“Hello, Dolly!” is the title song of the popular 1964 musical of the same name….while Louis Armstrong’s version was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2001…..as the music and lyrics were written by Jerry Herman….who also wrote the scores for many other popular musicals….including Mame and La Cage aux Folles.
“Hello, Dolly!” was first sung by Carol Channing….who starred as Dolly Gallagher Levi in the original 1964 Broadway cast….whereby 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….as the show 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…..when his version reached # 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100….which ended the Beatles’ streak of three # 1 hits in a row over 14 consecutive weeks….in addition to holding the second and third chart positions….while becoming the most successful single of Armstrong’s career….which was 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….while making Armstrong the oldest artist ever to reach # 1 on the Hot 100…. since its introduction in 1958….as Billboard ranked the record as the # 3 song of 1964….just 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….and he also performed the song together with Barbra Streisand in the popular 1969 film Hello, Dolly!…..while we at ImaSportsphile have this rare performance by comedian voice impersonator Rich Little….who belts out Hello Dolly in the voice of Carol Channing, Popeye and Louie Armstrong….cuz it doesn’t get any better than this.