Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polkadot Bikini – Brian Hyland | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop (#1); 1960

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

The hit novelty songs of rock ‘n’ roll’s early years represented a sub-genre of popular music that had been around for decades. In 1960, they were even more prominent than usual, following the governmental crackdown on payola and, indirectly, those “dangerous” rhythm & blues-type records. As of mid-summer, Johnny Preston’s Running Bear and the Hollywood Argyles’ Alley-Oop had already reached #1. Next up was Bikini, a song co-writer Paul Vance penned after watching his two-year-old daughter, Paula, playing on the beach in her – you guessed it – yellow polka dot bathing suit. The songwriters’ demo version featured a female vocalist, however, Kapp Records wanted it for their latest signing, high schooler Brian Hyland. For Brian’s recording, Trudy Packer provided the female voice. Bikini‘s slightly risqué (for 1960) lyrics made it the favorite of teenage boys everywhere, and it raced into the Top 10 in its third week out. Incidentally, Brian’s cousin was, fittingly, funny man Larry Fine of The Three Stooges. (b. 11/12/43)

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2024 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.

Produced by:

  • Paul Vance
  • Lee Pockriss

Lyrics Written by:

  • Leader/Kapp