Friday, July 8, 2011

Itsy Bitsy Bikini

Sixty-five years ago, on July 5, 1946, the modern bikini was invented by a French engineer named Louis Reard. (A similar garment had been worn by the Greeks and Romans for athletic purposes, so Reard's invention is the modern version). Reard expected the tiny swim suit to have the same impact as the US atomic tests on the Bikini Atoll, that had just occurred, hence the name bikini. The bikini was first worn in public a few days later, on July 11th. The itsy bitsy garment was slow to become fashionable. Bridget Bardot helped. And in the US, the 1960 song "Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini" is credited with helping to make the bikini fashionable.

The song about a shy girl too afraid to be seen in her new swim suit was written by Paul Vance and Lee Pockriss. The original release by Brian Hyland in June 1960 made it to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 on August 8, 1960. Several other singers, including Connie Francis, also sang it. And the rest is history.

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