BlogAugust 21, 2023by Sandy Shahady


Louis-Armstrong-photoSo much New Orleans, in fact, that Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong, always signed his letters “Red Beans and Ricely Yours”.  This delicious local dish was his favorite.  Louis was born and raised in New Orleans, and grew up to be the greatest trumpet player of all time.  At least in my opinion!  By the way, you can see one of his old dented cornets in the New Orleans Jazz Museum the next time you visit.  Oh, and be sure to take our tour!

He was a cute little kid, with those fat cheeks and wide smile.  Everyone loved him.  His family was poor.  Very poor.  By the time he was seven, he was running errands for the Karnofsky family, who ran a business in the neighborhood.  Mrs. Karnofsky took the cutie under her wing, and gave him the nickname “Satchmo”, meaning fat cheeks in Yiddish … or so it is said.  Another source says that it’s short for “satchel mouth”.  Maybe because of his big smile.  Or, it could be that, as he sang on the street corners at night, he hoped that people would throw coins to him.  And when they did, he would quickly put them in his mouth, so that the bigger kids couldn’t take them away from him.  He used his mouth as a ‘satchel’.  All interesting theories about a great musician.

But let me tell you about an incident one New Year’s eve that changed Louis’ life.  At that time, shooting guns into the air was commonplace, but illegal.  He was eleven and full of mischief.  He decided to smuggle out his stepdad’s gun and shoot it off.  UH OH!!!!!  The police caught him and he was sent to the home for colored waifs.  It was there that he had formal music lessons.  When they had parades, as we often do in New Orleans, cute little Louis would lead the way.  That experience led him into a lifetime of fame and fortune.

He performed in St. Louis, Chicago and New York, but he never forgot New Orleans.  And he never stopped loving Red Beans and Rice, especially with a hot sausage link!

Sign up to take a tour with The Premiere New Orleans Food Tour today!  We are locally owned, and take a personal interest in each of our guests.  Our tour guides are knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and FUN!  They will impart stories of our history, culture, and how our local foods became so famous.

Remember that our tour is great for groups!  Birthday parties, anniversaries, team building, family reunions, out of town friends – they will love it!