Come On-a My House

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"Come on-a My House"
Single by Rosemary Clooney
from the album Come On-A My House
B-side"Rose of the Mountain"[1]
ReleasedJune 6, 1951 (1951-06-06)[1]
Format78 rpm vinyl
Recorded1951
GenreTraditional pop
Length2:02
LabelColumbia
Writer(s)Ross Bagdasarian
William Saroyan
Producer(s)Mitch Miller
Rosemary Clooney singles chronology
The Lady Is a Tramp
June 5, 1951[1]
Come on-a My House
June 6, 1951
Find Me
August 8, 1951[1]
 
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Not to be confused with Kimono My House.
"Come on-a My House"
Single by Rosemary Clooney
from the album Come On-A My House
B-side"Rose of the Mountain"[1]
ReleasedJune 6, 1951 (1951-06-06)[1]
Format78 rpm vinyl
Recorded1951
GenreTraditional pop
Length2:02
LabelColumbia
Writer(s)Ross Bagdasarian
William Saroyan
Producer(s)Mitch Miller
Rosemary Clooney singles chronology
The Lady Is a Tramp
June 5, 1951[1]
Come on-a My House
June 6, 1951
Find Me
August 8, 1951[1]

"Come on-a My House" is a song performed by Rosemary Clooney on her album Come On-A My House, released on June 6, 1951. The song was written by Ross Bagdasarian and his cousin, the Armenian American Pulitzer Prize winning author William Saroyan, in the summer of 1939, while driving across New Mexico. The melody is based on an Armenian folk song.

It was not performed until the 1950, off-Broadway production of The Son. The song did not become a hit until the release of Clooney's recording.

It was probably Saroyan's only effort at popular songwriting, and it was one of Bagdasarian's few well-known works that was not connected to his best-known creation, Alvin and the Chipmunks. Bagdasarian, as David Seville, went on to much fame with his Chipmunks recordings.

Rosemary Clooney[edit]

The song was first performed during 1950 in an off-Broadway production of The Son, but did not become a hit until the release of Clooney's recording.

The song was a major hit for Clooney in 1951; it was the first of a number of dialect songs she did. She recorded the song with Mitch Miller and his orchestra and harpsichordist Stan Freeman in the early part of 1951, and the song reached #1 on the Billboard charts, staying in the top position for eight weeks.

Clooney sang the song in the 1953 film The Stars Are Singing in a scene where she ended up mocking the song and said no one would listen to it.

Although she performed "Come on-a My House" for many years, Clooney later confessed that she hated the song. She said she had been given a practice record of the song and told Miller that the song wasn't for her. Miller gave her an ultimatum: record the song or be fired. During a 1988 interview, Clooney said that whenever she listened to the recording she could hear the anger in her voice for being forced to sing it. Little did she know that the song would become one of her biggest hits.[2][3]

Cover versions[edit]

The song was covered by Ella Fitzgerald, as one side of a single whose other side was also a cover of a Clooney hit, "Mixed Emotions," on Decca Records (catalog number 27875[4]).

The song was later performed by Kay Starr, who added a few lines with funny, nearly surrealistic details and ended the song with an even more explicit offer. Elliot Everlett also recordered the song. In 1952, Japanese singer Chiemi Eri covered the Kay Starr version. Della Reese also recorded the song, and it is her version that Madonna mimes to in the remake of Swept Away. Many have offered a non-tradition twist to the song: Mickey Katz sings it in Yiddish; Julie London oozes a more blatant sexiness in her version; and, Eartha Kitt performs a Japanese rendition.

The song was later used as the theme for the reality television series The Girls Next Door, performed by the Nasty Tales and their orchestra. The Surf Punks remade the song in the late 1980s.

The composers performed the song themselves – Bagdasarian singing, Saroyan offering occasional narration – for Coral Records. Bagdasarian also performs the song on his album The Mixed-Up World of Ross Bagdasarian and Alvin and the Chipmunks sang it for their 1994 Thanksgiving television special "A Chipmunk Celebration". In the 1987 animated movie The Chipmunk Adventure, it is sung briefly by Miss Miller, voiced by Dody Goodman.

American Country music artist K. T. Oslin covered the song on her 2001 album, Live Close By, Visit Often. Her version reached #40 on the Billboard Hot Dance Music/Club Play charts.

It was covered by Captain & Tennille as a bonus track on their 2002 "More Than Dancing...Much More" CD.

Actress Janis Hansen can be heard singing a version a capella while showering in "To Steal a Battleship," an episode of the 1968 television series, It Takes a Thief.

Salsa Legend Celia Cruz also did a cover called "Ven A Mi Casa" with both Spanish and English lyrics.

Portland, Oregon-based jazz singer Barbara Lusch performed the song on her self-titled 2004 debut album.

Background[edit]

The song was written by Ross Bagdasarian and his cousin, the Armenian American Pulitzer-Prize-winning author William Saroyan, in the summer of 1939, while driving across New Mexico. With a melody based on an Armenian folk song, the song touches upon traditional Armenian customs of inviting over relatives and friends and providing them with a generously overflowing table of fruits, nuts, seeds, and other foods.

Parody[edit]

In late 1951 MGM Records released a novelty answer song, "Where's-a Your House?", which charted on the Cash Box Hot 50 list. Sung by Robert Q. Lewis in dialect, the tune details the singer's frustrated attempts to follow up "Rosie's" invitation.

References[edit]

Notes


Preceded by
Too Young
Cash Box magazine best selling record chart
#1 record

August 11, 1951–August 18, 1951
Succeeded by
Because of You
Preceded by
Sweet Violets
Cash Box magazine best selling record chart
#1 record

September 8, 1951
Succeeded by
Because of You
Preceded by
"Too Young" by Nat King Cole
U.S. Billboard Best Sellers in Stores number-one single
July 28–September 1, 1951 (Rosemary Clooney)
Succeeded by
"Because of You" by Tony Bennett