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I liked all the films especially the one for Superman [“This is Joe”] and the last one which was longer [“ Frontman ”]. I look forward to at...

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Friday, August 7, 2015

What a Wonderful World

“Some of you young folks been saying to me, "Hey Pops, what you mean 'What a wonderful world'? How about all them wars all over the place? You call them wonderful? And how about hunger and pollution? That ain’t so wonderful either." Well how about listening to old Pops for a minute. Seems to me, it ain’t the world that's so bad but what we're doin' to it. And all I'm saying is, see, what a wonderful world it would be if only we'd give it a chance. Love baby, love. That's the secret, yeah. If lots more of us loved each other, we'd solve lots more problems. And then this world would be better. That's wha' ol' Pops keeps saying.”
- Spoken intro to "What a Wonderful World" (1970 version)

This week (on August 4), the late great Louis Armstrong would have been celebrating his 114th birthday. He was 63 when “Hello, Dolly!” topped the charts on the week of May 9, 1964. “Hello, Dolly,” actually ended The Beatles’ streak of three No. 1 hits in a row over 14 consecutive weeks. The other song that Armstrong is known for is “What a Wonderful World.”

“What a Wonderful World” features in the soundtrack of two films that have been officially selected by ROFFEKE:

“The Hitchhikers.” Directed by Joung Han. Synopsis: A young driver is racially prejudiced. While he is traveling, he meets some hitchhikers by chance but refuses to give them a ride. This film is a wry comedy and a biting satire on racial discrimination.

“Wonderful World” Directed by David Saveliev. Synopsis: “The film is a visual comment to the song "What a Wonderful World" written by Bob Thiele and George David Weiss, recorded by Louis Armstrong made as a science fiction drama about a lone survivor of an apocalypse who tries to escape his surroundings of a destroyed abandoned city through his imagination while listening to the song. The film raises the themes of how people interact with the world: after people destroy their world they search for it and try to come back into it. The film speaks of ecological problems and the importance of respect for the environment."

“What a Wonderful World” was also used to great effect in the film “Good Morning, Vietnam”:

“In Hollywood, director Barry Levinson was then working on Good Morning, Vietnam, a film that would star Robin Williams as Airman Second Class Adrian Cronauer, a military disc jockey who comes to work for the Armed Forces Radio Service in Saigon during the war. Levinson needed a song to use as a musical backdrop under a montage of Vietnam War images. He considered dozens of songs, but when he heard Armstrong’s version of “What A Wonderful World”, he knew it was the perfect choice for the counterpoint he had in mind. The poignant lyrics and Armstrong’s gravelly voice stood in stark contrast to the images of war Leivnson would screen, a paradox of sight and sound – not exactly the imagery Thiele, Weiss, and Armstrong had in mind at the song’s creation. Still, the music made its political points in the film, but the song also struck an emotional chord with audiences. As a result of this exposure, Armstrong’s 20 year-old recording of “What A Wonderful World” was re-released as a single, hitting No. 32 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart in February 1988. In Australia, the single charted at No. 1 for a brief period in late June 1988....According to Thiele and Weiss credits listed at the Internet Movie Database, the song has also been used variously in at least 50 other TV shows and films.” (Source: The Pop History Dig - "Good Morning, Vietnam soundtrack")

“What a Wonderful World” has also struck a chord with various rock stars including Joey Ramone (he recorded it during his illness) Rod Stewart (duet with Stevie Wonder), Nick Cave (duet with Shane MacGowan) and Willie Nelson. Check them out: TOP 10 VERSIONS OF LOUIS ARMSTRONG'S 'WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD'

So that’s that for “ a song sung by a Jazz great and covered by rock stars”. ROFFEKE is happy to announce that the music video for "a song done by a rock band and covered by an awesome Jazz singer" has been officially selected. The beautiful music video was directed by Jethro Massey. Synopsis: “An American in Paris... Texan jazz singer Hailey Tuck in a 1920s style music video for her cover of Maroon 5's song " My colleague, Luci Doll, said: “The singer seems to take the original Maroon 5 song to its logical conclusion, and the video happily follows the music where it's leading. Lovely, fresh re-imagining of the concept. Also, the two guys with the finger snaps are making me incredibly happy. I don't know why.”

Have a finger-snapping day!

ADDENDUM: Today (21st August), I found out that Kenyan rock band "RASH" have done a cover version of "What a Wonderful World"!