Sally Field didn’t have a long career as a Billboard Hot 100 hit-maker, but she had one. Her 1967 single “Felicidad” spent four weeks on the chart, peaking at No. 94 in December 1967.
An impossibly perky and wholesome ditty, “Felicidad” makes “Do-Re-Mi” from The Sound of Music sound like “In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida.” The song charted less than two weeks after Field turned 21 and two months after the debut of her ABC sitcom The Flying Nun. (That flyweight series ran for three seasons, a testament to Field’s charm and likeability.) “Felicidad” appeared on Field’s album, The Flying Nun, which logged four weeks on the Billboard 200, peaking at No. 172.
Field, of course, has gone on to a far more enduring career as a film and TV actress. That career is being honored on Sunday (Feb. 26) as Field receives the life achievement award from the Screen Actors Guild. Actor Andrew Garfield, the star of The Amazing Spider-Man and its 2014 sequel, in which Field played Aunt May Parker, is scheduled to present the award.
Dominic Frontiere and Diane Hilderbrand co-wrote “Felicidad,” which has the “sunshine pop” sound of such acts of the era as The Cowsills and Spanky & Our Gang. Jack Keller produced Field’s recording. Keller had composed the irresistible theme song “(Wait Till You See My) Gidget” (performed by Johnny Tillotson) for Field’s first TV series Gidget (1965). Keller co-wrote many Hot 100 hits, including a pair of No. 1 hits in 1960 for Connie Francis, “Everybody’s Somebody’s Fool” and “My Heart Has a Mind of Its Own.”
“Felicidad” entered the Hot 100 at No. 100 in the week ending Nov. 18, 1967. Other new entries that week included The Monkees’ “Daydream Believer” (which went on to top the chart for four weeks), Gary Puckett & the Union Gap’s breakthrough hit “Woman, Woman” (which peaked at No. 4) and Johnny Rivers’ “Summer Rain” (with its memorable nod to The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band).
“Felicidad” entered the chart one week after the arrival of Stone Poneys’ “Different Drum,” which was the first Hot 100 hit for Linda Ronstadt. Field and Ronstadt took vastly different routes to the top, but they both got there. They were in the same class of Kennedy Center Honorees in December 2019.
Field has won three Primetime Emmys (for starring roles in Sybil and Brothers & Sisters and a guest role on ER) and two Oscars (for lead roles in Norma Rae and Places in the Heart). She also received a Tony nomination for The Glass Menagerie (best actress in a play, 2017).
Field gave the best description of her career in 1985 when she won her second Oscar. This will forever be remembered as the “You like me! You really like me!” speech, though Field never uttered that exact line.
“This means so much more to me this time. I don’t know why. I think the first time I hardly felt it because it was all so new. I owe a lot to the cast … to my family … But I want to say thank you to you. I haven’t had an orthodox career and I’ve wanted more than anything to have your respect. The first time I didn’t feel it, but this time I feel it. And I can’t deny the fact that you like me. Right now, you like me!”