Important handwritten musical manuscript by George David Weiss for the iconic Louis Armstrong song, four pages, 9.25 x 12, each page headed with the title, "What a Wonderful World," and instrument: "Brushes/Drums," "Trumpet or Tenor," "Bass," and "Guitar." The back of the "Guitar" page has a handwritten chord change chart. On each page, Weiss pens the music for the associated instrument, as well as the song's memorable lyrics, in part: "I see friends shakin' hands, sayin' 'How do you do?' / They're really sayin' 'I love you' / I hear babies cry…think to myself what a wonderful world / Yes I think to myself / What a wonderful world." In fine condition.
Accompanied by a letter of provenance from the son of George David Weiss, in part: "In 1967, my father was approached by friend and colleague Bob Thiele, about writing a song for Louis Armstrong, who he was producing an album for. Being a big Louis fan, he was excited to accept the offer. What A Wonderful World was inspired by my dad's admiration of Armstrong's ability to bring people of all colors and creeds together while he traveled around the globe performing. Contrary to some reports, my father told me on numerous occasions that he wrote the song specifically for Louis Armstrong, was demonstrated only for Louis, and was not initially offered to Tony Bennett. Additionally, even though authorship is credited to Bob Thiele and George David Weiss per the agreement he had to enter into in order to have the opportunity to write for Armstrong, my father has attested to the fact that he alone wrote the song, and that Thiele was the producer, not co-author…The items that this letter accompanies are four charts, handwritten by my father on manuscript (music) paper, for his song, What A Wonderful World…There is a fifth chart, written out for piano that is currently on loan to the Louis Armstrong Archives in New York, which is part of the Louis Armstrong House Museum, located in Corona, Queens, New York. The chart was on display at the Museum last year as part of their 50 Years of What A Wonderful World exhibit…My dad wrote them out either for use during the original recording session in 1967, or the session in 1970 when Louis re-recorded the song with different instrumentation and a spoken-word intro."
George David Weiss (1921-2010) was a noted American songwriter and arranger who served as president of the Songwriters Guild of America and was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1984. In addition to the legendary 'What a Wonderful World,' among his best known works are 'The Lion Sleeps Tonight,' 'Lullaby of Birdland,' and 'Can't Help Falling in Love.'
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.