Paul Vance, Songwriter Known for ‘Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini,’ Dead at 92

by Emily Morgan

Paul Vance, the songwriter known for the hit tune “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini” and many more, has died at 92.

According to the talented songwriter’s daughter, Paula, he died last month on May 30. On Tuesday, the family officially confirmed his death in a post shared on Facebook. 

In addition, Paula said that her father left this world doing what he loved most: listening to music. Before he died, they gathered around him, and the family listened to “Playground in My Mind.” The song, penned by Vance, also featured vocals from his son Philip. 

“It’s as if he wrote the way he would take his last breath on earth,” she emotionally shared.

Per reports from The Washington Post, Vance passed away at a nursing facility in West Palm Beach, Florida. Since his passing, the family has not yet revealed his cause of death. However, Paula and other family members are actively planning his memoria. 

Vance was born Joseph Paul Florio in Brooklyn, New York. He made a name for himself in the music business as a songwriter. He was behind tunes like “Catch a Falling Star” and “Tracy.”

His last hit, “Run Joey Run,” was a massive success for singer David Geddes. 

Paul Vance remembered for his beloved songwriting

In addition, some of the other tracks from Vance were performed by iconic artists such as Frank Sinatra, Shirley Bassey, and Robert Goulet, just to name a few.

However, it wouldn’t be until 1960 when his real success came. That year, he released his “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini,” which was performed by Brian Hyland. It would go on to become the biggest hit of his career.

After being released, it spent one week at the number one spot. It later spent 13 weeks on the Billboard Top 40 chart. 

In addition to Paula, Vance is survived by his son Joseph and another daughter Connie, a sister, nine grandchildren, and 11 great-grandchildren, according to The Washington Post. He was preceded in death by his wife Margaret, who died in 2012, and his son Philip, who died in 2009.