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"Just a Gigolo" is a popular song, adapted by Irving Caesar in 1929 from the Austrian song "Schöner Gigolo", written in 1928 by Leonello Casucci (music) and Julius Brammer (lyrics).
 

The original version is a poetic vision of the social collapse lived in Austria after World War I, represented by the figure of a former hussar who remembers himself parading in his uniform, while now he has to get by as a lonely, hired dancer. The music features a simple melodic sequence, but nonetheless has a clever harmonic construction that highlights the mixed emotions in the lyrics, adding a nostalgic, bittersweet effect.

The success of the song prompted a Tin Pan Alley publisher to buy the rights and order an English version from Irving Caesar, a very popular lyricist of the time. Caesar eliminated the specific Austrian references and, in the often-omitted verse, set the action in a Paris cafe, where a local character tells his sad story. Thus, the lyrics retained their sentimental side but lost their historic value.
 

"Just a Gigolo" is best known in a form first recorded by Louis Prima in 1956, where it was paired in a medley with another old standard, "I Ain't Got Nobody" (words by Roger Graham and music by Spencer Williams, 1915). Although these two songs have nothing else in common, the popularity of Prima's combination, and of David Lee Roth's 1985 cover version of the medley, has led to the mistaken perception by some that the songs are two parts of a single original composition.

The coupling of the two songs had its genesis in an arrangement created by Sam Butera for Prima's 1950s Las Vegas stage show, during which Prima would revisit his old hits in a new, jive-and-jumping style, often presenting them in medleys. The success of that act gained Prima a recording deal with Capitol Records, which aimed to capture on record the atmosphere of his shows. The first album, titled The Wildest! and released in January 1957, opened with "Just a Gigolo/I Ain't Got Nobody", which then became Prima's signature number and helped relaunch his career.

"Just a Gigolo" appeared in a 1931 film, a 1932 Betty Boop cartoon and a 1993 TV-series, all titled after the song. The film Schöner Gigolo, armer Gigolo, directed by David Hemmings in 1979, was titled after the first verse of the original lyrics, but the "Just a Gigolo" title was used for US distribution. In this film, the song was performed by Marlene Dietrich, in her last film appearance.
 

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