Cinderella Rockefella

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"Cinderella Rockefella"
Cinderella rockefella.jpg
German picture sleeve
Single by Esther and Abi Ofarim
from the album 2 in 3
Released28 February 1968 (UK)
Recorded1967[1]
GenreNovelty
Length2:29
LabelPhilips BF 1640 (UK)[1]
Songwriter(s)Mason Williams, Nancy Ames[1]
Producer(s)Abi Ofarim, Chaim Semel[1]
Esther and Abi Ofarim singles chronology
"Morning of My Life"
(1967)
"Cinderella Rockefella"
(1968)
"One More Dance"
(1968)

"Cinderella Rockefella" is a novelty song written by Mason Williams and Nancy Ames. It was originally recorded and released by Israeli folk duo Esther & Abi Ofarim on their 1967 album 2 in 3. It became an international hit single in 1968.

Original version[edit]

Esther Ofarim and the Smothers Brothers first performed "Cinderella Rockefella" on the CBS variety program The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour in April 1967. Mason Williams, who co-wrote the song, was a writer for the series. Ofarim recorded the song with her husband Abi Ofarim that year. The song features yodelling and a somewhat 1920s-style arrangement structured like a twelve-bar blues.

The single was released on Philips Records in February 1968 in the UK. Esther & Abi Ofarim made an appearance on The Eamonn Andrews Show on ITV to promote it in the UK.[1] The single peaked at No. 1 in the British singles chart on 5 March 1968, where it remained for three weeks.[2] It was also No. 1 on the NME chart for four weeks. As of 2020, Esther & Abi Ofarim remain the only act from Israel to achieve a UK No. 1 single.[3] The record was an international hit, reaching the top 10 in various countries. It was less successful in the U.S., peaking at No. 68 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in May 1968.[4]

The song appeared on the albums 2 in 3 (1967) in Europe and Cinderella Rockefella (1968) in the US.

According to Radio Caroline DJ Andy Archer, the song was the last to be played on Radio Caroline South on the night of 2–3 March 1968, before its radio ship (like that of its sister station Radio Caroline North) was towed into harbour over unpaid debts on the morning of 3 March.[citation needed]

Williams recorded his own version of the song for his 1968 album The Mason Williams Ear Show on Warner Brothers-Seven Arts Records. For his rendition the duet vocal was performed by one of his Smothers Brothers collaborators, Jennifer Warren.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Record World 4/4 stars[5]

Cash Box (9 March 1968): "Out of the left field arena of novelty songs comes this wierd [sic] rollick complete with mock yodel and tuba-banjo backdrop. Crazy romp that shows the duo in rare form, very rare for these 'straight' talents. Could very easily repeat the track’s monster Enlish [sic] breakout on this side of the Atlantic. Exceptional long shot."[6]

Record World (9 March 1968): "Hilarious parody duet that is camp enough to connect with the populace. Pair are terrific."[5]

Chart performance[edit]

Esther & Abi Ofarim
Chart (1968) Peak
position
Australia (Go-Set National Top 40)[7] 14
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[8] 3
Beligum (Ultratop)[8] 2
Canada (RPM 100)[9] 6
Germany (GfK Entertainment)[8] 5
Ireland (IRMA)[10] 5
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[8] 1
New Zealand (Listener)[11] 12
Norway (VG-lista)[8] 8
Spain (El Gran Musical)[12] 8
Switzerland (Swiss Hitparade)[8] 10
UK (NME Top 30)[13] 1
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[2] 1
US (Billboard Hot 100)[14] 68
US (Cash Box Top 100)[15] 67
US (Record World 100 Top Pops)[16] 92
Venezuela[17] 7

Cover versions[edit]

  • Australian husband-and-wife duo Anne & Johnny Hawker reached No. 12 with their rendition on Australia's Go-Set National Top 40 chart in 1968.[18]
  • The Carpenters performed the song as part of their live shows during the early 1970s.
  • The Spanish pop vocal group, Los Quando's, released a Spanish version titled "Mi Cenicienta" in an EP single from 1968, with lyrics from Julio Guiu Sr.
  • Knut Berger and Caroline Peters perform a karaoke version of the song, sung by Rita and Ivri Lider, in the 2004 Israeli film Walk on Water.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Rice, Jo (1982). The Guinness Book of 500 Number One Hits (1st ed.). Enfield, Middlesex: Guinness Superlatives Ltd. p. 114. ISBN 0-85112-250-7.
  2. ^ a b "Cinderella Rockefella". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 4 June 2020.
  3. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. pp. 216–7. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  4. ^ "The Hot 100 (week of May 4, 1968)". Billboard. Retrieved 24 May 2020.
  5. ^ a b "Singles Reviews" (PDF). Record World: 10. 9 March 1968.
  6. ^ "Record Reviews" (PDF). Cash Box: 18. 9 March 1968.
  7. ^ "Go-Set Australian charts - 8 May 1968". poparchives.com.au. Retrieved 5 June 2020.
  8. ^ a b c d e f "Esther & Abi Ofarim - Cinderella Rockefella". ultratop.be. Retrieved 4 June 2020.
  9. ^ Canada, Library and Archives (17 July 2013). "RPM Weekly: May 4, 1968" (PDF). bac-lac.gc.ca. Retrieved 5 June 2020.
  10. ^ "The Irish Charts - Cinderella Rockafella". irishcharts.ie. Retrieved 4 June 2020.
  11. ^ "flavour of new zealand - search listener". flavourofnz.co.nz. Retrieved 4 June 2020.
  12. ^ "Hits of the World" (PDF). Billboard: 52. 8 June 1968.
  13. ^ "New Musical Express: March 1968". skidmore.edu. Retrieved 8 June 2020.
  14. ^ "Cinderella Rockefella (song by Esther & Abi Ofarim)". Music VF, US & UK hits charts. Retrieved 4 June 2020.
  15. ^ "Cash Box Top 100" (PDF). Cash Box: 4. 27 April 1968.
  16. ^ "100 Top Pops" (PDF). Record World: 27. 27 April 1968.
  17. ^ "Hits of the Word: Venezuela" (PDF). Billboard: 43. 22 June 1968.
  18. ^ "Go-Set Australian charts - 1 May 1968". poparchives.com.au. Retrieved 5 June 2020.

External links[edit]