This is the only father-daughter duet to ever top the American Hot 100. In the UK, it was the first instance of a father-daughter #1 song, and the only one until "Changes
" by Ozzy and Kelly Osbourne went to the top spot in 2003.
This was written by a songwriter named Carson Parks, who along with his musical partner Gaile Foote, released the song as Carson And Gaile on their album San Antonio Rose, which was released earlier in 1967. Nancy Sinatra recorded the song with her father after Frank Sinatra's ex-army assistant "Sarge" Weiss played him the version by Carson And Gaile. Nancy recalled to The Sun May 2, 2008: "My dad said: 'Great, if Nancy will do it.'"
Lee Hazlewood produced this song. He recalled in 1000 UK #1 Hits
by Jon Kutner and Spencer Leigh: "Frank Sinatra called me to his office and told me he had found the song (for his daughter Nancy Sinatra) but Nancy wouldn't work with any producer but me. He played me the demo of 'Somethin' Stupid' and said, 'Do you like it?' I said 'I love it and if you don't do it with Nancy, I will.' He said 'We're gonna do it, book a studio.'"
The popular Los Angeles session musicians that drummer Hal Blaine dubbed "The Wrecking Crew" played on this track. Al Casey, who played guitar on this song, also played on the original version by Carson And Gaile. In the documentary The Wrecking Crew, Casey recalled that Frank Sinatra wanted the exact same guitar line he heard in the original. Glen Campbell, who was on lead guitar for the session, tried in vain but couldn't please Sinatra. Finally, Casey told Campbell that he played the part Sinatra was asking for, so it was probably best if he did it again, which he did.
In 2001 a duet by Robbie Williams and Nicole Kidman returned this song to the top of the UK charts. Williams had been impressed with Nicole Kidman's performance in the film musical Moulin Rouge. He met her in Los Angeles and suggested a duet. They decided on this song, but they replaced the whimsical charm of the Sinatras with something more sensual.
Their version was played 25 times by BBC Radio 2 in one week, a 7-day record for the station.
Williams and Kidman's version was the 50th Christmas #1 in the UK. It also topped the charts in Italy and New Zealand.
In 1995 UB40 singer Ali Campbell recorded a version with his daughter Kibibi Campbell, which peaked at #30 in the UK.
Canadian crooner Michael Bublé recorded a version with Reese Witherspoon for his 2013 To Be Loved album. The Hollywood actress previously recorded musical tracks for the Johnny Cash biopic Walk the Line, in which she played the late singer's wife June Carter. Bublé told BBC News that he was impressed by the movie star's talent in the studio. "I had gone through the singers I knew, like Adele and Katy Perry, and my manager said, 'What about Reese Witherspoon?' because both of us were absolutely fascinated by Walk the Line," he explained. "She walked into the studio and nailed it, there was no messing around or having to piece things together."
Being that this is a love song performed by a father and daughter, some awkward connotations could have prevented it from being a hit. One of the execs at Frank Sinatra's Reprise Records, through which this song was released, feared the worst and told Frank to scrap the project, but Ol' Blue Eyes wasn't worried about it. It became a hit, of course, and he included it on his 1967 album, The World We Knew.
This was Frank Sinatra's last hit in the Top 20.
In her book Frank Sinatra: An American Legend, Nancy Sinatra recalls recording this with her dad after his sessions with Brazilian performer Antonio Carlos Jobim (for the album Francis Albert Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim). She said: "At the end of the session, the A Team in the studio stepped aside, and Dad let me bring in my B Team to record a duet novelty song called 'Somethin' Stupid.' On the first take, Dad got silly, sounding his S's like Daffy Duck for fun, so we had to do a second take. Mo Ostin, the president of Reprise, bet him two dollars it would bomb. He lost his money: It went to number one, selling several million copies."
Nancy performed this
with her brother, Frank Sinatra Jr., on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour