Was “The Book of Love” Inspired by a Pepsodent Commercial?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about movies and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the movie urban legends featured so far.

MUSIC URBAN LEGEND: The famous “I wonder, wonder who, who-oo-ooh, who” part of the Monotones’ “Book of Love” was inspired by a Pepsodent commercial!

If you’re compiling a list of the most famous lines from do wop and early rock ‘n’ roll history, you simply would have to include The Monotones “I wonder, wonder who, who-oo-ooh, who (who wrote the book of love)” from their 1957 hit single, “Book of Love” (a song that became so popular that the record company that originally released the record literally could not meet the demand for the song, so they had to have it be re-issued by a major record label in early 1958).

What’s even more amazing than the coolness of the line (and the song itself, which is an utter classic) is what INSPIRED that great line.

Lead singer Charles Patrick (shown above) drew his inspiration from, of all things, a Pepsodent commercial!

Pepsodent was a popular brand of toothpaste in the first half of the 20th Century.

In the latter half of the decade, its lack of fluoride made it pale in comparison to its competitors like Crest and Colgate, so while it still exists today, it is not even vaguely on the same level as those other toothpastes.

In any event, during the mid-50s, they had a popular TV commercial with cartoon characters extolling the virtues of Pepsodent’s whitening powers.

A couple of young men admire a young woman’s smile…

She credits Pepsodent…

And the commercial then tells us that with Pepsodent (get ready for their slogan)…”You’ll wonder where the yellow went!”

Check out the progression…

Here, courtesy of AdvertJury, is the old commercial…

As you can tell, while it’s not blatantly the same sound (it’s not like they’re saying “You’ll wonder, wonder, whe-where the yellow went”), you can definitely see how it inspired Patrick (interestingly enough, Patrick has quite a nice smile!).

Now I feel almost cheated that we never had a great pop song involving “Plop Plop Fizz Fizz”!!!

The legend is…


Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future installments! My e-mail address is bcronin@legendsrevealed.com.

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