Welcome back to the Coming Around Again podcast, part of the Pop Shop family, where host Andrew Unterberger and a variety of guests discuss notable anniversaries being celebrated in the music world.
This week on Coming Around Again, we're visited by Ricky Riccardi, archivist at the Louis Armstrong House Museum in Queens, New York. Ricky talks with Billboard about the 50th anniversary of the song that's endured as the jazz legend's best-remembered: the 1967 ballad "What a Wonderful World."
Despite being remembered today as one of the great pop vocal standards of the later 20th century, Riccardi discusses with Billboard how the song -- intended by Armstrong as an ode to the neighborhood of Corona, Queens, where he lived -- was actually a flop upon its initial release, due to a lack of label support for what was then seen as a dramatic left turn for the singer. However, following a well-selected film soundtrack placement 20 years after the song's release, the song finally entered the public consciousness, and hasn't left in the decades since.