Ken Foote’s Summer Songs: Two From Brian Hyland

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Brian Hyland hit the Top 40 charts as a teen heartthrob in the summer of 1960. Born in 1943 in Brooklyn, New York, he studied guitar and clarinet while at the same time singing in his church choir. In 1957, he formed a group called the Delfis and began to shop record demos to producers. He signed with Kapp Records and started working with writers Lee Pockriss and Paul Vance. After one minor hit with this team, they wrote another song, “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini.” It was considered a novelty song, but became a #1 song in the summer of 1960, the only #1 hit he had. The “teen heartthrob” status kept his career going for a few more years.

In 1961, he was signed by ABC/Paramount Records, where he released another top five hit in the summer of 1962 with “Sealed With a Kiss,” written by Peter Udell and Gary Geld. With American music changing rapidly along with the British invasion, it would be eight years before Hyland had another top 10 hit in 1970 called “Gypsy Woman,” produced by Del Shannon and written by Curtis Mayfield. And that would be his last song on the American Top 40 chart.

In “Itsy Bitsy,” a girl named Trudy Packer had a line in the song spoken in a teasing tone: “two, three, four, tell the people what she wore!” While considered a bit of a novelty song, it sold almost a million copies within two months, and over two million in total. The lyrics go like this:

She was afraid to come out of the locker
She was as nervous as she could be
She was afraid to come out of the locker
She was afraid that somebody would see
Two, three, four, tell the people what she wore!

It was an itsy bitsy teenie weenie yellow polka-dot bikini
That she wore for the first time today
An itsy bitsy teenie weenie yellow polka-dot bikini
So in the locker she wanted to stay
Two, three, four, stick around we’ll tell you more!

So, here it is, from the summer of 1960… Brian Hyland with “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka-Dot Bikini.”

More from Ken Foote

More From CBS Dallas / Fort Worth

Drip Pan: CBS Local App
Drip Pan: Weather App
Drip Pan: Only CBS

Watch & Listen LIVE