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Key Largo is an island off the coast of Florida that was the setting for the 1948 movie of the same name. The movie starred Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, who were married in real life and one of the most glamorous couples in Hollywood. Bertie Higgins spent a lot of time in the Florida keys and based this song on the movie, with a failed romance also serving as inspiration. It was the only hit for the singer/songwriter Higgins, who started his career in the early '60s as the drummer in Tommy Roe's backup band, The Roemans. (thanks, Rob - Rothesay, NB, Canada)
This wasn't the only hit from 1981 based on movie stars: Kim Carnes hit #1 in the US with "Bette Davis Eyes
" the same year.
Higgins wrote this song with his producer, Sonny Limbo. It was released as a single in 1981 on Kat Family Records, a CBS imprint that existed for just a short time in the '80s (their biggest act: Major Lance). Higgins' debut album, Just Another Day In Paradise, was released the next year and included another movie-themed song in "Casablanca." The album's title track provided Higgins' only other Hot 100 hit: it went to #46 about two months after "Key Largo" peaked on the charts.
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