Though not initially a hit in the US, selling fewer than 1,000 copies, the song became the number one selling single in the UK that year — making Armstrong the oldest male artist to top the charts at the age of 66 years and ten months. He held that record for 41 years, until Welshman Tom Jones broke it at age 68 in 2009.
The song was recorded and released at a time of great racial tension and politically-charged climate, and was intended as an optimistic glimpse of the future and better days to come.
The message is still as pertinent today as it was in 1968, and Armstrong’s amazing talent is preserved wonderfully in this performance.
What A Wonderful World
>> Also see: Louis Armstrong’s WWI draft registration