The colors of the rainbow so pretty in the sky Are also on the faces of people goin' by I see friends shaking hands saying, "How do you do" They're really saying "I love you." I hear babies cry, I watch then grow They'll learn much more than I'll ever know; And I think to myself, What a wonderful world; Yes, I think to myself, What a wonderful world. Oh yeah!
Some of you young folks been saying to me, 'Hey Pops, what you mean what a wonderful world? How about all them wars all over the place? You call them wonderful? And how about hunger and pollution? They ain't so wonderful either.' But how about listening to old Pops for a minute. It seems to me it ain't the world that's so bad, but what we're doing to it, and all I'm saying is see what a wonderful world it would be if only we'd give it a chance. Love, baby, love. That's the secret. Yeah. If lots more of us loved each other, we'd solve lots more problems. And man, this world would be a gasser.
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I never tried to prove nothing, just wanted to give a good show. My life has always been my music, it's always come first, but the music ain't worth nothing if you can't lay it on the public. The main thing is to live for that audience, 'cause what you're there for is to please the people.
A lot of the musicians asked me if when I hit my high-Cs on the records I had a clarinet take the notes. Some [thought] I had invented some kind of gadget so I could play high register. They weren't satisfied until they handed me a trumpet that they had with them and had me swing it. Then they cheered.
Musicians in my day had nicknames. My name was "Satchel Mouth," like a doctor's satchel. When I went to England this fellow was strictly English, and he was editor of the newspaper there. He shook my hand after I got off the train and said, "Hello, Satchmo." So right away my trombone player said, "Mmm, the man thinks you have mo' mouth than Satchel Mouth." So I was stuck with it, and it turned out all right.
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The Brick House was one of the toughest joints I ever played in ... Guys would drink and fight one another like circle saws. Bottles would come flying over the bandstand like crazy and there was lots of plain common shooting and cutting. But somehow all that jive didn't faze me at all. I was so happy to have some place to blow my horn.
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I spent nine days in the Downtown Los Angeles City Jail. The judge gave me a suspended sentence and I went to work that night - wailed just like nothing happened. What strucked me funny though - I laughed real loud when several movie stars came up to the bandstand while we played a dance set and told me, when they heard about me getting caught with marijuana, they thought marijuana was a chick. Woo boy - that really fractured me!
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I'll bet right now most of the youngsters and hot club fans who hear the name Storyville hasn't the least idea that it consisted of some of the biggest prostitutes in the world ... Standing in their doorways nightly in their fine and beautiful negligees -- faintly calling to the boys as they passed their cribs.
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I gathered that those two Big-shot Boys, Joe + Fletcher, just was afraid to let me sing, thinking maybe I'd sort of ruin their reputations with their musical public. They not knowing that I had been singing all of my life. In churches, etc. I had one of the finest All Boys Quartets that ever walked the streets of New Orleans.
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When this ugly gangster told Joe Glaser that he must take the name of Armstrong down, off of the marquee, and it was an 'order from Al Capone,' Mr. Glaser looked this cat straight in the face and told him these words: 'I think that Louis Armstrong is the world's greatest, and this is my place, and I defy anybody to take his name down from there.'
When the other kids started calling me nicknames, I knew everything was all right. I have a pretty big mouth, so they hit on that and began calling me Gatemouth or Satchelmouth, and that Satchelmouth has stuck to me all my life, except that now it's been made into 'Satchmo' - 'Satchmo' Armstrong.
We never did try to get together and to show the younger Negroes such as myself, to try and even to show that he has ambitions - and with just a little encouragement, I could have really done something worthwhile. But instead, we did nothing but let the young upstarts know that they were young and simple, and that was that.