The Success Story Behind "What a Wonderful World" Song by Louis Armstrong

The Success Story Behind "What a Wonderful World" Song by Louis Armstrong

Posted on 29 Jan 2020

" What a wonderful world " is a song of the previous century, is a masterpiece song by Louis Armstrong. Heart touching lyrics, mesmerizing music and the influential voice of Louis are what make this song a huge hit of the 20th century. This song itself was a revolution of music at that time that received a wonderful appreciation from the music lovers. More than 50 years have passed since its release but it's still heard and liked equally. Music experts regard it as "never gets old" type of song. Louis Armstrong added soul to this wonderfully written lyrics .

Check Song lyrics : What a Wonderful World Lyrics

"What a wonderful world" belongs to the genre " jazz " which's a traditional pop form of music. It was recorded and released in September 1967 published by Marie lane music group along with a contribution from Carlin corporation of music. It is available in both audio and video versions. The duration of the audio version is 2 minutes and 21 seconds. It was produced wonderfully by Bob Thiele and its incredible lyrics were written by Bob himself along with some contribution from George Weiss. Finally, the touch of greatness was added by the American singer and trumpeter, Louis Daniel Armstrong.
Louis was a influential jazz vocalist going by many nicknames such as Satchmo, pops, dipper and a few more. He was also famous for his composing and acting skills. His work for the progress of music especially jazz is circumstantial appreciated all over. His carrier includes a number of good songs and "What a wonderful world" is considered among his top 10 best songs. One charming thing about this song is that it gives you goosebumps every time you listen to it.


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This song was a huge success and received multiple awards for appreciation. Apart from getting local awards, receiving the Grammy hall of the frame was its biggest achievement. Huge increment in popularity of Louis and the writer of " what a wonderful world" after its release speaks of its success. Also a number of singers sung the song afterward. Moreover, some singers tried to copy the music and genre of this song that explains its influence. It was also played in Hollywood movies and TV theaters.This song's played in more than 20 Hollywood movies including Head over heels, Chicken little, Swing girls, 12 monkeys, little marines, Bowling for Columbine, Freaky Friday and many more. Also, a Bollywood movie named “Guzarish” features the song in it. A number of English serials use Armstrong's "what a wonderful world". All this reflects the success of the song and the likeness of modern-day people for it.

According to some sources, this song was first offered to a singer named T Bennett who refused it and then Louis Armstrong was considered for it. This statement was denied by Louis's biographer and as the writers say that the lyrics of this song were written considering Louis Armstrong in mind, thus it's merely a false dispute. The writers also reveal that the lyrics were rhymed and matched according to Armstrong's ability to bring people of different races close and together. The recording of song took place at United recording studio in Las Vegas in 1967. The writer and composer were there when this song was being recorded.

Louis Armstrong has just signed for ABV productions. An interesting fact about its recording is that when ABC president named L Newton came to know that Louis is singing "what a wonderful world" he tried to stop the recording session because he considered that the lyrics of this song were rather too slow-paced. To avoid this interruption Newton was locked out of the recording studio. Also, train whistles make them stop session twice that make the recording session longer than it was expected. Considering the above circumstances, i.e locking of Newton and the train whistles make Louis shake his head multiple times with laughter. Armstrong also received lesser payment of just 250$ willingly to compensate for longer sessions.

Following Newton’s lack of interest and promotion, this song was not a hit initially in the US with less than 800 copies sold only. But amazingly it was a great success in the UK with a mark of best selling copy of singles in 1968. This made Louis the oldest last singles topper. To pay tribute to Armstrong T Bennet recorded "what a wonderful world" in 2003. Following the success of the song by Louis Armstrong, it became a standard of success and popularity. Therefore it was featured on BBC's radio and television programs in the 1980s. Also, the original recording of the song was included in the movie " Good morning, Vietnam". In 1915 the number of copies of the song sold climbed to more than 2 million which speaks of its liveliness.

Its a song for all ages and occasions. The type of music followed in "what a wonderful world" enables it to be played on both joyful and sad occasions. A singer named Patty Smith performed the song on the death ceremony of her husband. Also, it is equally cheerful for happy occasions. A number of TV programs used the song on the opening of their programs. Moreover, the additional beauty of this song is the fact that it is equally enjoyed by men and women of all ages. There is no gender discrimination or any other negativity in the lyrics.

The video version of this song was also recorded starring Louis Armstrong himself. The amazing voice and expressions of Armstrong and a brilliant trumpet played as background music instills a touch of greatness to this song. The expressions of Louis can even be heard. This 2 minutes and 30 seconds video has millions and viewers and still adding. This is because of Armstrong's ability to unite people. He sings as if he has written and felt the meaning himself. The start and end of the song are equally attractive along with the ups and downs of Armstrong's pitch in the mid. It forces its listeners to hear it again and again and still never gets old. The smoothness and flow of his voice are the real beauty of this masterpiece song.

The lyrics of this song are written in a perfectly good style. Its a kind of poem with accurately rhyming words. The choice of words makes them easy to sing and understand. Also, the song is composed such that no part of the recording is boring. Also, there's a great meaning to its poetry. But the best part of this song is the touch of nature added by the writers. The mentioning of the blueness of the sky, greenery of trees, blossom of roses, white clouds, scary nights and colors of rainbow adds further to the beauty and meaning of the song. The writer describes this world as a wonderful place by considering the beauty of nature, people and the love among them. Also, the flow of words and phrases nullifies Newton's idea of being slow-paced. Due to its unique and attractive poetry, a number of writers have copied a few lines from this song's poetry.

What value does "what a wonderful world" held to Louis Armstrong?
Armstrong described it as his most meaningful song. He said this song shows the world a beautiful place if only we'd give it a chance. And for the world to be a beautiful and wonderful place love is the key. That’s the secret that is hidden in the song. The more love there is, the lesser the problems will be. It isn’t the world that is bad, it's we that make it a bad place. We can turn it into a wonderful place through love. The mother nature has made the world amazing with all the things created to perfection and it is up to humans that make it like a heaven or hell. And the influencing voice of Armstrong adds colors to this song. His meaning of the "what a wonderful world" is the best description of the song.
As mentioned earlier that a number of copied versions of this song were tried but one that assembled good success was created by Eva Cassidy and Katie Melua. This version of American singers was released in 2007 and it gathered success in the following year. This version also topped the singles ranking. More than 15 notable versions were made from the year 1989 to 2008 and some of them were very successful ones but none of them matched the level of the original song by Louis Armstrong but all these versions are the reflection of its success. It was the dedication and love of Armstrong for music that made this song a real hit.

Considering its success and appreciation until now, this song is among the list of best songs of all time. Its the biggest memory of Louis Armstrong. Although a half-century has passed since its release, it's as lively as always and will last as long as the music lasts. It really is an unreplaceable song that will last forever. This is because of its simplicity and uniqueness. This song really compels the listener to think "isn’t this a wonderful world that we live in?"

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