Georgie Fame (sometimes also billed with his backing band The Blue Flames) is a British R&B/jazz singer and pianist whose biggest US Billboard hit was “The Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde.” It is a disarmingly ragtime-themed song, contrasting to the subject matter. Georgie Fame also had several #1 hits on the UK Singles charts in the ’60s.
The song is about the real-life Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, a famous bank-robbing couple in the Great Depression era of the United States. Despite the boy-meets-girl cuteness of a crime-spree couple, their outlaw exploits are not to be dismissed lightly; they led a gang, robbed about a dozen banks, knocked off many small stores, killed nine police officers, and also shot a few civilians. They went down in a hail of bullets in an ambush by Texas and Louisiana police in 1934. The story still captures the imagination of audiences today.
In 1967, the film Bonnie and Clyde was released. Starring Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, it was highly controversial for the time, pushing the standards of what was acceptable to show on the silver screen. This film is what prompted the song.