|Single by Louis Armstrong|
|from the album Hello, Dolly!|
|B-side||"A Lot of Livin' to Do"|
|Studio||Columbia 30th Street Studio, New York City|
"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. Hello, Dolly! 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. His version reached No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, ending the Beatles' streak of 3 chart-topping hits in a row over 14 consecutive weeks. "Hello Dolly!" became the most successful single of Armstrong's career, 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. The song also made Armstrong the oldest artist ever to reach No. 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."
"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!.
|US Billboard Hot 100||178|
Notable cover versions
"Hello, Dolly!" is a pop standard, and has been covered by many artists, including:
- Ella Fitzgerald (1964) for her albums Hello, Dolly! and Ella at Juan-Les-Pins
- Frank Sinatra (1964) for his album It Might as Well Be Swing. Sinatra improvised the words, paying tribute to Armstrong.
- Judy Garland and Liza Minnelli (1964)
- Sammy Davis Jr. (1965) for his album Sammy's Back on Broadway
- Louis Prima (1967)
- Pearl Bailey (1967)
- Barbra Streisand (featuring Louis Armstrong) for the soundtrack album Hello, Dolly! (1969)
Lyndon B. Johnson, often referred to by the moniker "LBJ", 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.
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, an Academy Award-nominated composer, sued for infringement of copyright, because the first four bars of "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.
- All Music: Hello, Dolly! history
- Bronson, Fred. The Billboard Book of Number 1 Hits (2003), Billboard Books, ISBN 0-8230-7677-6
- Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles of 1964
- "Billboard Hot 100 60th Anniversary Interactive Chart". Billboard. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
- "'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.
-  Riedel, Michael. "Play it Again, Jerry. Broadway Tunesmith Jerry herman Looks Back on Years in Revue". New York Daily News. 12 July 1998.
- ^ Jerry Herman (with Marilyn Stasio). Showtune: A Memoir. New York: Donald I. Fine Books, 1996, pp. 102–108.