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Hello, Dolly!

by

Louis Armstrong



Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

Hello, Dolly! is the title song from the award winning 1964 musical which featured Carol Channing in the lead role. In 1969 it was made into a film starring Barbra Streisand. Although the contemporary score was composed in its entirety by Jerry Herman, the play can be traced in one form or another as far back as 1835, in outline at least. In spite of the immediate success of the stage production, the song was released as a single only reluctantly. In its May 23, 1964 edition, the English music paper Melody Maker carried an article "HELLO DOLLY! The hit no one wanted," which included an interview with Louis Armstrong. Herein it was revealed that although the song had reached #1 in the US charts selling more than a million copies, no one wanted to record it. In retrospect, Satchmo was an obvious choice.
The song won a Grammy for best vocal performance. It was recorded on Kapp by Armstrong and his "All Stars"; the B Side was "A Lot Of Lovin' To Do." Five years later, Satchmo appeared in the film version where he dueted with Streisand.
The sheet music for "Hello, Dolly!" was published by Edwin H. Morris & Co of New York, Copyright 1963 at 75c. There are a number of other printings and arrangements, including HELLO, DOLLY! Recorded by Louis Armstrong on London Records which retailed for 2s6d, and a full arrangement for orchestra by Jimmy Lally at 4s6d. (thanks, Alexander Baron - London, England, for all above)
The 62-year-old Armstrong became the oldest act to top the US charts when this reached #1. Four years later Satchmo also became the oldest artist to record a UK #1, when "What A Wonderful World" hit the top spot.
When Armstrong was asked about his new #1 song, he replied, "It sure feels good to be up there with those Beatles."
This song was also a #18 hit for English singer Frankie Vaughan in the UK in 1964.
Louis Armstrong
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Comments (3):

On February 9th 1964, "Hello, Dolly!" by Louis Armstrong entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #76; and on May 3rd it peaked at #1 (for 1 week) and spent 22 weeks on the Top 100 (and for 13 of those 22 weeks it was on the Top 10)...
And on March 22nd, 1964 it reached #1 (for 9 weeks) on Billboard's Adult Contemporary Tracks chart...
As already stated prior to "Hello, Dolly!" reaching #1 on the Top 100 the Beatles had held the top spot for fourteen consecutive weeks with three records ("I Want To Hold Your Hand" for 7 weeks, "She Loves You" for 2 weeks, and finally "Can't Buy Me Love" for 5 weeks)...
And it was a Beatles' record, "Do You Want To Know A Secret", that peaked at #2 and was prevented from reaching #1 when "Hello, Dolly!" held the top spot for its one week...
R.I.P. John, George, and Mr. Armstrong (1901 - 1971).
- Barry, Sauquoit, NY
Just re-read William Lashner's mystery "Fatal Flaw" in which the fact that the murder trial defendant's story that he is listening to Satchmo comes into significance twice. Once it addresses volume (What can you really hear with Louis Armstrong in the headphones?) and, even better, to state of mind (Can you be anything but optimistic in said situation?) Lots of fun.
- Karen, Dania Beach, FL
One of my favorite facts about this song is how unlikely it was for a song like this to be the one to knock the Beatles out of their stranglehold of the top of the charts in 1964. After ruling the number one spot for something like 14 weeks with 3 different hits, ol' Satchmo knocked "Can't Buy Me Love" out of the number one spot in early May and made "musical history"!
- Chet, Buffalo, NY
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