Today is James Bond’s birthday. No, not the character from Ian Fleming’s 007 books, nor any of the actors who played him. This James Bond was an orinthologist who studied the birds of the Caribbean whose book Birds of the West Indies was first published in 1936. Fleming, who was an avid birdwatcher, lived in Jamaica, where he wrote all the Bond stories. When he wrote 1952’s Casino Royale, he was looking for a name for his lead character, and his eyes fell on his copy of Birds of the West Indies, and history was made.
Fleming’s 1964 novel You Only Live Twice was made into a movie in 1967. John Barry and Leslie Bricusse wrote the title song, and Nancy Sinatra was chosen to sing it after her father passed on it. It reached #44 on the Hot 100, but #3 on the Adult Contemporary chart, #11 in the UK, and #17 in Canada.