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Charlie Singleton Collection

Record Player
Charlie Singleton

"Strangers in the Night" actually began with the publication of D.E. Walker's novel Dollars for Diamonds. In the 1960s the novel was turned into a screenplay by Richard Breen and T.E.B. Clarke, re-titled A Man Could Get Killed. The movie was directed by Ronald Neame and Cliff Owen and starred James Garner and Melina Mecouri. Noted Hollywood composer Bert Kaempfert was hired to write the score. Kaempfert used a melody he had adapted from music originally composed by Ivo Robic for a Croatian festival, as the movie's love theme. Strangers' original American debut was as an instrumental.

The melody came to the attention of Reprise Records executive Jimmy Bowen, who told Kaempfert that if he could put lyrics to the music, he would guarantee that Reprise's owner and chief artist, Frank Sinatra, would record it. Kaempfert called on two lyricists he'd worked with previously, Charles Singleton and Eddie Snyder, to put words to the music. Sinatra recorded the song in a one-hour session on April 11, 1966. The next day, the record was released.

"Strangers in the Night" became Frank Sinatra's biggest hit; the album on which it appeared (and after which it was named) was his only platinum album (selling more than 1 million copies in the U.S.). The single displaced The Beatles' "Paperback Writer" from the number one spot on Billboard's Hot 100 chart (July 2, 1966); the album was number one on Billboard's album chart and remained on it for seventy-three weeks.

last updated 23 August 2006 clb