"Hello, Dolly!" was first sung by Carol Channing, who starred as Dolly Gallagher Levi in the original 1964 Broadway cast. In December 1963, at the behest of his manager, Louis Armstrong made a demonstration recording of "Hello, Dolly!" for the song's publisher to use to promote the show. Hello, Dolly! opened on January 16, 1964 at the St. James Theatre in New York City, and it quickly became a major success.
The same month, Kapp Records released Armstrong's publishing demo as a commercial single. His version reached number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, ending the Beatles' streak of three number-one hits in a row over 14 consecutive weeks (in addition to holding the second and third chart positions) and becoming the most successful single of Armstrong's career, followed by a gold-selling album of the same name. The song also spent nine weeks atop the adult contemporary chart shortly after the opening of the musical. The song also made Armstrong the oldest artist ever to reach #1 on the Hot 100 since its introduction in 1958. Billboard ranked the record as the No. 3 song of 1964, behind the Beatles' "I Want to Hold Your Hand" and "She Loves You". In 1965, Armstrong performed the song on a German variety show with musician and bandleader Max Greger.
"Hello, Dolly!" won the Grammy Award for Song of the Year in 1965, and Armstrong received a Grammy for Best Vocal Performance, Male. Louis Armstrong also performed the song (together with Barbra Streisand) in the popular 1969 film Hello, Dolly !.
Louis Armstrong's version was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2001.
"Hello Dolly" is this week's Track of the Week. Check out this vintage footage. Louis Armstrong looks like he is having a blast. Check it out below:
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