Inka Dinka Doo

"Inka Dinka Doo" is a 1933 popular song whose words were written by Ben Ryan, and whose music was composed by James Francis "Jimmy" Durante. The song debuted in the 1934 movie Palooka,[1] a film about the comics character Joe Palooka. By 1934, Durante's recording of the song was a major hit record, and it became Durante's theme song for the rest of his life. When he performed it on his radio and television programs, Durante would frequently interrupt it with the line, "STOP--da music, everybody!" He performed it again in the 1944 film Two Girls and a Sailor, which starred Van Johnson, June Allyson and Gloria DeHaven.

In 1950, Sammy Davis Jr. recorded a unique version of the song, in which he impersonated various musical artists of the time. He released this as his debut record, along with "Laura."[2]

Other artists who have recorded this song include Chet Atkins, Herb Ellis, Ray Brown, Jimmie Noone, Ronnie Aldrich, Ray Anthony, Ann-Margret, and John Lithgow.[3]

One of the oldest tattoo shops in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Inka Dinka Doo, is named after the song.


  1. ^ "Soundtracks for Palooka". IMDB. Retrieved February 16, 2012.
  2. ^ "Record Reviews". Billboard. April 29, 1950. Retrieved February 16, 2018.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-08-08. Retrieved 2012-05-10.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)