Throwback: Shirley Ellis-The Clapping Song (Clap Pat Clap Slap)



Shirley Ellis is a singer/songwriter from New York City. Her first success came at age 13 when her song “One, Two, I Love You” was recorded by The Heartbreakers in 1957. Her professional association with songwriter/producer Lincoln Chase helped her to craft a succession of ’60’s hits including, “The Nitty Gritty,” “The Name Game,” “The Clapping Song (Clap, Pat, Clap, Slap),” “The Puzzle Song (A Puzzle In Song)” and “Soul Time.” She retired from the music industry in 1968 but her songs have been used in movies and covered by other artists including Gladys Knight and The Pips. Afrika Bambaataa cites “The Name Game” and “The Clapping Song” as one of the origins of hip-hop because of the usage of call and response. “The Clapping Song” has been sampled, performed and used by Spank Rock, Lil’ Kim, UB40, Pia Zadora, “Dancing With The Stars” in addition to a variety of other artists.