Composer of “What A Wonderful World,” George David Weiss Dies

August 30, 2010  
Filed under Music

The co-composer (with Bob Thiele) of What A Wonderful World, George David Weiss, 89, died on August 23rd. George David Weiss also composed the ballad Can`t Help Falling in Love for Elvis Presley, for the 1961 film, Blue Hawaii. Weiss made a small contribution to the hit The Lion Sleeps Tonight, which was a No. 1 hit for the Tokens. David wrote the line, “In the jungle, the mighty jungle.”

What A Wonderful World got off to a slow start, but was recorded by Louis Armstrong and did well in England. A music executive here in this country thought the lyrics were too corny. Lines like: “I`ve seen babies cry, I watch them grow, they`ll learn much more than I`ll ever know, And I think to myself, What A Wonderful World.”

This was 1968. The song didn`t really take off until 1987 when it was used in Robin Williams hit comedy Good Morning, Vietnam. The optimistic song is often played against footage of warfare, which creates an irony that raises questions in the mind of the audience. “I`ve seen friends shakin` hands, saying how do you do, they`re really sayin` I Love You.”

The song has been covered by hundreds of artists, I even did it with The Bubbles many years ago, but I still prefer Satchmo`s original version. George David Weiss wrote a classic that will live forever. “I see trees of green, red roses too, I see `em bloom, for me and you.” The tune makes ya happy and forget your problems for a few minutes. What more can you ask for?

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