I don’t know what the public thought about the song, “Pet Me, Poppa,” in 1955 (that was before my time, don’t cha know), but, um…well, I’ll bet they weren’t singing it in Sunday School. For anyone who thinks Madonna invented sexually-charged pop music, take a listen to this bit of wink-and-wiggle from Rosemary Clooney. I mean, well…geez, it borders on being NSFW. “If you care to keep me home by the fire, especially when it’s time to retire, then pet me, Poppa. Poppa pet me good.” Ahem. Probably not a song you’re going to hear during walk-in at the NOW convention.
Vivian Blaine and a collection of high-heeled felines performed the original in the film version of “Guys and Dolls” in 1955, but I prefer Rosemary Clooney’s recording the following year. She sings it with more gusto and less “cutie-pie.” Do you think George Clooney blushes when he hears his Aunt Rosemary sing this song?