Sep 03

ROSEMARY CLOONEY – “Mambo Italiano”

Popular13 comments • 2,528 views

#28, 14th January 1955

Italiana strikes again, but Clooney plays it for laughs and dances. The track kicks off with a sarkily comical ballad intro before quickly getting down to hoofing business. I imagine an iceberg of mambo tunes of which this novelty is the chart-topping tip – Clooney really gets her teeth sunk into it, though (check her feral “Ayyyy”s to hear how much she’s enjoying it). Her band follow suit, with a hammering piano break, and the whole thing wraps up before you quite have time to get irritated by it.



  1. 1
    Keith W on 21 Mar 2008 #

    The first singalong number one? Or is that This Ole’ House?

  2. 2
    Tom on 3 Apr 2008 #

    Badly underrated this one – certainly not a 5.

  3. 3
    Marcello Carlin on 4 Apr 2008 #

    Certainly at the time the sexiest number one to date!

  4. 4
    rosie on 3 May 2008 #

    George’s auntie, too! I like this a lot, I’d rate it a 7 or perhaps an 8.

  5. 5
    wichita lineman on 31 May 2008 #

    Always liked this, definitely a 7. Yet another Bob Merrill chart-topper! Later on, as a respected jazz singer, Rosemary revealed she really wasn’t fond of it. But then she also claimed to loathe Come On A-My House: this one was decidedly sexy, powered by fruity innuendo and boisterous harpsichord, and it made her name in 1951 (a number one on the pre-Guinness Radio Luxemburg chart). What’s more it was written by Pulitzer-winning writer William Saroyan, his only attempt at songwriting. Ungrateful jazzers, eh?

  6. 6
    Matthew on 10 Jan 2009 #

    This is GREAT, fleeting concerns over comedy shaddapayaface Italian aside. Rosemary Clooney is the first performer I’m really feeling exude star quality for the ages. What a lady.

  7. 7
    EnganySon on 31 Mar 2009 #

    Затянуто, можно немного покомпактнее?

  8. 8
    Anthony Henning on 15 Apr 2009 #

    It’s a harpsichord in the break, which appears to have been the ‘sonic signature’ on a few of Rosie’s recordings from this time.

  9. 9
    Tom on 15 Apr 2009 #

    Thanks for the info Anthony!

  10. 10
    wichita lineman on 24 Jan 2010 #

    A ‘ghost’ number one in the Record Mirror chart – one week for Dean Martin’s wonderfully titled The Naughty Lady of Shady Lane, which was only no.7 on the NME chart!

  11. 11
    Eli on 20 Dec 2010 #

    When Mitch Miller and Bob Merrill get together… see the fun that happens!

    Nothing wrong with this record, and it’s one of the few from this era that’s still well-known today, thanks to all those Hollywood Mafia films. (There’s even a film named after it.)

  12. 12
    slideyfoot on 17 May 2020 #

    For sure a 7. Also another of the rare ’50s songs I’ve listened to plenty before coming across this list: I suspect a good chunk of the 1950s (and possibly early 1960s) tracks I know already (outside of the big names like Elvis) are thanks to a double CD compilation I bought for my gf (or she bought for herself? Can’t remember) called Viva Las Vegas. Lots of great tracks on there.

    Possibly this one, as I recognise most of the songs and 2002 would be around the right time (my last year of undergrad): https://www.discogs.com/fr/Various-Viva-Las-Vegas/release/15068458

  13. 13
    Gareth Parker on 8 Jun 2021 #

    Good fun this one, so I’d go up to a 7/10 here.

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