Louis "Kid Shots" Madison

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The trumpeter with a nickname like a boxer in a '40s melodrama has historical credits on the New Orleans jazz scene deserving of a round-one knockout. He played in a band for orphaned street urchins alongside…
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The trumpeter with a nickname like a boxer in a '40s melodrama has historical credits on the New Orleans jazz scene deserving of a round-one knockout. He played in a band for orphaned street urchins alongside none other than Louis Armstrong, at that point wisely allowing Satchmo the brass duties while Louis "Kid Shots" Madison managed nicely on the first instrument mastered by any New Orleans player, the drums. Soon Madison would learn trumpet from historic yet shadowy figures of mastery such as Joe Howard and Louis Dumaine. Another of Madison's childhood associates had been Kid Rena. By the early '20s the trumpet- and cornet-blowing Madison was working with Oscar Celestin and the Original Tuxedo Jazz Orchestra.

Madison was a fixture in several of the main brass bands in New Orleans during the '20s and '30s. Recordings exist of him performing with such a group under the direction of Bunk Johnson in 1945; he also worked with the Young Tuxedo Brass Band and the Eureka Brass Band. His health would not last out the '40s, but the final half of the decade was certainly a busy one for this man, combining a regular evening musical drive at the Cadillac Club with a day job for the city board of health. A musician who was quite unique in an almost total lack of musical influence from outside of New Orleans, Madison also performed the music of his last years on the edge of the city, at a venue located on the vast Lake Pontchartrain. He stopped playing his horns following a stroke at the beginning of 1948.