Monday, May 21, 2012

What a Wonderful World

Our latest play, Wonderful World, takes its title from Louis Armstrong's hit song, "What a Wonderful World." You'll have to see the show to see why, but I asked the Dragon interns to do some research on the famous song because they hadn't heard of it, and here's what they learned: 

  • It was first recorded by Louis Armstrong and released as a single in 1968
  • Armstrong's recording was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999
  • Intended as an antidote for the increasingly racially and politically charged climate of everyday life in the United States, the song also has a hopeful, optimistic tone with regard to the future, with reference to babies being born into the world and having much to look forward to.
  • The song was not initially a hit in the United States, where it sold fewer than 1,000 copies because the head of ABC Records did not like the song and so did not promote it. It was a major success in the United Kingdom, reaching number one on the UK Singles Chart.
  • The song made Louis Armstrong the oldest male to top the chart, at sixty-six years and ten months old. Armstrong's record was broken in 2009 when a cover version of "Islands in the Stream" recorded for Comic Relief — which included 68-year-old Tom Jones — reached number one.
  • The song gradually became something of a standard and reached a new level of popularity. In 1988, Louis Armstrong's 1968 recording was featured in the film Good Morning, Vietnam and was re-released as a single, hitting #32 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart in February 1988. 

And here he is, Mr. Louis Armstrong!

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