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Miss Chiquita Banana -  Female banana character (first drawn by artist Dik Browne) who wore a headdress of fruit and sang  the trademark Chiquita Banana song (voice first provided by singer Patti Clayton) that began "Hello Amigo...I'm Chiquita Banana and I've come to say/You eat the banana in a special way/And when it's fleck with brown and has a golden hue/That's when bananas are the best for you...." (Music © 1945 Shawnee Press Inc.)

Miss Chiquita Banana

The Chiquita Banana jingle was created in 1944 for the United Fruit Company by a BBDO advertising team headed by Robert Foreman. The song's lyrics, written by Garth Montgomery and music composed by co-worker Ken MacKenzie, instructed Americans on how to ripen and properly use this golden tropical fruit, for example, putting them in pies, or salads and to never to put the equator grown fruit in the refrigerator.

In 1945 and 1946, Puerto Rico-born Elsa Miranda portrayed Miss Chiquita in numerous personal appearances in the movies, in radio commercials. June Valli (popular for her 1954 hit song "Crying in the Chapel) was the singing voice of Chiquita Banana in the TV commercials in the 1950s.

In 1987, the image of Miss Chiquita changed from a banana character when artist Oscar Grillo, creator of the Pink Panther, transformed her into a beautiful brown skinned woman with a teasing smile who wore the traditional fruit-filled sombrero, gold loop earrings along with a blue dress adorned with ruffled sleeves and hems edged in yellow.

In 1997, Chiquita held a consumer contest to update their lyrics. Joyce Appelquist, a fifth grade teacher from San Mateo, California, won the contest. To access film clips and printed ads produced by the company from the 1940s to the present, contact the Chiquita Company.

Original Lyrics
I'm Chiquita Banana, and I've come to say
Bananas have to ripen in a certain way.
And when they are flecked with brown
and have a golden hue,
Bananas taste the best, and are the best for you.
You can put them in a salad. You can put
them in a pie - aye.
Anyway you want to eat them it's
impossible to beat them.
But bananas like the climate of the very,
very tropical equator.
So you should never put bananas in the refrigerator.

Corporate Logo of the Chiquita Company - Miss Chiquita Banana

1997 Lyrics
I'm Chiquita Banana, and I've come to say
I offer good nutrition for you every day.
And when you buy Chiquita you will always know,
You've got the best bananas anyone can grow!
Underneath the crescent yellow, you'll find vitamins
And fiber, instant energy to feel good.
Our bananas make a meal good.
It's a gift from Mother Nature and
a natural addition to your table.
A wholesome, healthy, pure banana;
look for Chiquita's label!

Carmen MirandaTRIVIA NOTE: The obvious inspiration for the Miss Chiquita character was Brazilian bombshell Carmen Miranda who made a habit of wearing exotic headdresses/hats often adorned with fruit. In 1943, she appeared as a singer called Dorita in the movie "The Gang's All Here." One of the many musical numbers in the film  was "The Girl in the Tutti Frutti Hat." The performance featured a myriad of women dressed in frilly tropical attire who manipulated giant bananas at the whims of legendary choreography Busby Berkeley. A decade before the Miss Chiquita Banana character was born, Carmen Miranda was seen wearing her trademark fruity hats in a number of theatrical cartoons.

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