Thanks to Rich Podolsky's book Don Kirshner: The Man with the Golden Ear
, the full story of this song can now be told:
Producer/director Joe Pasternak came to this film from an acclaimed career, starting with an Oscar nomination for "Best Picture" for his 1936 Three Smart Girls
, also a musical comedy with Deanna Durbin. But he didn't want to accept female lead Connie Francis' recommendation of Howie Greenfield and Neil Sedaka. He had a song-writing team from Brooklyn. Pasternak grumbled when Francis assured him that Sedaka and Greenfield were the ones who had written hits for her previously, so he gave them a week to produce results.
When Greenfield was told of the project, he was less than thrilled. In his phone call with Connie Francis, he said, "What kind of stupid title is that? Who can write a song with a title like 'Where The Boys Are'?"
In 1960, there was neither the Internet, nor FAX machines, nor Federal Express, so when Greenfield and Sedaka wrote the song, they had a friend who was an airline stewardess deliver it to Francis in Fort Lauderdale. They actually cut two demo versions of songs, and let Pasternak pick the one he liked better.
Producers Al Nevins and Don Kirshner, of Aldon Music, had Greenfield and Sedaka under contract to them at the time of "Where The Boys Are." Since this was the first time a song of theirs had made it into a film, Kirshner thought that they deserved a screen credit, too. So, against Nevins' better council (not wanting to jinx the gig), Kirshner boldly picked up the phone and spoke with producer Pasternak. This is why the credits at the end of the film, listing the songs, read "Words by Howard Greenfield, Music by Neil Sedaka, Courtesy Nevins-Kirshner."