Google Alerts is my pal, sending me news of Lester, Ruby, Big Sid, and Louis, whenever their names crop up online.  In Louis’s case, the Alert sometimes has nothing to do with music — there are schools, an airport, and a stadium named for him.  This latest bit of Armstrong-related news was surprising and more. 

A newspaper profile of a man named Herb Armstrong, a handsome Australian singer, appears in the Redcliffe & Bayside Herald.  That newspaper serves the area around Brisbane, including the colorfully-named Deception Bay

I found Herb’s brief sketch of his ancestry intriguing: 

The timbre in his voice is, perhaps, unsurprising.  Herb is a grandson of the late, great jazz musician Louis Armstrong.  “I’m a love-child,” he says.  Herb’s mother Decina met Louis Armstrong’s son, a drummer, in New Orleans.    They fell in love and the result was Herb.

None of the biographies of Louis have documented any children.  Perhaps Herb’s story should be included in the planned Forrest Whitaker film on Louis’s life?  Comments, anyone?

You can read the original profile:



12 responses to “HE’S A SON OF THE SOUTH

  1. harumph.
    let’s kick his ass. I mean arse.

  2. themusicologist

    rolled out a tribute to ‘gatemouth’ and his closest ‘rival’ Sidney Bechet on my musical diary that you may enjoy


  3. Richard Hubner

    Hi Folks,
    I actually live in Brisbane. I just found another article in our local paper this morning. I have attached the address below.

    Red beans and ricely yours,

    Richard H.


  4. Not Louis Armstrongs Grandson

    This guy is a bum. He is the biggest fraud. Someone needs to expose him.

  5. Michael Quan

    I met this guy and he never has money. He has no vehicle and always try to sell Louie Armstrongs name to get a free meal. He said he played in big places in New Orleans. He entertains here in Brisbane and is acting (not big parts, even though he tells people he is a big actor)

    Can someone really be this dumb and try to become famous faking his way?

    Expose this fool… and he has two kids WTF. Loser “L”

  6. Michael Quan

    There are articles written on this guy, he sings like well. I had a chance to hear him. but Loui Armstrong has no record of a son or any mention of Herbs mother having an affair with Louie. Sounds like another poor soul from New Orleans selling a name to make himself famous.

    Get rid of the RUNDMC chains, that went out with the 80’s

  7. He can’t even name the ‘drummer who was Louis son who was his father”. All the press is his own publicity blurb. Look at his FB page, he hardly does any gigs, if he truly was who he says he was he would be working his ring off all over the world. I once had a black dude come and ask to sing with me and he said he was ‘Brook Benton’!!! Turned out he was an Australian aboriginal who was on day release from the local mental ward..

  8. I see this guy always at Eleven.. Buys one drink for himself and walks around trying to pick up girls. Dude your a fake … don’t even have a car.

  9. This guy is a total fraud. Previous name Herb (Herbert) Johnson. “Armstrong” obviously made this lie even more believable. He owes musicians money in multiple Australian cities. Sadly probably an alcoholic, and his obvious illiteracy (check FB) doesn’t help; but he knows what he’s doing when he deceives, lies, threatens. Musicians, please avoid working with him in solidarity for others he has scammed; punters, please don’t support this kind of behaviour, and support local honest musicians: there are lots out there!

  10. He is on the Sunshine Coast busking. Earlier in the day he walked into a shop my daughter works in at Chancellor Park and asked her to change the coins he earned into notes. I went there after I had finished work and met him, in fact I gave him a lift home. A lot of things didn’t add up and so I have googled my butt off researching him and his roots. My conclusion is that he is a fraud. He has trained his voice to sound a bit like Louis Armstrong (which would not be that difficult to do). He shares a house with two others, has no car and obviously no money either. Be wary of him.

  11. Bothers me that he keeps making this claim. I have tried to research this and so far all the information is that Louis Armstrong was thought to be unable to have children. He was married 4 times, none of those marriages resulted in children. He adopted his cousin’s intellectually disabled son Clarence (so far no evidence to say that Clarence could have had any children) During Louis’ 4th marriage he had an affair with Lucille Preston who fell pregnant and claimed the child was his. Louis recognised this child (girl) as his own although some question the veracity of that claim as Louis seemed to be infertile. That girl has written a book in 2012 claiming she is his daughter – Sharon Preston-Folta. She was born in 1955. She has a son and has grandchildren. I can’t find her son’s name, however if she was born in 1955 she would be 64 now. Herb Armstrong seems to be around the same age (late 50s, early 60s) so I doubt he could be her son. There is a guy on the other side of the world, Clarence Armstrong, also claiming to be Louis’ grandson. Herb Armstrong has a good voice and does the Louis Armstrong style well but should just do a ‘tribute to Louis’ show rather than cashing in on the name. A friend of mine booked him for a show. He demanded money up front, turned up drunk and was unable to complete the show due to his drunken stupor. Best to stay away from him

  12. I knew Herb in New Orleans. He lived in my apartment complex with his wife, Lisa and their infant son. Herb Johnson called himself “Hollywood Herb” at that time and mainly played that the Bourbon Street Blues Club. He wasn’t a bad person and once told me that his grandmother was Louis Armstrong’s girlfriend before Louis met Lil Hardin. Herb told me that his mother was a prostitute and that he had 8 or 9 siblings, all different fathers and races. I looked up Herb’s name several years ago and saw the change of name from Johnson to Armstrong and wondered if it was his wife’s idea. I’m sorry to hear that Herb is having a tough time. Nothing that I can do to help him and hope that he straightened himself out.

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