I have been a huge fan of Louis Armstrong for decades, even having ‘What a Wonderful World’ as the dance I did with my mother at my wedding. The song was a huge hit for Satchmo at the end of his legendary career, and was re-released upon his death in 1972, as well as gaining huge success as a featured song from 1987’s movie Good Morning Vietnam. It has remained one of the top selling songs in the jazz store on iTunes, and is one of those songs that quickly fins fans across the generations.
The song is closely associated with Louis, but has been redone innumerable times … generally unsuccessfully. I have enjoyed versions by loads of artists, but none as much as the original. My personal ‘un-favorite’? Kenny G – the pitch-challenged noodly over-rated smooth jazz icon – did a ‘digital duet’ in which heall over Louis’s wonderful version. Various versions have been covered on ‘talent’ shows such as ‘American Idol’ … with predictable results.
My personal favorite cover version was done by Ministry … you can listen to it.
Why all the talk about Louis Armstrong and ‘What a Wonderful World’? The cool folks at Neatorama posted a link to a cool version that uses the video from a BBC TV show in the summer of 1968 and
Here is the video from Neatorama :
Here is the original video:
And here is a version that Louis did for a USO trip later that year that marked the end of his touring career. This was the music video used on VH1 and MTV (when they actually played music, that is) and also Good Morning Vietnam, and features loads of images from the movie: