Pop Focus: Peter and Sophia Sing "Goodness Gracious Me"!

There was a lot of odd and interesting stuff on the British record charts in the pre-Beatles days, including this goofy, catchy duet by comedian Peter Sellers and Italian actress Sofia Loren -- a Top 5 hit in 1960.

Recorded at the same time the duo was making the film "The Millionaress," the song was considered, but rejected, for the comedy's soundtrack. Yet, released a single, the song was a hit that helped promote the movie.

In the film, Sellers -- famously a man with 1, 000 voices -- plays a physician from India and he sings in the same accent on the record. The result is very much politically incorrect by today's standards, but considered a real laugh at the time. And the record does hold up as a fun obscurity by two stars. And, like I said, it's catchy.

Also of historical interest is that the song was produced by soon-to-be Beatles collaborator George Martin and recorded at EMI's Abbey Road studio. Martin produced several best-selling comedy LPs for Sellers, as well as for the comedian's former Goon Show partner, Spike Milligan.

Along with being released as a single, "Goodness Gracious Me" became the lead track on Peter and Sophia, a full LP featuring duet and solo tunes by Sellers and Loren.

You can hear the song via the video below, and check out some period pics of Sellers, Loren and Martin below that.

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