Louis Armstrong's Secret Child Opens Up in 'Little Satchmo' Trailer - Rolling Stone
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Louis Armstrong’s Only, and Secret, Child Opens Up in New ‘Little Satchmo’ Trailer

Sharon Preston-Folta shares recordings, letters from her father, who was unable to publicly acknowledge her

Sharon Preston-Folta discusses growing up as the secret child of jazz great Louis Armstrong in the new teaser for the upcoming documentary, Little Satchmo.

Preston-Folta was Armstrong’s only child, but because he fathered her with a mistress, Lucille Preston, a dancer at the Cotton Club, Armstrong never recognized or acknowledged Preston-Folta publicly. It wasn’t until 2012, decades after Armstrong’s death, that Preston-Folta revealed who her father was, publishing a memoir, Little Satchmo: Living in the Shadow of My Father, Louis Daniel Armstrong, which served as the basis for the new documentary.

In the new teaser, Preston-Folta shares a selection of private cassette recordings and letter excerpts from Armstrong in which he fawns over his only child, although, obviously, their relationship was far more complicated. “Publicly fawning over a child fathered with his mistress wasn’t exactly an option for Louis Armstrong,” Preston-Folta says. “He always wanted to be a father. But we had to keep it all secret.”

Little Satchmo was directed by John Alexander. A release date has yet to be announced, although it’s expected to air at film festivals and on public television later this year.

In This Article: Louis Armstrong


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