William Howard Taft Armstrong, 4 March 1909, Dayton, Tennessee, USA, d. 30 July 2003, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Raised in La Follette, Tennessee, Armstrong was eventually skilled on some 20 instruments but played principally fiddle, mandolin and guitar. His richly varied repertoire ranged through country folk, urban blues and jazz, as well as songs from bygone vaudeville and ragtime, gospel and contemporary pop.
In his early years Armstrong formed the Armstrong Brothers band with a number of his siblings, and played with musicians such as Roland Martin, Carl Martin (mandolin) and Ted Bogan (guitar) in bands that included the Tennessee Chocolate Drops, with whom he broadcast and recorded in 1930, the Four Keys and the Wandering Troubadours. Armstrong also played extensively with Carl Martin and Bogan during the early 30s, including a spell in Chicago in 1933, the year the city hosted the Worlds Fair.