"A Little Bit of Soap", written by Bert Berns (aka Bert Russell), was a song, first sung in a bluesy soul style by The Jarmels, who reached #12 with it in September 1961.
The song has been covered many times since. The Exciters' version charted at #58 on Billboard Hot 100 in February 1966. Paul Davis's rendition reached #52 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the summer of 1970, while Nigel Olsson's version hit #34 in June 1979. Both Davis and Olsson used ballad arrangements. The song was a great success in Britain in the 1978 version by Showaddywaddy, peaking at #5 in UK Singles Chart in July 1978.
While the song was a minor hit in the United States all three times it was released, it reached the Top Ten on the Canadian charts, and Top Twenty in Australia in 1970 for Davis. It was his first charting single release.
"A Little Bit of Soap" was a huge hit in southeast Asia when the Hong Kong-based group Cliff Foenander and The Fabulous Echoes released it as a single. It spent 25 weeks at number 1 in top ten charts in 1963 in southeast Asia. Foenander and The Fabulous Echoes also sang the hit in Las Vegas USA in 1964. It made Cliff Foenander a household name in South Asia: Radio Ceylon, the oldest radio station in South Asia, played the number one hit across the Indian subcontinent.
Daniel Johnston also covered it, while De La Soul sampled it for a different song with the same name.
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