Songwriter Paul Vance Who Wrote ‘Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini’ Dead at 92
You may not recognize the name Paul Vance at first, but you most likely have heard of the song that made him famous, “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini.”
Vance’s full name is actually Joseph Paul Florio. During his career he wrote songs for singers including Frank Sinatra, Robert Goulet, and of course Brian Hyland’s famous song about the bikini. This hit song was on the Billboard Top 40 chart for a total of 13 weeks, and one week, it took top spot on the chart.
The story about how Vance wrote his most famous song is quite amusing. He actually wrote the song about his daughter, Paula Vance, when she was just 9 years old. She wore her very first bikini at the pool that day, and her experience inspired the song.
Decades later, Paula is the one who broke the news that her father, at the age of 92, has passed away. She was with him when he took his last breath. She shared on social media that on Memorial Day the two of them sat together listening to music before he passed away. She wrote, “He took his last breath while listening to my brother Philips voice singing My name is Michael , from his hit song , Playground in my mind. Only you Dad, only you lol. It’s as if he wrote the way he would take his last breath on earth.”
Paula wrote about the last words her dad said to her. She shared, “His last words to me were don’t leave me yet as he gripped my hands to pull me close, and as feeble as he was , the strength of this Fighters hands pulled me close to his lips so I could hear him say I’m sorry Paula , I love you, I love you, I love you.”
Paula shared that she and her siblings, Joseph, Philip and Connie, are in the process of planning a memorial service for their dad, but they have yet to release details.
Watch the video below to hear Vance talk about how he wrote the song “Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini.”
In the video, Vance mentions that Paula was 9 when he wrote the song, but according to Paula that’s incorrect. She shared on Facebook that she was only 2 years old when she wore the bikini that inspired her dad’s song.