- The Brick House was one of the toughest joints I ever played in ... Guys would drink and fight one another like circle saws. Bottles would come flying over the bandstand like crazy and there was lots of plain common shooting and cutting. But somehow all that jive didn't faze me at all. I was so happy to have some place to blow my horn.
- Some of you young folks been saying to me, 'Hey Pops, what you mean 'What a wonderful world'? How about all them wars all over the place? You call them wonderful? And how about hunger and pollution? That aint so wonderful either.' Well how about listening to old Pops for a minute. Seems to me, it aint the world that's so bad but what we're doin' to it. And all I'm saying is, see, what a wonderful world it would be if only we'd give it a chance. Love baby, love. That's the secret, yeah. If lots more of us loved each other, we'd solve lots more problems. And then this world would be better. That's wha' ol' Pops keeps saying.
- The way they're treating my people in the South, the government can go to hell.
- At first it was just a misdemeanor, but then you lost the 'mis-de' and you just got meaner and meaner..
- All music is folk music. I ain't never heard a horse sing a song.
- If you gotta ask, you'll never know.
- If you still have to ask, shame on you
- It really puzzles me to see marijuana connected with narcotics dope and all of that stuff. It is a thousand times better than whiskey. It is an assistant and a friend.
- Making money ain't nothing exciting to me. You might be able to buy a little better booze than the wino on the corner. But you get sick just like the next cat and when you die you're just as graveyard dead as he is.
- There are some people that if they don't know, you can't tell 'em.
- He was the only musician who ever lived, who can't be replaced by someone.
- You can't play anything on a horn that Louis hasn't played.
- He was born poor, died rich, and never hurt anyone along the way.