The famous ukulele medley “Somewhere Over The Rainbow/What A Wonderful World” by Israel Kamakawiwoʻole was originally recorded in a completely unplanned session at 3:00 in the morning, and done in just one take.

“Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World” (also known as “Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World”) is a medley of the songs “Over the Rainbow” and “What a Wonderful World”, by Israel Kamakawiwoʻole and released on his albums Ka ʻAnoʻi and Facing Future.

Recording history[edit]

At the time, copies of the recording were only made for Kamakawiwoʻole himself and Bertosa.[2] The song was re-recorded as an “upbeat Jawaiian version” for Kamakawiwoʻole’s debut album Ka ʻAnoʻi, listed as “Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World.”[3] In 1993, five years after the original recording, Bertosa played the song for producer Jon de Mello while the two were completing work on Facing Future, and de Mello decided to include it in the album as “Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World”.[2]

“Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World” reached #12 on Billboard’s Hot Digital Tracks chart the week of January 31, 2004 (for the survey week ending January 18, 2004).

According to the Israel Kamakawiwoʻole website, Universal Studios first became interested in using the song in the movie and on the soundtrack for Meet Joe Black after director Martin Brest became interested in it.[4] Kamakawiwoʻole’s recording of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World” has been used on other soundtracks as well, including the soundtracks for Finding Forrester; 50 First Dates; Fred Claus; Happy, Happy; The Healer; and IMAX: Hubble 3D.[5][6] It was also featured on TV series like Charmed, ER, Scrubs, Cold Case, Glee, the UK original version of Life On Mars, and more.[7][8]

Other cover versions[edit]

Cliff Richard recorded his own version of the medley, released as a single from the 2001 album Wanted, which peaked at #11 on the UK Official Charts in 2001.[9]

Chart performance[edit]

Weekly charts[edit]

Sales and certifications[edit]

[edit]


Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Somewhere_Over_the_Rainbow/What_a_Wonderful_World

Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World

“Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World” (also known as “Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World”) is a medley of the songs “Over the Rainbow” and “What a Wonderful World”, by Israel Kamakawiwoʻole and released on his albums Ka ʻAnoʻi and Facing Future.

Recording history[edit]

The song was originally recorded in a spur-of-the-moment demo session in 1988. Israel called the recording studio at 3 am, and was given 15 minutes to arrive by recording engineer Milan Bertosa. Bertosa is quoted as saying ″And in walks the largest human being I had seen in my life. Israel was probably like 500 pounds. And the first thing at hand is to find something for him to sit on.” The building security found Israel a large steel chair. “Then I put up some microphones, do a quick sound check, roll tape, and the first thing he does is ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow.’ He played and sang, one take, and it was over.”[1]

At the time, copies of the recording were only made for Kamakawiwoʻole himself and Bertosa.[2] The song was re-recorded as an “upbeat Jawaiian version” for Kamakawiwoʻole’s debut album Ka ʻAnoʻi, listed as “Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World.”[3] In 1993, five years after the original recording, Bertosa played the song for producer Jon de Mello while the two were completing work on Facing Future, and de Mello decided to include it in the album as “Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World”.[2]

“Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World” reached #12 on Billboard’s Hot Digital Tracks chart the week of January 31, 2004 (for the survey week ending January 18, 2004).

In popular culture[edit]

According to the Israel Kamakawiwoʻole website, Universal Studios first became interested in using the song in the movie and on the soundtrack for Meet Joe Black after director Martin Brest became interested in it.[4] Kamakawiwoʻole’s recording of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World” has been used on other soundtracks as well, including the soundtracks for Finding Forrester; 50 First Dates; Fred Claus; Happy, Happy; The Healer; and IMAX: Hubble 3D.[5][6] It was also featured on TV series like Charmed, ER, Scrubs, Cold Case, Glee, the UK original version of Life On Mars, and more.[7][8]

The song is still receiving airplay from Hawaiian and adult alternative-formatted radio stations.[citation needed]

Other cover versions[edit]

Other artists have recorded the medley as well. Cliff Richard recorded his own version of the medley, released as a single from the 2001 album Wanted, which peaked at #11 on the UK Official Charts in 2001.[9]

Aselin Debison recorded the medley for her 2002 album Sweet Is the Melody. Elisabeth von Trapp included her interpretation of the medley in her album Poetic License, released in June 2004.[10]

During season seven of American Idol, Jason Castro performed a cover of the song for his “Top 8” performance.[8][11][12] Maddie Poppe and Caleb Lee Hutchinson performed the song as a duet during the grand finale of season sixteen of American Idol.[13]

Chart performance[edit]

Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (2010-2011)

Peak

position

Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[14]

4

Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[15]

3

Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)[16]

1

Denmark (Tracklisten)[17]

35

France (SNEP)[18]

1

Germany (Official German Charts)[19]

1

Hungary (Single Top 40)[20]

22

Luxembourg Digital Songs (Billboard)[21]

1

Spain (PROMUSICAE)[22]

10

Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[23]

19

Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[24]

3

US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)[25]

22

Sales and certifications[edit]

Region

Certification

Certified units/Sales

Belgium (BEA)[26]

Platinum

30,000*

Germany (BVMI)[27]

2× Platinum

600,000^

Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[28]

2× Platinum

60,000^

United Kingdom (BPI)[29]

Silver

200,000^

United States (RIAA)[30]

Platinum

4,200,000[31]

Total available sales:

5,090,000

*sales figures based on certification alone

^shipments figures based on certification alone

[edit]

External links[edit]

Lyrics