Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Bird is the Word

So yesterday they were having an Anne Francis marathon on Turner Classic Movies, and before I dozed off, I was watching A Lion is in the Streets, a mostly excruciatingly bad 1953 knock-off of the far superior All the King's Men, with Jimmy Cagney doing a horrible Southern accent.

Although the young Annie (that's her on the left -- Barbara Hale, of Perry Mason TV fame, is in the middle)...

,,,looks pretty woo-hoo as a leggy heartbreaker named Flamingo.

Anyway, like I said, it's a terrible movie, but right after Annie was introduced it suddenly dawned on me, by which I mean the answer to a pop music question that had always puzzled me.

To wit: What the hell was 60s songwriter Mark Barkan thinking when he wrote "Pretty Flamingo," the 1966 classic originally recorded by Manfred Mann? I mean, who ever heard of a girl named Flamingo? Certainly nobody in my neighborhood.

So, obviously, Barkan had to have seen A Lion is in the Streets.

Anyway, that's my theory now, and I'm sticking with it. And if a bad movie can inspire a great song....here's an absolutely gorgeous 1975 cover by Bruce Springsteen....

...then I guess the whole thing turns out to have been worth it.