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Jazz journalist finds rare footage of 14-year-old Louis Armstrong


A jazz journalist believes he has found rare footage of a 14-year-old Louis Armstrong on the streets of New Orleans.

Journalist James Karst believes he has found the footage of a pre-fame Armstrong walking the streets of New Orleans, dating back to 1916. The short clip shows a young boy carrying a newspaper before briefly turning to smile at the camera.

“A couple of seconds into this film clip, a newsboy walks into the scene,” Karst explains to NPR. “His back is facing the camera at first. And then he turns around, and you can see that he’s holding a newspaper — what I believe to be the New Orleans Item, an afternoon paper. And he briefly engages the camera, smiles and then he turns around and keeps going.”

“I saw it and immediately recognised that Louis Armstrong, when he was a young man in this very year, was a newsboy in New Orleans, and was one of, apparently, relatively few black newsboys in New Orleans in this location,” Karst added.

[MORE] – Watch the earliest known footage of Louis Armstrong performing live in Copenhagen, 1933

Here it is: