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"'Amapola'" is a 1920 song by Spanish American composer Jos Mara Lacalle Garca (later Joseph Lacalle), who also wrote the original lyrics in Spanish. Alternative Spanish lyrics were written by Argentine lyricist Luis Roldn in 1924. French lyrics were written by Louis Sauvat and Robert Champfleury. After the death of Lacalle in 1937, English language lyrics were written by Albert Gamse.'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." In the 1930s, the song became a standard of the rhumba repertoire, later crossing over into pop music charts.
"Amapola" was first recorded instrumentally by Cuban Orquesta Francesa de A. Moreno for Columbia in February 1923. Spanish tenor Miguel Fleta made the first vocal recording in 1925. In 1935, the Lecuona Cuban Boys released their rendition of the song as a single, recorded in 1935 in Paris. Japanese singer Noriko Awaya released her version of the song in 1937.
A popular recorded version was made later by the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra with vocalists Helen O'Connell and Bob Eberly; 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. This version was remembered by American soldiers in World War II and sung with irony as they fought in France and saw the poppies of Flanders Fields.Soule, Robert 1998. Flanders Fields Remembered. North Country Trading Post Vol 14 No. 12 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), Nino Martini (1941),[https://archive.org/details/78_amapola-pretty-little-poppy_nino-martini-alfredo-antonini-joseph-lacalle_gbia0021249b/Amapola+(Pretty+Little+Poppy)+-+Nino+Martini.flac "Amapola"] as sung by Nino Martini and the Alfredo Antonini Orchestra on archive.org] 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.
Bing Crosby recorded the song three times: first on his album 'El Seor Bing' (1960), then on 'Bing Crosby's Treasury - The Songs I Love' (1965) and finally for his 1975 album 'Bingo Viejo'.
The song was recorded by instrumental surf rockers The Spotnicks, included on their 1962 debut album 'The Spotnicks in London'.
Brazilian singer Roberto Carlos recorded a version with his own Portuguese lyrics in 1964.
In 2008, Guatemalan artist Gaby Moreno recorded the song for her debut album, 'Still The Unknown'.
Ryuichi Kawamura's cover appears on his 2011 album 'The Voice'.
Natalie Cole included "Amapola" in her 2013 album 'Natalie Cole en Espaol'.
In 2016, Bradley Walsh recorded the song for his debut album, 'Chasing Dreams'.
In popular culture
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). 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'.
*Stockdale, Robert L. 'Jimmy Dorsey: A Study in Contrasts. (Studies in Jazz Series).' Lanham, MD: The Scarecrow Press, Inc., 1999.
Category:Songs with lyrics by Albert Gamse
Category:Number-one singles in the United States
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