David Rose & His Orchestra – The Stripper (1962) HQ

This old standard is pretty much known to everyone and has often been a party favorite for all occasions. In clubs this was the little number that would turn a rowdy crowd into a cheering and whistling crowd, with always a few (sometimes more than a few) would-be strip teasers getting up on tables and the bar to dance. I used to play it on oldies nights of course, but would spring it on the crowd when they least expected it during rock and dance sets.

My 45 vinyl single, the one I used back in the day (late 70’s/early 80’s), says it was a hit in 1962. So, I was somewhat surprised to come across late 1950’s dates on the Internet for the release of this smash party hit, which I, of course, knew first hand was wrong. It turns out both are right: “The Stripper” was composed by David Rose and recorded by The Joe Loss Orchestra in 1958, but for some reason was shelved and forgotten. Forgotten, that is, to most but not all. In 1962, David Rose was releasing “Ebb Tide” as a single, but MGM Records needed something for the B-side. As Rose was away and not available for suggestions, an office boy uncovered the 1958 recording of “The Stripper” and it was released initially as a B-side. Why the song was credited to “David Rose & His Orchestra” and not, say, to “David Rose & The Joe Loss Orchestra” is an enigma I have no answer for. The song peaked at #1 on Billboard on July 7, 1962 and was ranked as the #5 greatest hit of the entire year. It peaked at #1 at Cash Box for two weeks: from June 30, 1962 through July 13, to be followed by Bobby Vinton at #1 on July 14, 1962 with “Roses Are Red (My Love).”

Syncing this was not as easy as it might appear. Striptease songs are to be found in all genres of music and at varying speeds, in the past and today. I needed a dancer whose moves most matched this song in real time. I found only ONE whose dance routine worked, and unfortunately, after finding several different files she appears in, her name is never credited. A bit ironic given that her dance is a natural match for this classic striptease hit to end all striptease hits. “The Stripper,” oddly, is a little sad, as it is as much a celebration about the glory of youth and being at one’s peak, and the inevitable loss of that state of glory that comes after not too many years.