American Top 40 PastBlast, 3/26/88: Louis Armstrong, “What a Wonderful World”

I’ve talked before about seeing movies at the theater on Green St in Champaign’s Campustown (True Stories, Moonstruck). I’d managed to forget the name of the theater, though, so I spent a few minutes last night digging around for it. Didn’t take long: it was called the Co-Ed. For the interested, a brief history is here. And here is a picture of it, from a couple years after I left town (ah, and Acres of Books, too!).

CoEdTheatre

I’d forgotten there were multiple screens; another picture I found reminded me that there’d actually been a Co-Ed II next door. I know from my visits back to C-U nowadays that the Co-Ed has been gone for some time—the linked article tells me it was closed just about twenty years ago. That block of Green between 5th and 6th, especially the north side, has changed so much over 30 years…

Anyway, another film I took in at the Co-Ed toward the beginning of 88 was Good Morning, Vietnam. It’s a fine movie, and reading over the plot synopsis on Wikipedia has me realizing a lot of it stuck with me over the years (could well be I saw parts of it a second time sometime later).  Among them are the ironic scenes of chaos, killing, and destruction while Louis Armstrong sings the lovely “What a Wonderful World.”  That sequence made such an impression that the song wound up being re-released. It hadn’t made the Hot 100 the first time, but it’s #33 here (it would get just one spot higher). Thing is, though, it’s an anachronism: the movie is set in 65-66, and Armstrong didn’t record “World” until 67.

Last July, Adrian Cronauer, the man who thought his experiences as a disk jockey in Vietnam might form the basis for a decent movie (of course, Robin Williams’s character wound up resembling Cronauer in name only), passed away at age 79.

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