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Big Sky Beats: “What A Wonderful World” – Louis Armstrong

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With perhaps the most recognizable voice of the 20th century, few recordings by jazz legend Louis Armstrong reached the levels of fame enjoyed by “What A Wonderful World,” recorded and released in 1967.

“Satchmo,” as he was known, came to prominence in the 1920s in his hometown New Orleans and in Chicago, profoundly shifting the sounds of jazz from a collective ensemble to an emphasis on solo musicians, ultimately bringing those triumphs to New York’s jazz scene. His inventive trumpet and cornet stylings were perfectly balanced by a deep, rich voice that helped to popularize scat singing, a unique form of vocals that are both nonsensical and charming.

“What A Wonderful World” peaked at No. 1 on pop and singles charts in the U.K. in ’67, and was ultimately inducted into the Grammy Awards Hall of Fame in 1999; it has been featured in no less than 20 Hollywood films and 30 prominent television shows.

And for good reason.

With lyrics that promote an appreciation for the simple beauties of the natural world and human spirit, the tune is proving to be timeless yet again as folks around the globe slow down, appreciate the little things and reacquaint themselves with nature and introspective thinking in these uncertain times.

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