The Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde

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"The Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde"
Single by Georgie Fame
B-side"Beware of the Dog"
Released1 December 1967
StudioDe Lane Lea, London[1]
LabelCBS (CBS 3124)[3]
Songwriter(s)Mitch Murray
Peter Callander[3]
Producer(s)Mike Smith[1][3]
Georgie Fame singles chronology
"Try My World"
"The Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde"
"By the Time I Get to Phoenix"

"The Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde" is a song, written by Mitch Murray and Peter Callander,[4] and recorded by the British rhythm and blues singer Georgie Fame.[3] Released as a single, the song reached number one in the UK Singles Chart for one week from 24 January 1968.[5] The song reached number seven in the US Billboard Chart later the same year.[6]

Song profile[edit]

Fame recorded the song after seeing the then controversial gangster film Bonnie and Clyde, now considered a classic, starring Warren Beatty (as Clyde Barrow) and Faye Dunaway (as Bonnie Parker).[7] The song, in the style of the 1920s and 1930s, features the sounds of gun battles, car chases, and police sirens, including the climactic gun battle that takes place when both Bonnie and Clyde meet their end. The instrumentation of the song includes a piano, banjo, drums, trumpets, trombones, and a bass. The piano introduction was picked up from Fats Domino's 1956 "Blue Monday".[citation needed]

The song is geographically inaccurate in that in the first verse they meet in Savannah, Georgia. In reality, both were from East Texas and there is no evidence the couple ever ventured that far east.

Instrumental cover versions of the song were recorded by The Ventures (on their 1968 album Flights of Fantasy) and Andre Kostelanetz (on his 1968 album For the Young at Heart).

At least two TV performances by Fame have survived, including one from the German TV pop show Beat Club. The song was also performed on French television in February 1968, by Johnny Hallyday and Sylvie Vartan.[8][9][10]

Chart performance[edit]


  1. ^ a b "DI's Chart Fax" (PDF). Beat Instrumental (3): 17. March 1968.
  2. ^ "Georgie Fame – The Ballad Of Bonnie And Clyde / Beware Of The Dog (Vinyl) at Discogs". 1967. Retrieved 26 February 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d Rice, Jo (1982). The Guinness Book of 500 Number One Hits (1st ed.). Enfield, Middlesex: Guinness Superlatives Ltd. p. 113. ISBN 0-85112-250-7.
  4. ^ "Details for Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde - featuring Georgie Fame". The Sheetmusic Warehouse. Retrieved 2014-04-06.
  5. ^ "Official Singles Chart UK Top 100". Retrieved 2014-04-06.
  6. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits: Eighth Edition. Record Research. p. 219.
  7. ^ Philip French (2007-08-26). "Philip French: How violent taboos were blown away | Film | The Observer". Retrieved 2014-04-06.
  8. ^ Tilt Magazine, ORTF Channel 1)
  9. ^ Television presentation, February 1968
  10. ^ Johnny Hallyday TV performances
  11. ^ Go-Set National Top 40, March 13, 1968
  12. ^ "Image : RPM Weekly - Library and Archives Canada". 17 July 2013. Retrieved 2016-09-30.
  13. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – The Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved December 26, 2017.
  14. ^ "flavour of new zealand - search listener". Retrieved 2016-09-30.
  15. ^ "Top 100 1968". Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  16. ^ Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955-2002
  17. ^ "CASH BOX Top 100 Singles – Week ending MONTH DD, 19YY". Retrieved August 9, 2020.[dead link]. Cash Box magazine. Retrieved 16 June 2016.
  18. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 2016-09-30.
  19. ^ "Top 100 1968 - UK Music Charts". Retrieved 2016-09-30.
  20. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1968/Top 100 Songs of 1968". Retrieved 2016-09-30.
  21. ^ "Cash Box YE Pop Singles - 1968". 1968-12-28. Archived from the original on 2016-10-09. Retrieved 2016-09-30.

External links[edit]