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Under the Hood: The Roots of “Just A Gigolo”

David-Lee-RothAfter David Lee Roth left Van Halen, but before he took a shot at being a Disc Jockey, he had a hit with the song “Just a Gigolo.”

David Lee’s 1985 version of that song is based almost note –for –note on the original version recorded in 1956 by Louis Prima. The lyrics were created from a combination of the old standard “I Ain’t Got Nobody” and an Austrian song about a former soldier who has to make money by being a hired dancer.

The two songs didn’t originally have a lot in common, but Prima combined them into the story of a sad gigolo —a song that mirrored his swinging life-style. The medley was a hit, and has been covered repeatedly over the years, by everyone from Thelonious Monk to the Village People. Here is the original — Louis Prima and “Just a Gigolo.”