Lost & Found: The Origin of Gratuitous Skin In Music Videos
Fans of the Rat Pack may (or may not, really) already be familiar with Sonny King. While King wasn’t an official member, he did run with that group of drunken crooners in Las Vegas. King also supposedly roomed with Dean Martin during their lean years and introduced him to Jerry Lewis. So you can thank King for that.
Another interesting little factoid about Sonny King is that he may have been the first singer to include lots of mostly naked women in a music video. Given the context of the song’s lyrics, the inclusion of these women, as well as the uncomfortably close shots of their swimsuit areas, doesn’t make a lot of sense. But then again, that puts his video for ‘I Cried for You’ in good company with every third music video made today.
The video has its moments of charm. King himself does a great job of comically mouthing the words of the song in different funny situations. But then all of his charm is wasted when the camera cuts to a closeup shot of a woman’s crotch. “What’s the problem with that?” some of our male readers may ask. Well, if you think a camera zooming in on a woman’s pelvis is sexy, then more power to you. We generally prefer a little subtext to accompany our soft-core viewings.
The video closes out with a call from Sonny (whose dancing skills may have been what kept him out of the Rat Pack) for everyone to sing along. And in case you haven’t learned the words yet, he’s helped you out. The words to the song’s chorus are pasted onto the females’ bodies and are revealed as they remove their clothes. Basically, this video confirms everything we learned from the show ‘Mad Men’ about how women were treated during the ’60s. Thanks for the history lesson, Sonny King.