Suggest a Songfact / Artistfact
Album: Best Of Sammy Davis Jr.Released: 1972Charted:
Aubrey Woods performed this in the 1971 movie Willie Wonka And The Chocolate Factory, starring Gene Wilder and Jack Albertson. Co-writer Anthony Newley was so appalled at Woods' performance that he asked producers Stan Margulies and David Wolper to let him perform Woods' role if they could reshoot the scene, but Newley's offer was turned down.
As the movie wrapped up production, Mike Curb recorded an instrumental backing for the song with Sammy Davis Jr. in mind. The former member of the Rat Pack didn't like the song at first but decided to do it anyway. The result: the biggest hit of Davis' career.
Newley wasn't too thrilled with Davis's version either. He was recording his own edition of the song when MGM released Davis's version as a single. Newley was going through a divorce from actress Joan Collins in the same year Willie Wonka And The Chocolate Factory was released.
In 1985, this became the "Sunshine Baker Man" in a television commercial. Davis sang it, too.
This song was used in the animated film Madagascar as Alex the lion is hit with a tranquilizer dart. (thanks, Alistair - Dundee, Scotland)
After Sammy reluctantly eventually agreed to record the song, he rushed through it in two takes before heading to Vietnam to entertain the troops. "This record is going straight into the toilet," he complained at the time. "Not just around the rim but into the bowl, and it may just pull my whole career down with it." (Source Mojo magazine)