The #1 song on the very first singles chart published by Billboard magazine was "I'll Never Smile Again" by the Tommy Dorsey Band. The record featured a skinny, young lead vocalist named Frank Sinatra. The date was June 20, 1940. Frank's final charting hit was his cover of "The Theme from New York, New York." The record peaked at #32 in 1980. It made its last appearance on the Hot 100 chart on July 19, 1980, giving Frank an unbelievable chart span of 40 years -to the day!
But now it was the middle of the '60s, and yes, while Frank Sinatra was definitely a show business power and legend, he had only one #1 hit during the rock era -that was "Strangers in the Night," which he'd recorded the previous year.
"Something Stupid" was a love song written by C. Carson Parks in 1966. In fact, Parks himself had recorded the original version with his wife, Gaile. But it was a cover version of a year later that was destined to become the classic.
The song was a collaboration of Frank Sinatra's producer, Jimmy Bowen, and his daughter Nancy's producer, Lee Hazelwood. Frank had originally brought the record to Hazelwood and played it for him, asking him if he liked it. Hazelwood replied that he loved it and "If you don't record it with Nancy, I will."
"Okay, let's record it," replied Frank. "Book a studio."
Not quite so fast. The executives at Frank's Reprise Record didn't quite cotton to the idea of a father and daughter singing an out-and-out love song to each other. It sounded kind of kinky at the time (even today, in this "anything goes" era we live in, a father-daughter love song is still somehow taboo). An executive at Reprise approached Frank and told him of their apprehensions and misgivings.
Frank, famous for his explosive temper, did not get upset. He just blithely told the executive it would be okay and not to worry.
"Something Stupid" was recorded by Frank and Nancy Sinatra on February 1, 1967. Bowen and Hazelwood were co-producers at the recording session, According to Bowen, "It took about four takes. It was one of those that went real smooth." It was included on Frank's album The World We Knew.
Interestingly, the photo cover of the single doesn't look "fathery-daughtery" at all. If one just looks at the single's cover, one would assume it was Frank, the world-famous swinger, and one of his countless young babes he was so famous for. Frank and Nancy gaze at each other nose-to-nose and resemble two star-struck lovers, an older man and his enamored, beautiful, young paramour.
But as one listens to the song, its actual charm comes through. One can almost hear the love and admiration Frank and his daughter have for each other. One listens to "Something Stupid" and is almost touched by the innocence of the record.
"Something Stupid" hit the number one spot on the charts on April 15, 1967. It remained at the top spot for four weeks. Interestingly, it was only Frank's second gold record (as awarded the RIAA) and it was daughter Nancy's third.
"Something Stupid" remains the only #1 song ever recorded by a father-daughter combination. Frank and Nancy did two followups to the song, neither as successful as their predecessor. Nancy continued to chart on the Hot 100 through 1969 as a solo artist. Frank Sinatra never returned to the Top 20 after "Something Stupid."
Billboard's Top five songs April 15, 1967
1. "Something Stupid" by Frank and Nancy Sinatra
2. "Happy Together" by The Turtles
3. "This is My Song" by Petula Clark
4. "Bernadette" by The Four Tops
5. "A LIttle Bit Me, A Little Bit You" by The Monkees