‘Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie’ writer Lee Pockriss dies aged 87

Composer, who also penned 'Catch A Falling Star', passes away following long illness

‘Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini’ writer Lee Pockriss has passed away at the age of 87.

Pockriss, who also penned the song ‘Catch A Falling Star’, made famous by singer Perry Como, died in his Connecticut home following a long illness, according to BBC News.

The songwriter – who served the US army in World War II – wrote ‘Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie…’ with collaborator Paul Vance in 1960. It was originally recorded by singer Brian Hyland, who reached the top of the Billboard Hot 100 with the track as well as a Number Eight single in the UK charts.

Television presenter Timmy Mallett, pictured right, also had a UK Number One with the track in 1990, while other artists to cover the song include The Muppets and alternative American group Devo.

Before ‘Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie…’, Pockriss also wrote ‘Catch A Falling Star’ in 1957, with Como winning a Grammy in 1959 for his recording of the track.

He also worked in television, writing songs for shows such as Sesame Street including ‘My Rock’, and later embarked on a composing career for musical theatre, with his work including the Tony-award winning Tovarich, which bagged actress Vivien Leigh the award for Best Leading Lady.

An adaptation he produced of F Scott Fitzgerald‘s classic novel ‘The Great Gatsby’, titled Gatsby, meanwhile, finally received a concert performance in New York earlier this year. The show had never been previously staged in its entirety, even though Pockriss wrote it in 1969.