Hello, Dolly! (song)

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"Hello, Dolly!"
Hello, Dolly single.jpeg
Single by Louis Armstrong
from the album Hello, Dolly!
B-side "A Lot of Livin' to Do"
Released1964
Format 45 rpm
RecordedDecember 3, 1963
Studio Columbia 30th Street Studio, New York City
Genre
Length2:27
Label Kapp
Songwriter(s) Jerry Herman
Producer(s) Michael Kapp
Louis Armstrong as the orchestra leader with Barbra Streisand, singing the song in the 1969 film. Hello, Dolly!12.jpg
Louis Armstrong as the orchestra leader with Barbra Streisand, singing the song in the 1969 film.

"Hello, Dolly!" is the title song of the popular 1964 musical of the same name. Louis Armstrong's version was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2001.

Musical theatre Stage work that combines songs, music, spoken dialogue, acting, and dance

Musical theatre is a form of theatrical performance that combines songs, spoken dialogue, acting and dance. The story and emotional content of a musical – humor, pathos, love, anger – are communicated through words, music, movement and technical aspects of the entertainment as an integrated whole. Although musical theatre overlaps with other theatrical forms like opera and dance, it may be distinguished by the equal importance given to the music as compared with the dialogue, movement and other elements. Since the early 20th century, musical theatre stage works have generally been called, simply, musicals.

<i>Hello, Dolly!</i> (musical) 1964 Broadway musical

Hello, Dolly! is a 1964 musical with lyrics and music by Jerry Herman, directed and choreographed by Gower Champion, and a book by Michael Stewart, based on Thornton Wilder's 1938 farce The Merchant of Yonkers, which Wilder revised and retitled The Matchmaker in 1955. The musical follows the story of Dolly Gallagher Levi, a strong-willed matchmaker, as she travels to Yonkers, New York to find a match for the miserly "well-known unmarried half-a-millionaire" Horace Vandergelder.

Louis Armstrong American jazz trumpeter, composer and singer

Louis Daniel Armstrong, nicknamed Satchmo, Satch, and Pops, was an American trumpeter, composer, vocalist, and actor who was among the most influential figures in jazz. His career spanned five decades, from the 1920s to the 1960s, and different eras in the history of jazz. In 2017, he was inducted into the Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame.

Contents

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 .

Jerry Herman American composer and lyricist

Jerry Herman is an American composer and lyricist, known for his work in Broadway musical theater. He composed the scores for the hit Broadway musicals Hello, Dolly!, Mame, and La Cage aux Folles. He has been nominated for the Tony Award five times, and won twice, for Hello, Dolly! and La Cage aux Folles. In 2009, Herman received the Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre. He is a recipient of the 2010 Kennedy Center Honors.

<i>Mame</i> (musical) musical

Mame is a musical with the book by Jerome Lawrence and Robert Edwin Lee and music and lyrics by Jerry Herman. Originally titled My Best Girl, it is based on the 1955 novel Auntie Mame by Patrick Dennis and a 1956 Broadway play, by Lawrence and Lee, that starred Rosalind Russell. Set in New York City and spanning the Great Depression and World War II, it focuses on eccentric bohemian Mame Dennis, whose famous motto is "Life is a banquet and most poor sons of bitches are starving to death." Her fabulous life with her wealthy friends is interrupted when the young son of her late brother arrives to live with her. They cope with the Depression in a series of adventures.

<i>La Cage aux Folles</i> (musical) 1983 musical

La Cage aux Folles is a musical with music and lyrics by Jerry Herman, and a book by Harvey Fierstein.

History

"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. [1] Hello, Dolly! opened on January 16, 1964 at the St. James Theatre in New York City, and it quickly became a major success.

Carol Channing American actress

Carol Elaine Channing was an American actress, singer, dancer, and comedian, known for starring in Broadway and film musicals. Her characters usually radiated a fervent expressiveness and an easily identifiable voice, whether singing or for comedic effect.

St. James Theatre Broadway theatre in Manhattan, New York City, United States

The St. James Theatre is a Broadway theatre located at 246 W. 44th St. in midtown Manhattan. With 1,710 seats over three levels, it is one of the largest Broadway theatres. The St. James Theatre, named after the famed St. James Theatre in London, is owned and operated by Jordan Roth, President, and owner of Jujamcyn Theaters. The Tony-nominated musical, Frozen debuted at the theatre in March of 2018.

New York City Largest city in the United States

The City of New York, usually called either New York City (NYC) or simply New York (NY), is the most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2018 population of 8,398,748 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles (784 km2), New York is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 19,979,477 people in its 2018 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 22,679,948 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, and exerts a significant impact upon commerce, entertainment, research, technology, education, politics, tourism, art, fashion, and sports. The city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.

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. [2] 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." [3] In 1965, Armstrong performed the song on a German variety show with musician and bandleader Max Greger.

Kapp Records American record label

Kapp Records was an independent record label started in 1954 by David Kapp, brother of Jack Kapp. David Kapp founded his own label after stints with Decca and RCA Victor. Kapp licensed its records to London Records for release in the UK.

<i>Billboard</i> Hot 100 Song chart in U.S

The Billboard Hot 100 is the music industry standard record chart in the United States for songs, published weekly by Billboard magazine. Chart rankings are based on sales, radio play, and online streaming in the United States.

The Beatles English rock band

The Beatles were an English rock band formed in Liverpool in 1960. With a line-up comprising John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, they are regarded as the most influential band of all time. The group were integral to the evolution of pop music into an art form and to the development of the counterculture of the 1960s. Their sound, rooted in skiffle, beat and 1950s rock and roll, incorporated elements of classical music and traditional pop in innovative ways. They also pioneered recording techniques and explored music styles ranging from ballads and Indian music to psychedelia and hard rock. As they continued to draw influences from a variety of cultural sources, their musical and lyrical sophistication grew, and they came to be seen as embodying the era's socio-cultural movements.

"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! .

The Grammy Award for Song of the Year is an honor presented at the Grammy Awards, a ceremony that was established in 1958 and originally called the Gramophone Awards. The Song of the Year award is one of the four most prestigious categories at the awards presented annually since the 1st Grammy Awards in 1959. According to the 54th Grammy Awards description guide, the award is presented:

to honor artistic achievement, technical proficiency and overall excellence in the recording industry, without regard to album sales or chart position.

The Grammy Award for Best Vocal Performance, Male was awarded from 1959 to 1968. The award had several minor name changes:

Barbra Streisand American singer, actress, writer, film producer, and director

Barbara Joan "Barbra" Streisand is an American singer, musician, actress, and filmmaker. In a career spanning six decades, she has achieved success in multiple fields of entertainment and has been recognized with two Academy Awards, ten Grammy Awards including the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and the Grammy Legend Award, five Emmy Awards including one Daytime Emmy, a Special Tony Award, an American Film Institute award, a Kennedy Center Honors prize, four Peabody Awards, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and nine Golden Globes. She is among a small group of entertainers who have been honored with an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Award – though only three were competitive awards – and is one of only two artists in that group who have also won a Peabody.

Notable cover versions

"Hello, Dolly!" is a pop standard, and has been covered by many artists, including:

Frank Sinatra's rendition of the song, recorded with the Count Basie Orchestra, features new lyrics, improvised by Sinatra, which pay tribute to Louis Armstrong.

"Hello, Lyndon!"

Lyndon B. Johnson used the tune, rechristened "Hello, Lyndon!", as a campaign song for his run in the 1964 U.S. presidential election. This version of the song was performed by Carol Channing at that year's Democratic National Convention, and a recording was made by Ed Ames for distribution at the convention. [5]

"Hello, Dolly!" on Sesame Street

In 1984, Carol Channing had appeared on Sesame Street and sang a parody of the song called "Hello, Sammy!", a love song being sung by Carol to a character known as Sammy the Snake (as voiced by Jim Henson). Carol, in this parody segment, serenades Sammy telling him just how much she loves and adores him while Sammy coils himself around Carol's arms. They are soon joined by 4 giant swaying letter S's wearing top hats. Carol ends the song by telling Sammy just how much she'd miss him and the way he hisses if they ever parted. Carol's song includes lyrics such as: "So..turn on your charm, Sammy/Coil yourself around my arm, Sammy/Sammy the Snake, I'll stake a claim on you". [6]

The "Sunflower" controversy

As successful as the stage show and title song itself turned out to be, however, the tune "Hello, Dolly!" became caught up in a lawsuit which could have endangered timely plans for bringing the musical to the silver screen. Mack David (1912–1993), an Academy Award-nominated composer also known for his compositions for television, sued for infringement of copyright, because the first four bars of Herman's show number, "Hello, Dolly!", were the same as those in the refrain of David's song "Sunflower" from 1948. As he recounts in his memoirs, Herman had never heard "Sunflower" before the lawsuit, and wanted a chance to defend himself in court, but, for the sake of those involved in the show and the potential film, he reluctantly agreed to pay a settlement before the case would have gone to trial. [7]

Footnotes

  1. All Music: Hello, Dolly! history
  2. Bronson, Fred. The Billboard Book of Number 1 Hits (2003), Billboard Books, ISBN   0-8230-7677-6
  3. Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles of 1964
  4. Al Hirt, Cotton Candy Retrieved April 7, 2013.
  5. "'Hello, Lyndon!' Joins Campaign At Democratic Parley Next Week; Herman, Composer, to Play Song for Carol Channing at Atlantic City Meeting". The New York Times. August 21, 1964. p. 15. Retrieved August 26, 2018.
  6. Carol Channing sings to Sammy the Snake on YouTube
  7. Riedel, Michael. "Play it Again, Jerry. Broadway Tunesmith Jerry herman Looks Back on Years in Revue". New York Daily News. 12 July 1998.

Related Research Articles

References

  1. ^ Jerry Herman (with Marilyn Stasio). Showtune: A Memoir. New York: Donald I. Fine Books, 1996, pp. 102–108.