On December 3, 1963, at age 62, when most folks are thinking about retirement, Louis Armstrong recorded the sprightly Hello, Dolly!," the title song for a Broadway show. Thus began a six year-long series of recordings that brought arguably most important 20th Century musician back into the limelight and, in fact, gave him his greatest recording successes ever.
The single of Hello, Dolly!" supplanted The Beatles as #1 on the Pop charts (his first #1!) and was #1 for nine weeks on the Adult Contemporary charts. The Dolly album soared to #1 for 6 weeks on Billboard's Top 200 and was certified gold. Over the next two years Louis recorded tracks for the Mame album, resulting in a pair of Top 10 Adult Contemporary hits"So Long Dearie" and the title track. Then we have the remarkable What A Wonderful World." Recorded in 1967, the heartfelt single was a big hit in Europe, but only reached #12 on the U.S. Adult Contemporary chart. However, after prominent placement in the 1988 movie Good Morning Vietnam, the single climbed into the Top 40 and the album was certified gold. Finally, in 1969, Louis recorded We Have All The Time In The World," the theme song for the next James Bond epic flick, On Her Majesty's Secret Service.
This new Hip-O Select double CD, Hello, Louis! The Hit Years 1963 to 1969, brings together these recordingsoriginally on Kapp, Mercury, ABC-Paramount and EMIas a joyous celebration of a great artist's return to the fore. It collects all three hit albums, presenting the Mame LP on CD for the first time, adding in The Three Of Us," recorded for the album but only previously released in Europe. The second disc also features two sides recorded in 1968 for Kapp, Life Of The Party" b/w The Kinda Love Song," both previously unreleased on albumand as the music on this collection shows, the title of the bonus track is most appropriate: Louis Armstrong's music is still the life of any party.
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