Single by George Baker Selection
from the album Paloma Blanca
Released March 1975
Format 7″ single
Label Warner Bros.
Writer(s) George Baker
Producer George Baker
Paloma Blanca, often called Una Paloma Blanca, is the title of a song written by the Dutch musician George Baker and first recorded by his band The George Baker Selection. The single was a hit throughout Europe, and was taken from the group's fifth album of the same name.
The song became a number-one hit on the U.S. Billboard Easy Listening Singles chart in early 1976 (becoming that chart's overall number 1 song for 1976) and peaked at number 26 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, as well as peaking at number thirty-three on the U.S. Hot Country Singles charts.
The title is Spanish for "white dove".
The song was adapted a number of times, first by Jonathan King in the same year as the original, and it earned him an award for Best Record of the Year at the Ivor Novello Awards and was a top five UK smash (Baker's original reached no.10 in the UK).
Still in 1975, Swedish dansband Säwes scored a hit in Sweden with the song, its lyrics in Swedish by Hans Rytterström. Siw Malmkvist also scored a hit with another Swedish version of the song, that peaked at number 8 at the Swedish singles chart in 1975-1976.
A Norwegian language version was a hit for singer Hans Petter Hansen, also in 1975. Patricia Lavila had a hit in France with a loosely-translated French version (lyrics by Michel Jourdan), again in 1975.
George Baker rerecorded a solo version of the song in 2005 for the movie Vet Hard; the song had earlier been used in a 1982 movie, The Executioner's Song. Other versions were done by Demis Roussos and Slim Whitman.
Given its popularity and middle-of-the-road quality, the song is often parodied. In 1993, the Croatian group Vatrogasci (Firefighters) made a parody named Pekara (bakery in Croatian) in a turbofolk arrangement. In the United States, Eddie Murphy, as the character Buckwheat in a Saturday Night Live television commercial parody, sang a mangled version parodying the Slim Whitman version entitled "Una Panoonah Banka".
In May 1985 radio station KNOB 98 FM in Bellflower, California, had a contest based on who could best replicate the yodel in Whitman's version, calling it a "Slim-off".