Splish Splash (song)

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"Splish Splash"
Single by Bobby Darin
B-side"Judy Don't Be Moody"
ReleasedMay 19, 1958
FormatLP
RecordedApril 10, 1958
Atlantic Studios
(New York, New York)
GenreRock and roll, novelty song
Length2:12
LabelAtco 6117
Songwriter(s)Bobby Darin, Murray Kaufman
Bobby Darin singles chronology
"Just in Case You Change Your Mind"
(1958)
"Splish Splash"
(1958)
"Early in the Morning"
(1958)

"Splish Splash" is a 1958 novelty rock song performed and co-written by Bobby Darin. It was written with DJ Murray the K (Murray Kaufman), who bet that Darin could not write a song that began with the words, "Splish Splash, I was takin' a bath", as suggested by Murray's mother, Jean Kaufman. The song was credited to Darin and "Jean Murray" (a combination of their names) to avoid any hint of payola. It was Darin's first hit and the song helped to give him a major boost in his career, reaching No. 3 on the U.S. pop singles chart and No. 2 on the R&B Best Sellers chart.[1] "Splish Splash" was Darin's only entry on the C&W Best Sellers in Stores chart, where it peaked at No. 14.[2] In a 1967 interview,[3] Darin claimed that he was so happy about having his first hit that his skin condition cleared up.[4]

Production[edit]

Splish Splash was recorded in a session at New York's Atlantic Studios on the evening of April 10, 1958.[5] The personnel on the original recording included Jesse Powell on tenor sax,[6] Al Caiola, Billy Mure on guitar, Wendell Marshall on bass, and Panama Francis on drums.

The lyrics mention several characters from other songs of the period, including "Lollipop", "Peggy Sue", and "Good Golly Miss Molly".[4]

However, in an interview, former classmate Jerrold Atlas claimed that "Miss Molly" referred to Molly Epstein, Darin's former English teacher at the Bronx High School of Science. "She taught him to use the language in staccato notes: short fast, words...She was very fond of Bobby. Bobby told me she sharpened his respect for language".[7]

Other versions[edit]

British comedian Charlie Drake scored a top ten hit with a comedy version of the song in 1958, produced by future Beatles producer George Martin on the Parlophone label. The song was remade in 1979 by Barbra Streisand for her album Wet. It features new lyrics by Streisand and backing vocals from Toto lead singer Bobby Kimball and Chicago keyboardist Bill Champlin.

In 1976, Barry Williams, Maureen McCormick, Donny Osmond and Marie Osmond performed the song on The Brady Bunch Variety Hour.

Sky diver Andre Tayir performs this song on the Kidsongs Kids’ 1990 video: Ride the Roller Coaster.

Kevin Spacey performs the song in the Bobby Darin biopic Beyond the Sea (2004).

In both the English and German versions of Animals United (2010), Billy the Meerkat sings this song while taking a shower, but it's cut off by Toto the Chimpanzee.

In popular culture[edit]

"Splish Splash" was featured in the trailer for the Patrick Dempsey film Loverboy. It also appears in the soundtrack for the 1998 movie You've Got Mail.

The song appeared in an episode of Happy Days, in which where Richie Cunningham becomes a DJ, 'Richie the C' (possibly a play on Murray the K).

In the Family Ties episode "The Boys Next Door", Elyse performs the song with her childhood friend Roger at a class reunion.

It was featured in a DTV music video on The Disney Channel, set mostly to clips of Disney characters bathing, particularly from the 1948 cartoon Mickey and the Seal (illustrating the singer's bath in the first verse), as well as Mickey's Birthday Party (to illustrate the party Darin walks in on).

The song was also featured on an insert on Sesame Street, where the Zoo keepers at the Bronx Zoo are washing the elephants.

The song can also be heard in the films Because of Winn-Dixie and Air Bud. It was partially sung in 2012 film The Dictator, when the main character, General Aladeen (Sacha Baron Cohen) plays a practical joke on his new friend (Jason Mantzoukas) by singing the song with a severed head as a hand puppet, while his friend is taking a shower.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 145.
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944-2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 97.
  3. ^ Gilliland, John (1969). "A-D interview index" (audio). Pop Chronicles. University of North Texas Libraries.
  4. ^ a b Bobby Darin interviewed on the Pop Chronicles (1969)
  5. ^ "The Splish Splash Session - Session Notes by Dik de Heer, BobbyDarin.net/BobbyDarin.com". Bobbydarin.net. 1958-04-10. Retrieved 2011-08-19.
  6. ^ Biography of Jesse Powell. Allmusic.
  7. ^ David Evanier. "Chapter 3: The Nerve of a Burglar" Roman Candle: The Life of Bobby Darin (Holtzbrinck Publishers, 2004) pages 18-19.

External links[edit]