To his mother’s consternation, Jamie, a future Louis Armstrong, hung out with the wrong type of friends. He’s forced to join band by the school principal, and with the help of his band director, Jamie becomes enamored with an old beat up trumpet, changing his life forever.

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This story is based on how I began my music career in 1944. Mr. Forsyth, principal of Port Chester Junior School, came into my 9th grade study hall and told me to step outside. Waiting in the hallway was Mr. Jacobs, our new band director, who remembered me from 5th grade as a singer with a “good ear” (I used to harmonize every song when he came into our class to teach music and singing). The story line is true up to the point where Mr. Jacobs teaches me the fingerings to the C scale. He loaned me a school baritone horn (not a trumpet as in the story), which I played the next two years. When I entered Port Chester High School, I bought my first used professional Olds trombone with the $.25 an hour earned from baby-sitting for Mr. Paul Weckesser, our band director.


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