"Mambo Italiano" is a popular song written by Bob Merrill in 1954 and recorded by Rosemary Clooney. Merrill actually wrote it on deadline, scribbled hastily on a paper napkin in an Italian restaurant in New York, United States using the wall pay-phone to dictate the melody, rhythm and lyrics to the recording studio pianist, under the aegis of conductor Mitch Miller. The song became a hit for Rosemary, reaching #10 on the charts in the United States and number one in the UK Singles Chart early in 1955.
The original record was produced by Mitch Miller.
The 1988 Jonathan Demme film, Married to the Mob, featured Clooney's version playing while the opening credits rolled.
Also in 1988 the song figured prominently in the 22-year off-broadway production of "Tony & Tina's Wedding" as well as various national touring productions since.
In 2000 it was remixed and re-released by Shaft, reaching #12 on the UK Singles Chart. The bands Groove Armada and Basement Jaxx have each recorded their own electronic music versions of the song. A Russian version of "Mambo Italiano" was recorded by Philipp Kirkorov in 2001, and appeared on his album Vchera, Segodnya, Zavtra. Paula Tsui recorded a Mandarin version, Cha shao bao. A sample from Clooney's version was used in the song "Imma Tell" by Tech N9ne in 2002. The song was also sampled in "Mambo", performed by VIP featuring Sin, from Sin's and VIP's 2006 mixtape "Rane Vol. 1".
Other versions of "Mambo Italiano" have been recorded by Dean Martin, Bette Midler, Gérard Darmon, Alma Cogan (1955) and Renato Carosone, and in French, Dario Moreno.
In 2009, the Renato Carosone/Nisa recording was featured in an advertisement for Visa Inc.
In 2010, it was performed during the live rounds of the BBC TV Show Over The Rainbow by the eventual winner, Danielle Hope.
In 2011, Lady Gaga sampled the melody of the song at the beginning of her song "Americano" featured in her album Born this Way (album)