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Published on Jun 20, 2009
The single debuted on Billboard's Hot 100 on August 7, 1961, and remained for twelve weeks, peaking at # 7. Mann's version did not chart in the UK, though a cover version by the Viscounts reached # 21 there in September, 1961, and another version by Showaddywaddy charted at # 37 in August, 1982.
"Who Put the Bomp (in the Bomp, Bomp, Bomp)" is a Doo-wop style hit song from 1961 co-written (with Gerry Goffin) and recorded by Barry Mann. He was backed up by The Halos, who had previously backed up Curtis Lee on the song "Pretty Little Angel Eyes". The song was originally released as a single on the ABC-Paramount label (10237).
In this song, Mann sings about the frequent use of nonsense lyrics in Doo-Wop music, and how his girl fell in love with him after listening to several of such songs.
Examples of the type of song referred to include the Marcels' version of "Blue Moon" (in which they sing "Bomp bomp ba bomp, ba bomp ba bomp bomp" and "dip-de-dip-de-dip") and the Edsels' "Rama-Lama-Ding-Dong", both of which charted earlier the same year.
The song inspired the title of a music magazine, called "Who Put the Bomp".
The song fits into the category of "self-referential" songs. Rock songs are often about rock (We're gonna rock around the clock), reggae songs about reggae, rap songs about rap, etc. In this particular song that aspect is accentuated by the fact that Mann is a songwriter singing about songwriters.
It is also an ironic, lightly self-mocking song. This is a frequent phenomenon in popular music, M's "Pop Muzik" being an example (Wikipedia).