Did You Know Frank Sinatra Once Sang about South Dakota Girls?
Nearly two decades before The Beach Boys sang about 'California Girls', 'Ol' Blue Eyes' waxed melodically about girls in the Mount Rushmore State.
The year was 1947 and Frank Sinatra decided to put his own spin on a song that appeared in February of that year in the movie Ladies' Man.
'I Gotta Gal I Love (In North and South Dakota)'. Here's a sample of some of the lyrics:
I got a gal I love in North and South Dakota,
There ain't no difference in my love, not one iota,
I guess that two gals puts me one above the quota,
Still I get a gal in North and South Dakota.
Oooo, oooo, wish I knew which of my true loves is true.
The song was co-written by Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne, best known for penning the Christmas classic 'Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow' two years earlier. Cahn went on to win four Oscars and wrote 'High Hopes', which was a big hit for Sinatra in 1959.
The 'Chairman of the Board' wasn't the only crooner to take a run at 'I Gotta Gal I Love (In North and South Dakota)'. Perry Como did his own version in the mid-1940s:
As for the version that appeared in the film Ladies' Man, that was sung by Spike Jones and his band The City Slickers. (Go to the 26:16 mark on the video):
Jones was known for his wildly popular novelty covers of songs, including 'Der Fuehrer's Face' (#3 in 1942) and 'All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth' (#1 in 1948).
'I Gotta Gal I Love (In North and South Dakota)' wasn't the only song Jones and his band performed in Ladies' Man. They also sang 'Cocktails For Two' (#4 in 1945).
One other footnote about Ladies' Man - the film featured an uncredited performance from then 19-year old Andy Williams, who appeared as a radio show backup singer. Ten years later he would top the charts with the song 'Butterfly' and later go on to host his own television show from 1962 to 1971.