(A Little Boy Called) Smiley
(Clyde Frederick Collins)
Australia 1956
#9 Sydney #2 Melbourne #1 Brisbane

The song is also known as Smiley (easily confused with an earlier song called Smiley: see below). Charted in Brisbane and Sydney November-December 1956, in Melbourne November 1957. Also released, for example, by Clive Wayne (1957) and Slim Dusty (1963?).

(A Little Boy Called) Smiley was heard in the children's film Smiley Gets A Gun (1958), a sequel to Smiley (1956).

In the first film, another song called Smiley, sung by Shirley Abicair, was heard (see below). Even so, (A Little Boy Called) Smiley was apparently written in time to have been used in promoting the first film's Australian premiere in Brisbane in October 1956: (October 1956 article from Film Weekly at Smiley Gets A Website, now offline.).

Film Weekly also mentions versions recorded by Clive Wayne (with composer Clyde Collins and Regent Theatre Brisbane organist Len Richmond, on a 'special disc' being broadcast by 4BC); by the Bob Gibson Orchestra; and by Paul Lombard's Orchestra with Joan Wilton.

Clyde Collins, writer of (A Little Boy Called) Smiley, was a prolific Australian composer whose works include The Sunshine State, the official song of the 1958 Queensland Centenary (Life is great/ In the Sunshine State...). (A Little Boy Called) Smiley was included in John Watson's Smiley The Musical (1992).

Sadly, Nigel Mallet's excellent Smiley Gets A Website has vanished permanently, but you can access a text-only version at the Internet Archive.

Although Ronnie Burns's 1969 hit Smiley is a different song, the name 'Smiley' would have resonated with Australian audiences familiar with (A Little Boy Called) Smiley and with the Smiley films.

Red Perksey: a French jazz musician who arrived in Australia in 1951 and began to record conventional dance music for the Pacific label in 1953. (Liner notes to ScreenSound Australia’s CD Jukebox Bop.)

See also (We're Gonna) Rock Around The Clock by Vic Sabrino with Red Perksey & His Orchestra.

(William Alwyn - A. Kimmins - Bill Lovelock)
UK 1956
Red herring

Similar title but not the same song as 'Smiley' by Red Perksey.This was the song heard in the first Smiley film (1956), sung by Australian zither player Shirley Abicair (b. Melbourne, 1930), who moved to the UK in 1953 and became a familiar face on British television. This was recorded in London, produced by George Martin, later of Beatles fame.

The Wikipedia entry on Shirley Abicair outlines her long and varied career which took her eventually to the US.

The songwriting credits are to film composer William Alwyn and (I assume) Anthony Kimmins, the director of Smiley, along with Australian songwriter Bill Lovelock, a longtime musical associate of Shirley Abicair. (This is not the British composer resident in Australia William Lovelock).

See the Shirley Abicair page at Whirligig which includes her own account of her contribution to the film.

For Australians who were there at the time, the more familiar song would be the hit (A Little Boy Called) Smiley, heard in the sequel Smiley Gets A Gun, but used to promote the release of the first film (see above).

Colin Petersen, who joined The Bee Gees as drummer in 1967, played the part of Smiley in Smiley. (The role was taken over by Kevin Calvert for Smiley Gets A Gun.)

Thanks to Terry Stacey for the version alert, and to Yann Lovelock for clarification.

(Johnny Young)
Australia 1969
Red herring
#1 Sydney #3 Melbourne #3 Brisbane #10 Adelaide


See Smiley by Ronnie Burns (also by Craig Scott, NZ, 1971).

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