Jan & Arnie were the precursor to Jan & Dean. Jan Berry, Arnie Ginsburg and Dean Torrence were in a band called The Barons when they got the idea for this song.
Jennie Lee (real name: Virginia Lee Hicks) was an exotic dancer famous for her twirling tassels
. The band saw her perform at the Follies Burlesk theater in Los Angeles, and decided to write a song about her. The "bomp bomp bomp" chant that can be heard throughout the song was inspired by what the audience sang while she was on stage.
Torrence had to serve time in the Army Reserves, so Berry and Ginsberg wrote the song and took it to a studio in Hollywood to record. There, they met a producer from Arwin Records, who offered to add musical backing and release the song as a single. Credited to "Jan & Arnie," the song was issued and became a big hit in America, going to #8. The duo followed it up with a single called "Gas Money," which reached #81.
When Dean returned from service, he teamed up with Jan and the duo got their own record deal, signing with Dore, and later, Liberty. Their hits included "Surf City
" and "Dead Man's Curve