Publicity photo, mid-1960s (Photograph by Jack Bradley)

 


In his Corona, Queens living room, admiring a portrait of himself painted by Cal Bailey

 


Rehearsing in a recording studio, mid-1960s (Photograph by Jack Bradley)

 


Louis and his trumpet, 1935

 


Louis and his trumpet, 1923

 


On stage with Luis Russell's Orchestra in the 1930s

 


Warming up in his dressing room in the 1950s


David Gold, a native of Brooklyn, NY, was a graduate of the NewYork City school system. He graduated from the City College of New York Schoolof Business with a degree in accounting in 1947. Mr. Gold's college training was interrupted when he was drafted into the Army Air Corps in 1942, serving until 1945. After being discharged, he resumed his studies while working for a show business accounting firm. He received his certificate as a Certified Public Accountant in 1952. While still working, at age 50, he returned to college again and earned a Masters Degree in business administration at CW Post College, Roth school of Business, at Long Island University.

In June 1953 he was hired as comptroller by Associated Booking , a leading booking agency, which represented many artists in the music and entertainment fields. Among its myriad clients was the the great Louis Armstrong. Joe Glaser, the founder and president of ABC, was Louis Armstrong's close friend and personal manager. After the death of Joe Glaser, Mr. Gold was made vice-president-treasurer of the company. He developed close ties with the Armstrongs both as friend and advisor, which grew stronger over the years. Louis and his wife, Lucille, appointed him executor of their wills.

The Armstrongs had formed an educational foundation, which was not activated until their deaths, with instructions for David Gold to be its president. Mr. Gold remained with Associated Booking Corp. until his retirement in 1988, but continued his association with, and management of the Foundation to make it a model for others in its field.

Today the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation is a major source of funding for programs to educate young children in the history of American jazz, and has provided solid financial support for educational institutions across the nation.

David Gold had been inspired by the legacy of Louis Armstrong over their long association for many years. Gold was president of the Armstrong Educational Foundation until is death in 2009.

 


Executive Vice President and Director of the Foundation

Phoebe Jacobs served as Executive Vice President and Director of the Foundation. She dedicated her long and distinguished life to jazz and jazz education, and to the workings of LAEF. She was an inspiration to all. Her love for jazz, its meaning and its currency, had been with her since her days working as a seventeen year old hat-check girl at Kelly's Stables, a Manhattan jazz nightclub owned by a relative, Ralph Watkins. She would later go on to work as a promoter and contractor, even serving as Director of Public Relations and Producer of Special Events at the Rainbow Room and Rainbow Grill in NYC, where she was responsible for the appearances of many prominent entertainers, including Benny Goodman, Sarah Vaughan, Cy Coleman, Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald.

Ms. Jacobs is perhaps best known, however, as publicist for such prominent musicians as Ella Fitzgerald, Sy Oliver, Peggy Lee, Sarah Vaughan, Duke Ellington and Della Reese. She also worked very closely for many years with Louis Armstrong, for whom she began as a public relations specialist and, in 1969, assisted in organizing the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation according to the great musician's last wishes. She served as executive vice-president of the foundation, which among other things helps finance music education programs for children. These programs range from concerts in public schools and libraries to music therapy programs in the pediatric wards of Beth Israel Hospital. Most illustrative of Louis' design and plan for the foundation is the series of Young People's Concerts under the aegis of Jazz At Lincoln Center, directed by Wynton Marsalis along with the Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong Summer Jazz Camp in New Orleans.

Ms. Jacobs has made invaluable contributions to Armstrong's living legacy, playing an important role in the establishment of the Louis Armstrong Archives at Queens College in New York. In 1995, she saw her, Lucille Armstrong and the efforts of many reach fruition when the United States Postal Service released a postal stamp for Mr. Armstrong. She also worked closely with the late Mercer Ellington as well as on the preservation of the world's memory of Duke Ellington.

Indeed, it is Phoebe Jacobs' personal relationship to jazz that fires her commitment to its survival. She was instrumental in establishing New York's original Jazz Museum, the archives of which now reside at the Schomburg Center for Research on Black Culture in Harlem. She also co­founded The Jazz Foundation of America, and was a trustee for the Society of Singers.

Phoebe Jacobs's contributions have been recognized in a variety of ways, and among her favorite reminiscences are being asked to accompany Lucille (Mrs. Louis) Armstrong on a 1974 tour that carried memories of Armstrong's music to countries behind the Iron Curtain, and in 1981 accompanying Eubie Blake to an honorary dinner at the White House, given by President and Mrs. Ronald Reagan. Through such commitments to sharing her unique education, Phoebe Jacobs has helped assure that vital memories of jazz history and its contributing musicians will always live on.

 


Born in New York City, Oscar Cohen started working at Associated Booking Corporation when he was fourteen years old as the office boy in the afternoons, after school. In time, Mr. Cohen became the advanced publicity man for Louis Armstrong. Having worked closely with Louis Armstrong, later on he became his road manager, and traveled the world with him. Several years later, after having served on the road with several super-attractions, he became a theatrical agent for Associated Booking Corporation, which at that time, represented such famous stars as Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Pearl Bailey, Billie Holliday. Al Hirt, Lionel Hampton, Bob Hope, Noel Coward, Benny Goodman. Barbra Streisand, and Shirley Bassey. In the field of Rock & Roll music, Mr. Cohen started such world-renowned stars as The Allman Brothers, Rod Stewart, Alice Cooper and the late Bob Marley. Bob Marley was first introduced to America in tour, through Associated Booking Corporation, and remained with Associated until his death. After being promoted to Vice President of the agency, Mr. Cohen continued to represent some of the greatest performers and musicians of the world.

Upon the death of his mentor, Mr. Joseph G. Glaser. Mr. Cohen became President of Associated Booking Corporation. Presently. Mr. Cohen represents artists such as B.B. King, Dr. John, Roberta Flack, Bernie Mac, Anita Baker, The Four Tops, Teddy Pendergrass, The O'Jays, The Whispers, Gerald Levert, Mary K. Blige, Bobby "Blue" Bland, and the Duke Ellington Orchestra.

He is the sole and exclusive agent for the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation, Inc. and the estate of Louis Armstrong.  Mr Cohen has represented the sound, name and likeness of Louis Armstrong in theatre production, motion picture development and all commercial use.

Mr. Cohen has served five terms on the Board of Governors at The Friars Club and two terms as Treasurer, and he is on the Board of Trustees for The Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation, Inc. He has received an honorary award by Rev. Ralph Abernathy from the Martin Luther King Foundation and has served as a member of many other human rights organizations such as C.O.R.E. and UJA.

 



Evelyn Cunningham was a civil rights era journalist and an aide to Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller of New York.

At a time when few women worked at newspapers — never mind as reporters handling hard news — Ms. Cunningham covered many of the civil rights era's biggest stories, including the battle over school desegregation in Birmingham, Ala., and the work of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X.

She moved with her parents to New York as a child, and earned a bachelor's degree from Long Island University.

Starting in 1940, she worked for more than 20 years as a reporter and editor for The Pittsburgh Courier, a black newsweekly with nationwide circulation. Much of that time she worked out of the paper's New York office.

In 1998, The Courier received a George Polk Award for its civil rights coverage, and Ms. Cunningham was among five former Courier reporters who accepted it.

Ms. Cunningham took a job as special assistant to Governor Rockefeller in 1960, who had been impressed with her when she interviewed him as a candidate.

Governor Rockefeller named her to lead an office on women's affairs, and she later served on many government panels dealing with women's rights and community issues. She continued to advise him when he became President Gerald R. Ford's vice president.

For several years in the 1960s, Ms. Cunningham had a radio show on WLIB in New York called "At Home With Evelyn Cunningham."

Cunningham played a pivotal role in the establishment of the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation. She provided legal and organizational advise to her longtime friends Louis and Lucille Armstrong. She was a trustee of the organization.

Ms. Cunningham helped establish the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, an advocacy group, and later devoted herself to charitable work, supporting many foundations and cultural institutions, like the Apollo Theater in Harlem and the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation. "At one point when I first met her, she was on 14 boards," said Robin Bell-Stevens, a longtime friend, who added that Ms. Cunningham often received calls from elected officials seeking advice. "They didn't always hear what they liked, but they certainly got her point of view."

Politically, Ms. Cunningham described herself as a Rockefeller Republican, which in her opinion meant she was a liberal Republican. She mentioned, there had not been a good liberal Republican since Governor Rockefeller.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg appointed Ms. Cunningham to a commission on women's issues in 2002.

 

Original Trustee Members:

Betty Granger Reid
Louis Armstrong
Lucille Armstrong
Helen Brown
Evelyn Cunningham
Lossye Joseph
David Gold
Aaron Shapiro
Kenneth Drew
Edythe Harris
Andrew R. Tyler
Frederick D. Patterson
Oscar A. Cohen

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