What a Wonderful World by George David WeissWhat simpler way could there be to express to children the beauty and the harmony in the world around them than through the lyrics of this song by George David Weiss and Bob Thiele, made famous by the great Louis Armstrong? And what better visual accompaniment than the bright colorful artwork by award-winning Ashley Bryan depicting children of many backgrounds (and Louis Armstrong himself) performing a puppet show that brings the lyrics to life. Here is a book of brightness, wonder, and hope to be shared by all.
What a Wonderful World
Feel like I spent 20, years on the planes and railroads, like I blowed my chops off. Not so in Britain, where it demonstrated that you cannot keep a hot song down as it progressed steadily up the charts, reaching No. But even at this stage Louis Armstrong was a man whose health was beginning to let him down. He still kept working and did so right up until March when he had a two-week run at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York City. In order to get the ailing Louis through it he was booked into a suite at the Waldorf to conserve his energy. However, within days of finishing at the Waldorf Louis was back in the Beth Israel Hospital where they performed surgery to help his breathing. Nevertheless he was soon home, working on his home recordings and creating collages for the boxes in which he kept his reel-to-reel tapes.
During his career, Armstrong appeared in dozens of movies and TV shows, wrote books and letters, and captivated the world with his gravely voice and impeccable trumpet playing one performance at a time. During that time, the United States grew into a more fractured nation with intense, sometimes violent struggles over issues such as Civil Rights and the war in Vietnam. Thiele realized the nation needed a healing message delivered as only Armstrong could deliver it and tapped songwriter George David Weiss to craft the song. His mood changed immediately because the words made him think of one thing and one thing only: his home in Corona, Queens. I saw three generations come up on that block. And I got pictures of them when they was five, six and seven years old. And the music with it.
Louis Armstrong's 'What a Wonderful World' is one of the most timeless songs of all time. Released in , it remains one of the most relaxing and beautiful pop songs ever made, but what is it's backstory? Who wrote it and how did Louis get involved? In the song, Louis sings of seeing various events and natural wonders that make him smile, while also perhaps lamenting the passage of time, noting: "I hear babies crying, I watch them grow, they'll learn much more than I'll never know". Weiss was also said to be inspired by Armstrong's ability to bring people of different races together.
The song was mainly composed by songwriting team Lou Adler and Herb Alpert , but Cooke revised the lyrics to mention the subject of education more. Herman's Hermits charted better with a cover of the song in , reaching number four in the United States and number seven in the United Kingdom, respectively. The Sam Cooke version was featured in the film Animal House and gained greater recognition in the UK upon a re-release when it peaked at number two on the UK Singles Chart , going silver it had peaked at number 27 on the UK singles chart on first release in Its success was attributed to sound-alike versions featured in the film Witness and a memorable Levi's television commercial. Co-writer Lou Adler .