Bossa Nova Baby

Album: Fun In Acapulco soundtrack (1963)
Charted: 13 8

Songfacts®:

  • In this upbeat number by Brill Building hitmakers Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, Elvis is tangled up with a girl who can't get enough of the bossa nova, a style of Brazilian music and dance that swept America in the early '60s. He sang it for the movie Fun In Acapulco, which cast him as a circus performer-turned-boatman-turned-lifeguard who faces off against Mexico's greatest diver.
  • Along with the Jordanaires, Elvis is accompanied by The Amigos on backing vocals. The Puerto Rico-based group, also known as The Four Amigos, joined Elvis the previous year for the Girls! Girls! Girls! soundtrack.
  • This was originally recorded by Tippie and the Clovers in 1962. The group, more commonly known as The Clovers, had their biggest hit with the Leiber and Stoller-penned tune "Love Potion #9" in 1959. Their jazzy version was released through the songwriting duo's Tiger Records, but the new label didn't have the means to distribute it, so it never saw the charts.
  • Elvis didn't actually have any fun in Acapulco; his stunt double did. The singer was barred from entering Mexico because riots broke out over two of his previous films, King Creole and G.I. Blues, during screenings at the Las Americas movie theater in Mexico City. There were also false allegations that Elvis publicly disparaged the country while visiting Tijuana, but the comments were linked back to a powerful Mexican politician who was angry at the King for refusing to perform at his daughter's birthday bash. Elvis, who filmed his scenes in Los Angeles, was also banned from airplay at the time and his records were burned in Mexico City's town square.
  • Several other bossa nova tunes dotted the pop chart in 1963. Elvis' song peaked at #8 on the Hot 100, with Eydie Gorme's "Blame It On The Bossa Nova" a notch higher at #7. Jazz composer Joe Harnell's bossa nova arrangement of "Fly Me To The Moon" peaked at #15, and The Dave Brubeck Quartet hit #69 with "Bossa Nova U.S.A." Lou Monte also bubbled under at #128 with "Bossa Nova Italiano." The following year, the trend its peak when the Astrud Gilberto/Stan Getz collaboration "The Girl From Ipanema" peaked at #5.
  • This also reached #20 on the R&B chart.
  • This was used in the 2011 romantic comedy No Strings Attached, starring Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman.

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