1. Toshiko Akiyoshi
  2. Geri Allen
  3. Andrews Sisters
  4. Angela Andrews
  5. Lil Harden Armstrong
  6. Dorothy Ashby
  7. Pearl Bailey
  8. Beverly Barkley
  9. Karen Briggs
  10. Ruth Brown
  11. Diane Cameron
  12. Betty Carter
  13. Joan Cartwright
  14. Kim Clarke
  15. Gloria Coleman
  16. Alice Coltrane
  17. Dorothy Donegan
  18. Ella Fitzgerald
  19. Rita Graham
  20. Jace Harnage
  21. Billie Holiday
  22. Bertha Hope
  23. Shirley Horn
  24. Lena Horne
  25. Alberta Hunter
  26. Jus' Cynthia
  27. Sandra Kaye
  28. Emme Kemp
  29. Vinnie Knight
  30. Lavelle
  31. Peggy Lee
  32. Abbey Lincoln
  33. Melba Liston
  34. Gloria Lynne
  35. Tania Maria
  36. Marian McPartland
  37. Carmen McRae
  38. Mabel Mercer
  39. M'zuri
  40. Sandy Patton
  41. Trudy Pitts
  42. Cheryl Porter
  43. Shirley Scott
  44. Nina Simone
  45. Bessie Smith
  46. Carol Sudhalter
  47. Sarah Vaughn
  48. Dinah Washington
  49. Ethel Waters
  50. Mary Lou Williams


Born in Memphis, TN, on February 3, 1898, Lil Harden Armstrong will always be best known for her influence in shaping Louis Armstrong's career (persuading him to leave King Oliver's band and accept Fletcher Henderson's offer in New York) and for her work with Louis' Hot Five and Seven, but she actually had an interesting career after she parted with Armstrong

She worked in Chicago demonstrating new songs at a music store. She worked with Sugar Johnny's Creole Orchestra and then Freddie Keppard's Original Creole Orchestra before becoming a member of King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band. Lil Armstrong's rhythmic piano helped keep the ensembles solid and she made her recording debut with Oliver in 1923.

She met Louis Armstrong while in the band and their marriage lasted from 1924-1938, although they separated in 1931. Lil played piano and occasionally sang on Louis' famous Hot Five and Seven recordings, and she composed "Struttin' With Some Barbeque." During the latter half of the 1930s she was house pianist at Decca, recording 26 titles as a leader (mostly as a vocalist) during 1936-1940, including her "Just For a Thrill."

Although she rarely recorded during the remainder of her career (12 titles during 1945-1947, six songs in 1953-1954, two selections in 1959, and an album in 1961), Lil Armstrong remained active during her last 30 years in Chicago. She recorded a talking record in 1959 on which she reminisced about her days with Louis Armstrong, and ironically she died of a heart attack while playing "St. Louis Blues" at an Armstrong tribute concert less than two months after Louis himself had passed away. ~ Scott Yanow, All Music Guide

Lil died on August 27, 1971 in Chicago, seven weeks after the death of Louis Armstrong, who died on July 6, 1971.