Selling more than three million records—this faux-Italian ballad, originally titled Prima Donna, was a number one hit all summer. Fragments of the Oscar-winning song were heard in the film ‘Captain Carey, U.S.A.’ sung by a blind Italian street performer questioning whether the enigmatic woman in the Leonardo de Vinci painting is real or just a lovely work of art. There were 6 top-twenty versions of this Academy Award winning
song, but popular, expressive vocalist Nat King Cole with Nelson
Riddle’s arrangement had the #1 hit record. Nat King Cole introduced the novelty tune Orange Colored Sky on his TV show and it became a second hit for him at the end of the year.
Quintessential Fifties lyrical imagery:
"Are you warm, are you real, Mona Lisa or just a cold and lonely, lovely work of ar"