This pop ballad was written by George David Weiss & Bob Thiele. It was first recorded by Louis Armstrong and released in 1967 reaching No.1 in the UK. Armstrong's recording was inducted in the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999.
The songs recording session followed Armstrong's Las Vagas midnight show. By 2am the musicians were recording. ABC president Larry Newton showed up to photograph Armstrong. Newton wanted a swingy pop song like "Hello, Dolly!", a big hit for Armstrong when he was with Kapp Records, so when Newton heard the slow pace of "What a Wonderful World", he tried to stop the session. Newton was consequently locked out of the studio. The session ended around 6 am, going longer than expected. To make sure the orchestra members were paid extra for their overtime, Armstrong accepted only $250 musicians union scale for his work.
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