Friday, September 26, 2008

Papa Loves Mambo: The Perry Como Original

an excerpt from The Papa Loves Mambo Story "written" by Perry in Coronet Magazine February, 1955
How does a song hit 'get born'? It takes a lot of things: clever lyrics, catchy melody, a sixth sense of judgment about the mood of the times, shrewd exploitation. Here's the story behind my recent RCA Victor hit "Papa Loves Mambo," just as it happened.
MONDAY, 4:30 P.M.: Bix Reichner, a Philadelphia songwriter, stops by Hanson's luncheonette at 51st Street and Seventh Avenue in New York for a glass of milk. Hanson's is a hangout for musicians, songwriters and singers. Here they get their phone messages, catch up on news and contacts, and wangle a little credit.
At the counter, Reichner meets dapper, sad-looking Al Hoffman, a fellow songwriter. Reichner knows about Hoffman's work — "Mairzy Doats," "If I Knew You Were Coming I'da Baked a Cake," and "Gilly Gilly Ossenfeller Katzenellen by the Sea." Comparing notes with him now, Bix suddenly realizes Al is the man to write a mambo novelty to a title buzzing in his head for weeks.
As he leaves, Bix, a lanky part-time farmer with a predilection for loud shirts and a close working knowledge of the music industry, says, "I'd like to throw a title at you. See what you think. " Al puts down his root beer: "Shoot!" Bix holds his breath dramatically, then shoots it out: "Papa Loves Mambo." A glint appears in Al's eyes and Bix knows he has hit the target. Hoffman smiles and says, "I Like it. I'll talk it over with Dick Manning and se what we can do."
"It can't miss," Bix says. "The country's in the midst of a mambo mania. Kick it around." He waves goodbye and rushes to catch a train............Perry Como recorded "Papa Loves Mambo" on August 31, 1954; it was released in September, and charted on October 4, eventually peaking at number four, spending eighteen weeks on the charts. It was Perry's 98th hit

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