Saturday, September 30, 2006

Itsy Bitsy Update | 09/29/2006 | Big mistake: 'Itsy Bitsy' songwriter isn't dead: "The man who wrote the famous novelty tune Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini is alive and well and living in Coral Springs.

This is news to some because it was widely reported this week that Paul Vance was dead.

''It's not bad here in heaven,'' joked Vance, 76, who wrote the 1960 hit made famous by teen idol Brian Hyland. ``On Thursday, we get Milton Berle and Frank Sinatra performing.''

Joking is the only thing a man who has been told he is dead can do, explained Vance, who said the phone has not stopped ringing since The Associated Press circulated his obituary on Tuesday.

''At first, it wasn't funny,'' Vance said. ``My grandchildren heard about it from the news, and they believed it. And then it turns out the man they wrote about is an impostor. They wrote about the death of some guy who for years had been taking credit for writing my song.''

The AP reported on the death of a 68-year-old man named Paul Van Valkenburgh of Ormond Beach, Fla., who claimed to have written the song under the name Paul Vance. The story cited the man's wife, Rose Leroux, as the source for that claim.

Leroux said her late husband -- who made a living as a salesman and then a painting contractor -- claimed to have had a music career before they met 40 years ago. He said that he wrote the song, but sold the rights when he was 19."

1 comment:

Msmstry said...

Bill, I read this in our local paper this week. Unlike you, I didn't take the opportunity to get a great article from it. Way to go!

Somehow, I got back on the St. Martin's ARC list, and I ordered your upcoming book and look forward to reading it.

--Molly Weston