About the song
If you love doo-wop music, you probably know the song “Who Put the Bomp (in the Bomp, Bomp, Bomp)” by Barry Mann. But do you know the history behind this catchy tune? In this blog post, we’ll explore how Mann and his co-writer Gerry Goffin came up with this novelty song that poked fun at the nonsensical lyrics of some doo-wop hits, and how it became a pop culture phenomenon.
Barry Mann was a prolific songwriter who, along with Goffin, wrote many classic songs for artists like The Shirelles, The Drifters, The Righteous Brothers and more. In 1961, he decided to record a song of his own, inspired by the doo-wop songs he heard on the radio. He and Goffin wrote “Who Put the Bomp” as a humorous tribute to the genre, using phrases like “bomp bomp ba bomp”, “dip-de-dip-de-dip” and “boogidy shoo” that were common in doo-wop songs. They also referenced specific songs like “Blue Moon” by The Marcels and “Rama-Lama-Ding-Dong” by The Edsels. The song was about how Mann’s girl fell in love with him after listening to these songs.
The song was recorded at the Brill Building, a famous music hub in New York City, where Mann and Goffin worked as songwriters. They were backed up by The Halos, a doo-wop group that also sang on other hits like “Pretty Little Angel Eyes” by Curtis Lee. The song was produced by Al Nevins and Don Kirshner, who were also influential figures in the music industry. The song was released as a single on the ABC-Paramount label in 1961.
The song was a hit, reaching #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and becoming Mann’s only top 40 hit as a performer. It also spawned many cover versions and parodies by other artists, such as The Viscounts, Showaddywaddy, Morecambe and Wise, Sharon, Lois & Bram and more. The song also inspired the title of a music magazine that focused on doo-wop and oldies music.
“Who Put the Bomp” is a song that celebrates doo-wop music while also making fun of it. It is a song that shows Mann’s talent as a songwriter and his love for the genre. It is a song that has become a part of pop culture history and still brings joy to listeners today.