If you’ve been to an Italian festival or wedding, you’ve probably heard Rosemary Clooney’s “Mambo Italiano”. The melody is a derivation of an old Italian folk song. The lyrics were written by Bob Merrill, so the story goes, on his napkin at an Italian restaurant. ABC was unimpressed with his efforts, and banned the song. The lyrics did not meet their “standards of good taste”; see “goom-bah” and “mixed up siciliano”
Still, the song went Top Ten in the US, and Number 1 in the UK. And there’s no lingering anti-Clooney sentiment in Italy. Rosemary’s nephew George owns a villa in the north, near Lake Como.