Steve Lawrence, better known as one-half of an act billed as "Steve and Eydie" with his wife Eydie Gorme, had a respectable career with several charting hits from 1957 to 1964. He even shared a stage with the likes of Carol Burnett and Julie Andrews, and also had an acting career. And finally, he won awards including one Tony, two Emmys, and a New York Drama Critics' Circle. So why isn't he better known today? Because of this song. You can track the story through the charts: he was hitting in the Top 10 consistently, then this song became his #1, and after that, he would only chart in the mid-20s and 30s.
A negative article in the New York Times
sparked a controversy, where a columnist believed the song was referring to an under age
girl and derided it as "sick." Songwriter Gerry Goffin even had Times
reporters coming to him with sneers asking, "So you like to molest little girls, eh?" A similar controversy would break out over the song "Young Girl
" in 1968, which just goes to show that moral guardians continue to have far dirtier minds than the songwriters they're supposed to be protecting us from.