Hello Dolly - Louis Armstrong Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Hello Dolly – Louis Armstrong | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop (#1) and Adult Contemporary (#1 for 9 weeks); 1964

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

On February 1, 1964 a new group from England called The Beatles took over the #1 slot in America and held it for 14 straight weeks, before being bumped by a 62 year old jazz trumpeter singing a song not from Britain, but from Broadway. In May of 1964, Louis Armstrong was the most famous jazz musician in the world. He had begun recording with King Oliver in 1923, and under his own name (in the legendary Hot Five and Seven sessions) in 1925. Over the next forty years his innumerable appearances on record, stage, and the big screen had made him America’s goodwill ambassador. In January 16, 1964 Hello, Dolly!, starring Carol Channing, opened at New York City’s St. James Theater. Although Louis had not heard of the show, his unique arrangement of the title tune – brought to his attention by the song’s publisher – debuted a month later. In June, Louis’ album bumped the Hello Dolly! original cast LP out of #1, and his title-tune single went on to win the Best Male Performance Grammy.

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2023 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.

Produced by:

  • Michael Kapp

Lyrics Written by:

  • Jerry Herman


  • Won Grammy Award for Song of the Year in 1965
  • Won Grammy Award for Best Male Vocal Performance in 1965
  • Nominated for Record of the Year
  • Inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2001
  • Louis Armstrong was posthumously awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1972