Song of the Day: Louis Armstrong, “What A Wonderful World”

It’s Thanksgiving here in the United States, a day when we express our gratitude for the good things we have in life. Well, besides eating to excess, watching (American) football ad nauseum, and going out to do all our Christmas shopping that evening at one of the many retailers who open on Thanksgiving night, the official start of the Christmas season, although it’s being pushed forward to even before Halloween lately. I saw my first Christmas-themed commercial on September 20 this year. Man, it’s still technically summer in the Northern Hemisphere…

Anyway, today’s Song of the Day is Louis Armstrong’s "What A Wonderful World." It was recorded and released in 1967, and while it failed to make the Hot 100 (coming in at #116), it reached #12 on the Adult Contemporary chart and #1 in the UK. After it was included in the 1988 movie Good Morning, Vietnam, it hit the charts again, reaching #32 on the Hot 100 and #7 on the Adult Contemporary chart. It was written by Bob Thiele (as George Douglas) and George David Weiss, and recorded in Las Vegas after Louis’s midnight show at the Tropicana (i.e. at 2 AM), so if he sounds a little tired, you’ll understand.

25 thoughts on “Song of the Day: Louis Armstrong, “What A Wonderful World”

  1. Hi John – have a very peaceful and happy Thanksgiving … the time of stress has arrived – yours seems to hit with a vengeance … we just get drawn in … and I desperately try and stay sane and peaceful. All the best – cheers Hilary

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    1. I don’t let the holidays get to me. Mary and I keep it very, very simple. For us, the real holiday is the week between Christmas and New Year’s. Hope you have a peaceful time!

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  2. Happy Thanksgiving to one and all! This is a wonderful song. I really like Victoria Williams’ version. I first heard it after finding out she had MS and it tears us up when we hear it.

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      1. Yes, I have two of Ella’s Greatest Hits-type compilations, both released in the 2000s. And a few of Pops’. Some of the tracks are of them together. And yes, magic. I don’t think you can get very far with US culture, frankly, without coming across them.

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