“This song certainly did not begin it’s life intended for Halloween. The lyrics even mention summertime. Nevertheless, the obvious connection between Halloween and candy has made the song slowly find its way into Halloween mixes. It is now considered a standard include by DJs worldwide. We probably need more songs about candy.
Most of our readers will remember the New Wave version that came out in 1982. The band was called Bow Wow Wow. The single hit No 9 in the UK and 22 in the USA.
The song was originally written from the male perspective. The narrator is talking about a woman named Candy. In the Bow Wow Wow version, Candy is now a male but it feels like it’s secretly woman to woman in this listener’s mind. The subtle lesbian-code did not register with the mainstream audience at the time.
But of course the story does not end there. The song was first made famous in 1965 by The Strangeloves. The band used a type of syncopation called The Bo Diddly Beat on the track. Some footage has unearthed of the band performing on TV. It is thought to be from a show called Shindig. Tony Basil might be one of the dancers in this video, though that has not been verified. See if you can spot her.
Since then a number of other artists have performed or recorded this song. A British group called Candy Girls charted with the song in 1996. Aaron Carter performed the vocal modulation for auto-tune back in 2000. I won’t ask you to listen to Charlie XCX murder the tune live but you can find that on YouTube.
You know you’ve made it as an artist if your song gets covered by The Kidz Bop franchise. Looks like The Strangeloves and Bow Wow Wow have really hit the big time now. The Kidz Bop version appears on the 2012 release Halloween Hits.
Don’t forget to tune in to FunHouse Radio for more Halloween Fun!