On this day in 1981, Kim Carnes released the single “Bette Davis Eyes.” This would go on to become 1981’s Song of the Year, winning Kim a Grammy. It stayed at #1 for 9 non-consecutive weeks in the US.
The original version of this song has several different versions. The original of these versions was recorded in 1974. The song was written after Donna Weiss watched a 1942 movie starring Bette Davis.
Fun fact: Bette Davis wrote thank you notes to Kim Carnes and the songwriters to say she was a fan of the song. She thanked them for making her “a part of modern history.” One of the reasons Bette Davis loved the song is that her granddaughter thought her grandmother was cool for having a hit song written about her. Davis sent them roses after their Grammy win. She was 73 when the song was released.
As well, due to Kim’s raspy voice, many listeners believed that Rod Stewart sang this song.
Kim went on to have other singles (as she did before), but she never charted as well as she did with “Bette Davis Eyes.”