Song: “The Candy Man” by Sammy Davis Jr. & the Mike Curb Congregation
Reached #1: June 10, 1972 (his first, 3 weeks)
While “The Candy Man” is, of course, associated with the original Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory, it’s not the Sammy Davis version that appears in the film.
British actor Aubrey Woods sang the song in the film. After the film became a smash, the Mike Curb Congregation did a version of the song – which failed to chart. Davis recorded lead vocals for a new version of the Curb Congregation song – and the combination scored Davis’ only #1 hit.
I’m not going to dive into Davis’ career – there have been books about it, and I couldn’t do it justice… but I’m really surprised that he only hit #1 once. Early in his career, he did focus on singing as much as acting, and in the late ‘50s and early ‘60s, you’d have thought one of his songs would have topped the charts.
It’s said that Davis wasn’t a big fan of the song, but was glad that it restarted a career that had stalled for a couple of years, and made peace with the fact that it became a trademark. I hope that’s revisionist history – you’d like to think that this was more than just a gig for him, wouldn’t you?
From my “you could win a bar bet with this one” department: did you know that Frank Sinatra once called his Vegas-based group of friends “The Clan”… until Davis made a certain very logical objection? Apparently, Sinatra never used “The Rat Pack”, finally naming his clique “The Summit” instead. But since Sinatra’s group tied back to Humphrey Bogart’s original “Beverly Hills Rat Pack” through the Chairman himself, the unwanted name stuck…
Tomorrow, a second dose of glimmer…
Other songs that reached #1 on June 10:
1978 – “You’re The One That I Want” by John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John (first for both, 1 week)
1989 – “Wind Beneath My Wings” by Bette Midler (her first, 1 week)