Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini Writer Dies

11/21/2011
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(Gibson) Lee Pockriss, co-writer of the novelty hit, "Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini," has died at his home in Connecticut, following a long illness. He was 87.

Pockriss penned a number of pop hits with co-writer Paul Vance, including the Grammy-nominated "Catch a Falling Star," recorded by Perry Como in 1957; and "Tracy," recorded by The Cuff Links in 1969. He also worked extensively in musical theater, writing the music for the 1963 Broadway show, Tovarich, which earned Vivien Leigh a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical; and co-creating the 1969 musical, Gatsby, based on F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic novel. Pockriss also wrote several songs for Sesame Street, including "My Polliwog Ways" (sung by Kermit the Frog) and "My Rock" (sung by Bert).

In a 2006 interview, Vance called "Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini" a "money machine," saying the song earned him and, presumably, Pockriss several million dollars. Teen idol Brian Hyland recorded the original hit version, which soared to the top spot on the Billboard charts in August 1960. more on this story

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