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Louis likes his sleep, eight or nine hours of it, but he can do with four, "if I lay on my back." He once read that Heavyweight Max Baer recommended sleeping that way, earnestly agrees that "it's the only kind of sleep that eases you off." The first thing he does on arising is to turn on two or three radios, one in each room, and they stay on all day. Louis doesn't care what the program is ("I can get something out of any of them"). Apparently, sweet, slurred stuff is just as acceptable to him as hot jazz. His favorite "listening band" for years has been Guy Lombardo'sand Louis doesn't care how many jazz pedants faint when they hear it; "Guy Lombardo advertises the 'sweetest music this side of heaven' and that's what he plays."
Money doesn't worry Louis any more than his taste in music. He leaves all that to his manager and frienda man Louis, with a kind of plantation politeness, still calls "Mister" Glaser. Joe Glaser, a tough, smart ex-fight manager, pays Louis' income tax, looks after his insurance, protects him from lawsuits and handles all the financial details of the band, including payment of the other men. Louis has never read his contract, never questioned Glaser's plans for him. Glaser says: "I'm Louis and Louis is me. There's nothing I wouldn't do for him." One thing he has done is to make sure that happy-go-lucky Louis Armstrong will never be in need. Should Satchmo have to lay down his gleaming horn tomorrow, Glaser says, he would collect $864 a month for life.
But Louis is still mighty fit, and expects to keep fit for a long time. How long does he think he cal last? "Right until I get to the Pearly Gates, I hope." When he gets to those gates he is going to pay his respects, he say, to another famous trumpeter. Says Louis: "I'm gonna blow a kiss to Gabriel."
*In early operas such emasculated male soprano songbirds as Senesino and Farinelli embellished their arias beautifully and at will, until Gluck in the second half of the 18th Century put them in their place with pinpoint notation, made them stick to the score.