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in 1900, his life paralleled many of the twists and turns of the
middle century. In the twenties, he stunned his jazz peers with
an instrumental originality they had never imagined. The thirties
saw him rise to the top of the pop music echelon, as his peerless
personality swept up admiring listeners of all colors. The forties
brought both a sinking of fortunes, with a ban on recording during
the war, and a bold resurgence at the end of the decade. By the
fifties, Louis' voice mellowed into an evocative instrument of
its own, capable of elevating a novelty like "Mack the Knife"
or a ballad like "That Old Feeling" into timeless mementos.
Even in his final years, though deprived of the facility to make
his famous cornet produce the kind of stirring sound that first
brought him recognition, Louis Armstrong had the clout to create
his most famous hits".