Amapola (song)

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For other uses, see Amapola (disambiguation).
"Amapola (Pretty Little Poppy)"
Single by Jimmy Dorsey, Helen O'Connell, and Bob Eberly
Recorded 1941
Genre Traditional pop
Length 4:49
Writer(s) Joseph Lacalle, Albert Gamse (Eng. lyrics)
Jimmy Dorsey, Helen O'Connell, and Bob Eberly singles chronology
"Amapola (Pretty Little Poppy)"
(1941)
"My Sister and I"
(1941)

"Amapola" is a 1923 song by Cádiz-born composer José María Lacalle García (later Joseph Lacalle), with Spanish lyrics. After the composer died in 1937, English language lyrics were written by Albert Gamse.[1] In the 1930s, the song became a standard of the rhumba repertoire, later crossing-over into pop music charts.

Recordings[edit]

"Amapola" was first recorded instrumentally by Cuban Orquesta Francesa de A. Moreno for Columbia in February 1923.[2][3] Spanish tenor Miguel Fleta made the first vocal recording in 1925. In 1935, the Lecuona Cuban Boys released their rhumba rendition of the song as a single. Japanese singer Noriko Awaya released her version of the song in 1937. Deanna Durbin sang the song in the 1939 film First Love. The song was performed in other films by Alberto Rabagliati (1941) and Sara Montiel (La bella Lola, 1962). A popular recorded version was made later by the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra with vocalists Helen O'Connell and Bob Eberly;[4] this was released by Decca Records as catalog number 3629 and arrived on the Billboard charts on March 14, 1941, where it stayed for 14 weeks and reached #1. Another English-language version for the American market was recorded by Spike Jones and his City Slickers in the characteristic comic style of his band.

Since its debut "Amapola" has been a favorite recording of opera tenors including Tito Schipa (1926), Jan Peerce (1950), Alfredo Kraus (1959) and Luigi Alva (1963). Tatsuro Yamashita covered Amapola in his 1986 a cappella album "On The Street Corner 2". In 1990 "Amapola" was sung during the first Three Tenors concert in Rome.

Ryuichi Kawamura's cover appears on his 2011 album The Voice. Natalie Cole included "Amapola" in her 2013 album Natalie Cole en Español.

In popular culture[edit]

In Gabrielle Roy's The Tin Flute, published in 1945, the character Emmanuel hums "Amapola". An orchestral version of "Amapola" directed by Ennio Morricone served as a leitmotif in the 1984 gangster film Once Upon a Time in America.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Collected Works of George Grant: 1933-1950 George Parkin Grant, Peter Christopher Emberley, Arthur Davis - 2000 footnote Page 35 "38 'Amapola,' a popular love-song in 1941 written in French in 1924 by Joseph M. Lacalle and later given English words by Albert Gamse. The song was recorded by many artists, including Deanna Durbin."
  2. ^ Spottswood, Richard (1990). Ethnic Music on Records: A Discography of Ethnic Recordings Produced in the United States, 1893-1942. Vol. 4: Spanish, Portuguese, Philippines, Basque (Music in American Life) (v. 4). University of Illinois Press. p. 2137. ISBN 0252017226. 
  3. ^ "Columbia New Process Record ...", The Cincinnati Enquirer, p. 47, 25 November 1923 
  4. ^ Gilliland, John (1994). Pop Chronicles the 40s: The Lively Story of Pop Music in the 40s (audiobook). ISBN 978-1-55935-147-8. OCLC 31611854.  Tape 2, side A.
Preceded by
"Frenesi"
by Artie Shaw and His Orchestra
The Billboard National Best Selling Retail Records number-one single
(Jimmy Dorsey and His Orchestra version)

March 29, 1941 – May 31, 1941
(ten weeks)
Succeeded by
"My Sister and I"
by Jimmy Dorsey and His Orchestra with vocal chorus by Bob Eberly