Song: Kokomo by The Beach Boys

 Place: Islamorada, Florida

The Beach Boys tropical paradise in Florida
Lyrics passage We'll put out to sea.
And we'll perfect our chemistry.
By and by we'll defy a little bit of gravity.
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The Beach Boys tropical paradise in FloridaThe Beach Boys tropical paradise in Florida
Hey, everybody, look! It's the amazing, time-traveling song!

No other song pulled this off. It got made in 1988 by a band from the 1960s, for the soundtrack to a movie (Cocktail) about a man who goes to work at a TGI-Friday's (a franchise named for the 1978 disco film). The song replaced a cover of a 1965 song ("A Groovy Kind of Love") in the hit charts. Oh, yeah, that movie Cocktail's soundtrack also had "Don't Worry, Be Happy," a song whose title and chorus was taken from an Indian mystic in the 1960s. When the soundtrack album was released, oldies radio stations were so confused that they played it. To this day, you can't convince people that Cocktail came out during the Reagan administration.

Since this is the Internet, we can't let it go without comment: 1988 was also the year a song came out which has enjoyed much popularity in the 21st century on the Internet. It's a little number called "Never Gonna Give You Up" by Rick Astley. That's how powerful Kokomo is. It can make songs near it time-travel, with its mighty reality-warping vortex.

If you think that this is illogical, we're just getting warmed up.

"Kokomo" is a song that mentions many, many tropical locations around the Caribbean, including Aruba, Jamaica, Bermuda, the Bahamas, Key Largo, Montego, Martinique, Montserrat, and Port-au-Prince. But chiefly, it mentions Kokomo, a fine, tropical paradise in the state of Indiana. Wait, doesn't that sound a little far north? Okay, there's also a Kokomo in Mississippi. Warmer, granted, but still not Mai Tai weather.

Well, there used to be a place called Kokomo Island in the Caribbean, but it was actually named that by the Sandals/Royal Caribbean resort/cruise line company. And they named it after the song. We told you this song could warp reality! Today the former Kokomo Island goes by the name of "Sandals Cay," anyway. Since this time, numerous Caribbean-area businesses involved in the tourist industry have cashed in on the popularity of the song, naming bars, hotels, and casinos after it. If you go south of the U.S. and start asking "Where's Kokomo?" you're likely to get a sign tacked up and a hearty "Right here!" for a response.

Where does this leave us? We are not going to embarrass ourselves trying to dance in a hula skirt and trying to be tropical in Indiana. But we'll be saved.

According to the band, the inspiration for the song was a pool-side bar at a hotel in Islamorada, one of the little island towns in the Florida Keys. In fact, the video was shot at Grand Floridian Resort at Walt Disney World in Florida. Yes, that's right, we're in Florida. And we're staying there. With Walt Disney involved, if we dig any deeper we're likely to find out that they used animatronic Beach Boys.
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COMMENTS: 19pages [ 01 ] 02 03 04 05 06 07 >

Bill from Kokomo in First off Kokomo sucks. Glad I left. Secondly yes I lived both there and Florida during this time period. Sadly the only Kokomo anyone knew of at the time of the release was Kokomo Indiana (place where the first car in the USA was built and driven). Known as the cities of firsts. But it's was said that The Beach Boys noticed the name and it stuck with them as they toured the Midwest. On one of their trips from Michigan to Indianapolis they stop and took a break on US31 south in a little town with a funny name. That's the story I have always heard. I mean if you think about a route from Michigan state fair to Indiana state fair I would guess Kokomo would be right in the middle. Did I mention Kokomo SUCKS??
CR from North CarolinaI grew up in California and was so glad to see our Beach Boys singng about the Keys! I worked at NAS Boca Chica. In fact, one of our "sandhogs" at Fort Taylor was a Photographer's Mate. I never knew the school there was called "Kokomo". Thanks for that info, JK.
JK from IndianaI'm surprised that there haven't been any other Navy Photographer Mates chime in on this. There use to be a section of NAS Key West that housed a school for none other than Kodak's EH-38 aka Kokomo. While I'll admit that it is not as glamorous as Islamorada, for awhile there truly was a Kokomo in south Florida off the Florida Keys.
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 Video: Kokomo

 Place: Islamorada, Florida


Song : Kokomo

Kokomo is a city in the middle of Indiana and is also a small resort owned by Sandals Royal Caribbean in Montego Bay; the title was made up. It was supposed to represent all the tropical places and images that people think of when wishing to get away to some paradise island to escape the dreary work life. John Phillips thought the name sounded good and wanted to use it for the title.

Album : Cocktail Soundtrack
Released : 1988
US chart position : 1
UK chart position : 25

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