We hope that our action, along with the other advertisers who have already withdrawn their ads, will ultimately contribute to a more civilized public discourse.”
In his apology Saturday, Limbaugh admitted his “choice of words was not the best, and in the attempt to be humorous, I created a national stir.”
Appearing on the ABC program “The View” Monday, Fluke said Limbaugh’s apology was issued under pressure from advertisers.
“I don’t think that a statement like this, saying that his choice of words was not the best, changes anything,” Fluke said. “And especially when that statement is issued when he’s under significant pressure from his sponsors who have begun to pull their support from the show.”
It was not clear Monday whether other companies who suspended their advertising before Limbaugh’s apology would reinstate their support following the host’s apology. Calls to Sleep Number, The Sleep Train and Legal Zoom were not immediately returned.
ProFlowers, an online flower delivery service, said in a Facebook posting Sunday Limbaugh’s comments were at odds with their corporate image.
“At ProFlowers, our mission is to delight our customers with fresh and long lasting flowers, and that is our singular focus each and every day,” the statement read.
It continued, “Mr. Limbaugh’s recent comments went beyond political discourse to a personal attack and do not reflect our values as a company. As such, ProFlowers has suspended advertising on The Rush Limbaugh radio program.”
On Monday, Pentagon press secretary George Little said the Defense Department had no plans to stop broadcasting Rush Limbaugh’s show to service members on the American Forces Network. Limbaugh’s show is part of the Defense Department’s policy to broadcast shows that “reflect a wide range” of opinion, Little said.
Little said he had “not heard” of any review of whether Limbaugh’s show remains suitable for broadcast after the controversy surrounding Limbaugh. Little also said he could not immediately say what the standards are for whether certain broadcasts are considered suitable by the Defense Department.
VoteVets.org, a veterans advocacy organization, released a statement from female service members calling on Defense Department to stop airing “The Rush Limbaugh Show” on the American Forces Network.
“Rush Limbaugh has a freedom of speech and can say what he wants, but in light of his horribly misogynistic comments, American Forces Radio should no longer give him a platform,” the statement said. “Our entire military depends on troops respecting each other – women and men. There simply can be no place on military airwaves for sentiments that would undermine that respect.”
On his radio show Monday, Limbaugh addressed the advertisers who dropped their spots from his program, telling his audience, “I’m sorry to see them go. They have profited handsomely from you. These advertisers who have split the scene have done very well from their access to you, my audience on this program.”
He added, “That’s a business decision and it’s theirs alone to make. They’ve decided they don’t want you or your business anymore.”
Outcry over Limbaugh’s comments began last week after he criticized Sandra Fluke, a student at Georgetown Law, for advocating broad health care coverage for contraception at a hearing on Capitol Hill.
Limbaugh made the original comments Wednesday, in which he also suggested Fluke wanted taxpayers to pay for her to have sex.
“What does it say about the college co-ed [Sandra] Fluke, who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says she must be paid to have sex?” Limbaugh asked. “What does that make her? It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex. She’s having so much sex she can’t afford the contraception. She wants you and me and the taxpayers to pay her to have sex.”
Top Republicans and Democrats denounced the talk show host, and President Barack Obama called Fluke Friday to offer his support.Share on Facebook