Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polkadot Bikini Bombalurina
Song Title: Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polkadot Bikini
Date of release: July 1990
Description: ” Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polkadot Bikini ” is by Bombalurina, the British novelty act featuring Timmy Mallet. Timmy is an English TV presenter, broadcaster, and artist.
The song was initially written by Paul Vance and Lee Pockriss. The American songwriting team wrote the 1957 hit ” Catch A Falling Star ” for Perry Como along with over three hundred songs for various artists.
Production for the single was by Nigel Wright, the British music producer. He has worked with artists including Madonna, Barbra Streisand, Boyzone, Take That and Sir Cliff Richard.
Bombalurina’s version was released by Carpet Records in 1990 and taken from their debut ( and only ) Album, Huggin’ an’ a Kissin’.
The song was initially a hit in 1960 for singer Brian Hyland reaching Number One on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart in the United States and also Number One in New Zealand.
Paul Vance got the inspiration for the song after seeing his daughter was too shy to wear a bikini in public places.
Around that time, bikinis were still thought to be risqué. However when the song came out there was a sudden interest in bikinis and sales took off, this song is credited as being one of the factors for the popularity of the swimwear and the acceptance by society. In the early part of the decade, there were a growing number of surf-themed movies and tv shows that added to the song’s momentum.
The female vocalists and dancers of the group Bombalurina were Dawn Andrews and Annie Dunkley. Dawn Andrews went on to marry Take That’s lead singer Gary Barlow. Annie Dunkley, who trained at The Royal Ballet School in London, went on to appear in films and tv including, White Hunter Black Heart with Clint Eastwood.
The group took their name from the Andrew Lloyd Webber hit musical Cats. In the musical Bombalurina is a red female adult cat with a white chest and markings of black spots and marks.
After meeting with Andrew Lloyd Webber, Timmy went into the recording studio owned by producer Nigel Wright. Upon hearing the resulting demo, Andrew Lloyd Webber gave the go-ahead for the single to be released.
Timmy had a filming tour commitment straight after and took a demo cassette with him, the first play of the song to the public was in a nightclub in Malia on the island of Crete.
In July 1990 ” Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polkadot Bikini ” made the UK charts. Around the same time, Princess Diana was photographed in a Bikini with the British daily newspaper The Sun declaring with a headline ” Itsy Bitsy Di’s a dream in her bikini! “. That headline in the best selling UK newspaper and Timmy appearing on the front page of the TV Times helped with the single’s promotion. The song caught the mood of the public and was played extensively across Europe.
In an interview with Chris Johnson for Dailymail online website, teacher Everton Barnes claimed to be the actual lead vocal behind the hit single and not Timmy Mallet.
He claimed to be too embarrassed to have taken the credit for the vocals at the time; he told Chris ” The producers decided Timmy was the perfect bloke to do the vocals as he was all the rage. But when they got him into the studio they realised his voice was as flat as a punctured pancake. There was no way the record company could release it as it was “.
Everton Barnes is thought to have earned less than £5,000 in royalty payments from the success of the song. He added, ” I’ve decided to speak out as I feel it’s a great shame Timmy is going around singing the song when he knows it’s not his voice on it “.
The song was a commercial success for Bombalurina. In the United Kingdom the song entered the UK Singles Chart at number twenty-five, after moving up to number thirteen then three with it finally made Number One. ” IItsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polkadot Bikini ” stayed at the top of the UK Singles Chart for three weeks. It spent six weeks in the Top Ten and a total of thirteen weeks on the UK chart.
BillBoard Highest Chart Position: N/A
UK Highest Chart Position: 1
Other Countries Highest Chart Positions: Switzerland 28, Germany 9, Austria 7, France 45, Belgium 29, Norway 3, New Zealand 3
Official Website: Brillianttv.co.uk
FaceBook Page: Facebook.com/Timmy-Mallett
Wikipedia Page: Wikipedia.org/TimmyMallett