Cultural milestone to be recognised

DANIEL ADAMS
Last updated 13:10 14/02/2013
Louis Armstrong
Bill Lindberg
Musician Louis Armstrong acknowledges the crowd outside Founders Theatre where he performed in 1963.

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It was billed as ''entertainment greater than your imagination'', and when legendary jazz musician Louis Armstrong played to a packed Founders Theatre in 1963 he also played a role in Hamilton's cultural coming of age.

That's according to a group which today won city council backing to mark the renowned trumpeter's little-known visit with a plaque at the theatre.

The Theatre of the Impossible trust says the 50th anniversary of the twin March 20, 1963 shows next month is an ideal time to acknowledge them.

Spokesman Dr Richard Swainson said the shows' billing by promoters as a chance to see ''the world's greatest entertainer'' was no exaggeration.

''We should celebrate these concerts because Armstrong's visit was an important milestone in the evolution of Hamilton City's culture,'' he said.

''A plaque will honour not only the performer but the venue he graced.''

''What better way to look to the future of the Founders than to embrace a history too-long neglected? Perhaps the plaque could be one of many.''

Founders has also hosted such acts as Roy Orbison and The Beach Boys.

Council will work with the trust to site and install the Armstrong plaque.

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- Waikato

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