What a Wonderful World (2:19)

Cover of The Ultimate Collection

From The Ultimate Collection and 503 other releases

What a Wonderful World is a song by Bob Thiele (using the pseudonym George Douglas) and George David Weiss. It was first recorded by Louis Armstrong and released as a single in 1968, and was inducted in the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999.

Intended as an antidote for the increasingly racially and politically charged climate in the U.S. (and written specifically for Armstrong, who had broad crossover appeal), the song details the singer’s delight in the simple enjoyment of everyday life. 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, but was a major success in the UK, reaching number one on the UK singles chart. It was also the biggest-selling single of 1968 in the UK. The song made Louis Armstrong the oldest male to top the charts, at sixty-six years and ten months old.

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