Soul music: What a wonderful world

Today, 20th May 2020, Google honours the 61st birthday of Israel Kamakawiwoʻole. Have a listen to this masterpiece here on Youtube.

Soul Music on BBC Radio 4

Back in August 2018, on BBC Radio 4, another episode of a very special programme was transmitted.  Soul Music is a series of episodes, each of which features a single song which has a powerful emotional impact on people.  I have really enjoyed listening to Soul Music. The national treasure which Radio 4 needs to be really proud of this phenomenal short series.  Please listen to the programme here.

What a wonderful World

The well know song What a wonderful world was made famous by Louis Armstrong aka Satchmo in 1967 amid a time of huge unrest in America.  In the UK, it topped the singles charts at no1.  The song has been covered by many people including Eva Cassidy and Katie Melua. It has also featured in quite a few films including Good Morning Vietnam.

However, there is one version of this song which totally rocks my boat…

Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World – Israel Kamakawiwoʻole

This was famously recorded in just one take in 1988, at 3am. Israel Kamakawiwoʻole, a larger than life Hawaiian has such a unique and pure voice.  Israel also plays the only instrument on this recording – a ukulele.  In my work in the wedding industry, this version does occasionally feature at my client’s weddings (usually for the ceremony).  Many clients now choose this song for background music during their wedding breakfast too.  This is most probably where I first heard this simply amazing track.

Some music has the  incredible power to create powerful emotions, and this track does it for me.  It’s quite simple and pure, and I love it to bits for that.  Take a listen, see what YOU think.  Then, if you choose this for me to play at your wedding, don’t be surprised if I give you a big kiss and a hug!!!

Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World - Israel Kamakawiwoʻole