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The working title of this film was Tammy. An April 1956 "Rambling Reporter" item in Hollywood Reporter stated that Universal was considering Steve Forrest to star in the film, and an April 1956 Hollywood Reporter news item announced that Ann Harding was cast in a starring role, but she was not in the film. The studio borrowed Debbie Reynolds and director of photography Arthur E. Arling from M-G-M. According to a April 9, 1956 Hollywood Reporter item, portions of the film were shot on location in Louisiana, and studio press materials add that backgrounds were shot in Mississippi.
Modern sources, including Reynolds' autobiography, note that after the film opened to mediocre reviews and ticket sales, Universal, noting the growing popularity of the picture's opening song, "Tammy," pulled the film out of theaters. When the studio re-released the film months later, the song's hit status renewed interest in the picture, which went on to become a box-office success. The song was later nominated for an Academy Award. The film spurred three sequels: Tammy Tell Me True in 1961 and Tammy and the Doctor in 1963, both directed by Harry Keller and starring Sandra Dee, and Tammy and the Millionaire in 1967, directed by Leslie Goodwins and starring Debbie Watson. It also inspired the television series Tammy, which ran on the ABC network from September 17, 1965 to March 4, 1966 and starred Debbie Watson.