Song Titles with Famous People Named in Them
Please note that only songs which entered the UK singles chart are included.
Abraham, Martin and John
Marvin Gaye : 1970
Refers to Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr, and John Kennedy.  Lincoln and Kennedy were USA presidents and King was an American civil rights activist.  All were assassinated at the height of their political powers in 1865, 1968, and 1963 respectively. 

Al Capone
Prince Buster : 1967 
Capone was an American-Italian gangster and racketeer in 1920s and 1930s Chicago.

Rock Me Amadeaus
Falco : 1986
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–1791), was an Austrian classical music composer.  His output was
prolific, writing over 600 pieces.  As one of the major classical composers, his works are performed and broadcast regularly throughout the world.

Rumer : 2011 
Refers to Aretha Franklin (born 1942), American soul singer, prominent in the 1960s and 1970s.

Golden Balls (Mr Beckham to you) 
Bell & Spurling : 2002 
Refers to David Beckham, international football (soccer) player, who found fame whilst at Manchester United (1992-2003).  He later played at Real Madrid (2003-2007), and LA Galaxy (2007-2012).  He also played for the England national team 115 times from 1996 to 2009.  After a brief spell at Paris Saint-Germain (2012-13), Beckham announced his retirement from playing football in May 2013.  He is known world-wide as an international celebrity.

Roll Over Beetoven
Electric Light Orchestra : 1973 
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) was a German classical composer.  He is one of the most famous and influential of all composers, and his works are performed and broadcast regularly throughout the world.

Bette Davis Eyes 
Kim Carnes : 1981 
Bette Davis (1908-1989) was an American film actress, prominent in the 1930s and 1940s.

Peter Gabriel : 1980 
Refers to Steve Biko, a black South African anti-apartheid activist, who died in a Pretoria prison in 1977.

The Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde
Georgie Fame : 1967 
Bonnie and Clyde were a male and female pair of bank robbers and murderers in early 1930s America. They were shot dead by police in an ambush in 1934.

Brian Wilson 
Barenaked Ladies : 1999 
Brian Wilson (born 1942) was a member of and principle song writer for the popular American band The Beach Boys, prominent in the 1960s.

Just Like Bruce Lee
Kill City : 2004 
Bruce Lee (1940-1973) was an Asian-American film actor and martial arts expert, prominent in the early 1970s.

Buddy Holly
Weezer : 1995 
I Feel Like Buddy Holly 
Alvin Stardust : 1984 
Buddy Holly (1936-1959) was an American pioneering rock 'n' roll artist who was killed in a plane crash, at age 22. 

Buffalo Bill's Last Scratch
Barron Knights : 1983 
Buffalo Bill (real name William Cody, 1846-1917), was an American soldier, bison hunter and “wild west” showman. 

Oo ... Ar ... Cantona
Oo La La : 1992
Ooh! Aah! Cantona
1300 Drums : 1996
Refers to Eric Cantona (born 1966), a French former international footballer.  He played for the French national team and several French clubs, but it was as a Manchester United player (1992-1997) that he became famous, scoring 64 league goals for the club.  Following retirement from football he became an actor and has appeared in a couple of films and a stage play.  In 2011 he became Director of Soccer at New York Cosmos.

When I Kiss You (I Hear Charlie Parker Playing)
Sparks : 1995
Charlie Parker (1920-1955) was an influential American jazz musician (saxophone) and composer.  He died from alcohol and drug abuse, aged just 34.

Clint Eastwood 
Gorillaz : 2001 
Clint Eastwood is an American film and TV actor, prominent in the 1960s and 1970s, although still making some films to the present.

Nice One Cyril
Cockerel Chorus : 1973
Refers to Cyril Knowles (1944-1991), who played for Tottenham Hotspur Football Club between 1964 and 1976.  He inspired this hit song, which was recorded by members of the supporters club for the 1973 League Cup Final.  The final was won by Tottenham, beating Norwich City 1–0 at Wembley Stadium.

The Ballad of Davy Crockett 
Bill Hayes : 1956 
Davy Crockett was an American adventurer and frontiersman during the early 1800s. This song was the theme to the 1950s American TV drama series about the adventures of Crockett. 

Sir Duke
Stevie Wonder : 1977 
Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington (1899–1974) was an American composer, pianist, and band leader.  He wrote over 1,000 compositions, and is regarded as a major figure in the history of American jazz and big band music.

Just Like Eddie 
Heinz : 1963 
Refers to Eddie Cochran, American rock n roll singer, who was killed in a car crash in 1960. 

Calling Elvis 
Dire Straits : 1991 
I Remember Elvis Presley (The King Is Dead) 
Danny Mirror : 1977 
Elvis Presley was an American rock n roll pioneer who became an international singing sensation from the mid 1950s to his death in 1977.  He was then known, and still is known, as "The King".

Faron Young 
Prefab Sprout : 1985 
Faron Young (1932-1996) was an American Country Music singer, popular 1950-1980s.  His only hit in the UK was "Four In The Morning", No 3, 1972. 

Gary Gilmore's Eyes
Adverts : 1977 
Gary Gilmore was an American convicted murderer who was executed by firing squad in the US state of Utah in 1977. Gilmore had requested that his eyes be used for transplant purposes, and within hours of his death, two people received his corneas. 

Dinner With Gershwin 
Donna Summer : 1987 
Refers to George Gershwin (1898-1937), American composer of popular songs during the 1920s and 1930s.  He also wrote stage musicals and modern opera.

Dexys Midnight Runners : 1980 
Refers to Gino Washington, American R&B singer, who initially found fame, along with his Ram Jam Band, in the UK in the late 1960s. 

Grace Kelly 
Mica : 2007 
Grace Kelly was an American film actress, prominent in the 1950s. She retired from acting in 1956 to marry Prince Rainier of Monaco, becoming Princess Grace. She died in a car accident in 1982. 

Jack The Ripper 
LL Cool J : 1988 
Jack The Ripper (different song to above) 
Nick Cave : 1992 
Jack the Ripper is the nickname given to an unidentified serial killer who was active in the areas in and around the Whitechapel district of east London in 1888. The victims were mostly prostitutes from the slums, whose throats were cut and their bodies mutilated. The murders were never solved and the identity of the perpetrator remains unknown. 

Jackie Wilson Said 
Dexy's Midnight Runners : 1982 
Jacky Wilson (1934–1984) was an American R&B and soul singer.  His solo career began in 1957, and he recorded over 50 hit singles.  During a 1975 benefit concert, he collapsed on stage from a heart attack and subsequently fell into a coma for nearly nine years until his death in 1984. 

Moves Like Jagger 
Maroon 5 featuring Christina Aguilera : 2011 
Refers to Mick Jagger of the band The Rolling Stones, and his dance movements.

James Dean (I Wanna Know) 
Daniel Beddingfield : 2002 
James Dean was an American film actor and youth-culture icon of the 1950s. He died in a car crash, aged 24, in 1955.

Just Like Jesse James 
Cher : 1990 
Jesse James was an American outlaw, robber and murderer, most active 1866 to 1876.  He was shot dead in 1882 by a newly-recruited gang member who wanted the reward for James' capture, dead or alive.

Marty Wilde : 1962
In the 9th century BC, Jezebel was the daughter of Ethbaal, King of the Phoenicians, and one of the wives of Ahab, King of North Israel.  Her story appears in the Books of Kings in the Bible.  She was regarded as evil and vain, and was murdered, having just put on her make up.  In modern times the name "Jezebel" is often associated with wanton or evil women.

Joan of Arc
Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark : 1981 
Maid of Orléans (The Waltz of Joan of Arc) 
Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark : 1982 
Joan of Arc (c.1412–1431), nicknamed "The Maid of Orléans" is a folk heroine of France and a Roman Catholic saint.   She was born a peasant girl in eastern France, and claiming divine guidance, she led the French army to several important victories during the Hundred Years' War.  She was captured by the Burgundians, transferred to the English in exchange for money, put on trial by the pro-English Bishop of Beauvais, and was burned at the stake for heresy when she was 19 years old.

Joe Louis
John Squire : 2002 
Joe Louis (1914–1981), was an African-American professional boxer and the World Heavyweight Champion from 1937 to 1949. Nicknamed the Brown Bomber, he is considered to be one of the greatest heavyweight champions of all time.

The Ballad of John and Yoko 
Beatles : 1969 
Refers to John Lennon (member of the Beatles) and his wife Yoko Ono. 

John Kettley (Is A Weather Man) 
Tribe of Toffs : 1988 
John Kettley is a Yorkshire-born meteorologist who was well-known as a weatherman on BBC TV from 1985 to 2000. 

John Wayne Is Big Leggy
Haysi Fantayzee : 1982 
John Wayne (1907-1979) was an iconic American film actor, mostly playing "tough-guy" characters in westerns and war films.  His first film was made in 1930, and his last in 1976.

Johnny Mathis' Feet
American Music Club : 1993 
Johnny Mathis (born 1935) is a popular American ballad singer, prominent 1950s to 1970s.

I Was Kaiser Bill's Batman 
Whistling Jack Smith : 1967 
Kaiser Bill is the nickname given to Wilhelm II (1859-1941), the last Emperor (Kaiser) of Germany and King of Prussia. He abdicated from the throne in 1918, at the end of the First World War, and lived the rest of his life in Holland. He was a grandson of Queen Victoria.

Kevin Carter
Manic Street Preachers : 1996
Kevin Carter (1960–1994) was an award-winning South African photo-journalist.  He was the recipient of a Pulitzer Prize for his photographs depicting the 1993 famine in Sudan.  Suffering from depression, he committed suicide at the age of 33.  His story is depicted in the 2010 feature film, The Bang-Bang-Club in which he was played by Taylor Kitsch.

Laurel and Hardy
The Equals : 1968
Laurel and Hardy were one of the most popular comedy double acts of early American cinema.  Composed of thin Englishman Stan Laurel (1890–1965) and large American Oliver Hardy (1892–1957), they became well known during the late 1920s to the mid-1940s for their slapstick comedy.  They made over 100 films together.

Levi Stubbs' Tears
Billy Bragg : 1986
Levi Stubbs (1936-2008) was an American singer, best known as the lead vocalist of the Motown group, The Four Tops.

Matchstalk Men and Matchstalk Cats and Dogs (Lowry's Song)
Brian & Michael : 1978
L. S. Lowry (1887-1976) was an English artist born in Stretford, Lancashire.  Lowry is famous for painting scenes of life in the industrial districts of North West England, especially Salford and nearby areas.  He had a distinctive style of painting and is best known for his urban landscapes peopled with numerous human figures, often referred to as "matchstick men".

Ma Baker 
Boney M : 1977 
Refers to American Kate Barker who married in 1892 and had four sons who became gangsters. She was implicated in their crimes, and was killed with one of her sons in an FBI shootout in Florida in 1935. 
(Note that the surname was changed from Barker to Baker to suit the song lyrics). 

Do It With Madonna 
Androids : 2003 
Refers to the American, internationally-famous singer and actress, popular from mid-1980s to present. 

Marvin Gaye
Charlie Puth & Maghan Trainor : 2015
Marvin Gaye (1939-1984) was an American singer and songwriter who had numerous hit singles and albums, and enjoyed world-wide superstar status from the mid-1960s to his death.

Michael Caine
Madness : 1984
Sir Michael Caine, CBE (born 1933) is an English film actor, well known for his distinctive Cockney accent.  Caine's film career began in the 1960s and continues to the present.  He has appeared in over one hundred films, and his face and voice are recognised by almost everyone.  The recording is unusual in that it features the subject's own voice, recorded specifically for the song.

Black Superman (Mohammad Ali
Johnny Wakelin : 1975 
Mohammad Ali
Faithless : 2001 
American, Mohammad Ali (original name Cassius Clay) (1942-2016) was a world heavy weight boxing champion, prominent in the 1960s.  Ali was well known for his unorthodox fighting style, epitomized by his catchphrase "float like a butterfly, sting like a bee", and employing techniques such as the "Ali Shuffle". 

Nelson Mandela
The Specials : 1984
Nelson Mandela (1918-2013) was a South African politician and former anti-apartheid activist.  As a member of the African National Congress (ANC) he was arrested in 1962 and sentenced to life imprisonment.  He served 27 years in prison, but following his release in 1990, he joined the negotiations that led to the establishment of a full racial democracy in 1994.  Mandela went on to become president of South Africa from 1994 to 1999, and became a respected statesman throughout the world.

Ossie's Dream
Tottenham Hotspur FA Cup Final Squad : 1981
Refers to Ossie Ardiles, an Argentine footballer, who found fame playing for the Argentina team in the 1978 World Cup.  Following that he transferred to Tottenham Hotspur, where he spent 10 seasons, returning for the 1993-4 season as manager of Spurs.  He has managed football teams throughout the world , and in 2012 became manager of a team in Japan.

Prince Harry
Soho Dolls : 2004
Prince Harry (born 1984) is the second son of HRH Charles, the Prince of Wales (born 1948) and Diana, Princess of Wales (1961-1997).  Prince Harry is fifth in line to the throne of the United Kingdom, behind his father, elder brother, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and William's children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte.

The Queen's Birthday Song
St John’s College School Choir and the Band of the Grenadier Guards : 1986
Refers to Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II (born 1926) who acceded to the throne of the United Kingdom in 1952, aged 26.  The song was recorded for her 60th birthday.  In 2016 she celebrated her 90th birthday.

Boney M : 1978
Grigori Rasputin (1869 –1916) was a peasant Russian Orthodox Christian and mystic who is perceived as having adversely influenced the latter days of the Russian Tzar Nicholas II, his wife Alexandra, and their only son, Alexei. Some people called Rasputin the "Mad Monk" and a debauched religious charlatan, while others considered him to be a psychic and faith healer. He was murdered by a group of nobles who decided that Rasputin's influence over the Tsarina had made him a threat to the Russian empire.

Snoopy vs the Red Baron 
Royal Guardsmen : 1967 
Return of the Red Baron 
Royal Guardsmen : 1967 
Snoopy vs the Red Baron 
Hotshots : 1973 
Manfred Albrecht Freiherr von Richthofen (1892–1918), also widely known as the Red Baron, was a German fighter pilot with the German Army Air Service during World War I.  He is considered the top ace of that war, being officially credited with 80 air combat victories, more than any other pilot.  By 1918, he was regarded as a national hero in Germany, and was well-known to British fighter pilots.  Richthofen was shot down and killed over France on 21 April 1918. He remains one of the most famous fighter pilots of all time, and has been the subject of many books and films. 

Robert De Niro's Waiting
Bananarama : 1984 
Robert De Niro (born 1943) is an American film actor, prominent from the 1970s to the 1990s. 

Let Robeson Sing
Manic Street Preachers : 2001
Paul Robeson (1898–1976) was an African-American singer and actor, and activist for the Civil Rights Movement.  Robeson reached the pinnacle of his artistic success during the 1930s and 1940s, performing in films and musicals with his rich, bass voice.  Blacklisted in the 1950s for his outspoken views, he lost popularity which he never fully regained.

Shakespeare's Way With Words
One True Voice : 2003
Refers to William Shakespeare (1564-1616), an English poet and playwright who is widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist.  His surviving works consist of about 38 plays and  154 sonnets.  His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright.

When Smokey Sings
ABC : 1987
Refers to William "Smokey" Robinson (born 1940), an American R&B singer-songwriter and record producer.  Robinson was the founder and front man of the popular Motown vocal group, The Miracles during the 1960s.  From the mid-1970s he worked as a solo artist, racking up many more hits through the 1980s.

Steve McQueen
Sheryl Crow : 2002
Steve McQueen (1930–1980) was an American film actor prominent in the 1960s and 1970s.  He was nicknamed "The King of Cool", and his "anti-hero" persona, which he developed at the height of the Vietnam counter-culture, made him one of Hollywood’s top box-office draws.

The Ballad of Tom Jones 
Space with Cerys of Catatonia : 1998 
Tom Jones is a British internationally-famous singing star, with chart hits from the 1960s to the present.

Don McLean : 1972
Vincent van Gogh (1853–1890) was a Dutch post-Impressionist painter whose work, notable for its rough beauty and bold colour, had a far-reaching influence on 20th-century art.  Most of his productive years were spent in France.  He suffered from bouts of depression and in 1888 he cut off part of his lower ear.  He later documented the event in a painting titled "Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear".  After years of painful anxiety and frequent bouts of mental illness, he died aged 37 from a gunshot wound, generally accepted to be self-inflicted.  Today, Van Gogh is regarded as an artistic genius and his masterpieces sell for record-breaking prices.



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