Singer Gary DeCarlo died this past week at age 75. Who the heck is Gary DeCarlo, you may well ask? The name may not be familiar, but the song he sang that had a two-week run at #1 in 1969 sure is:
The song was written by DeCarlo and his friends Paul Leka and Dale Frasheur in the early 60’s when they were in a Bridgeport, CT doo-wop group. Later that decade, when DeCarlo was looking for a B-side for a single he recorded, he dug up this old tune and it was put together in the studio. The band Steam in that video wasn’t really a band at all, just some dudes lip-synching DeCarlo’s hit!
“Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye” was resurrected in 1977 when the Chicago White Sox organist at Comiskey Park began playing it whenever the Sox’s opposing pitcher got knocked out of the ballgame. Soon other sports venues (and very vocal fans!) followed suite, and a sports tradition was born. The song was featured on the 1994 CD “ESPN Presents Jock Rock” along with other stadium anthems like Gary Glitter’s “Rock & Roll Pt 2” and Queen’s “We Will Rock You”:
I don’t know much about co-writer Dale Frasheur, but Paul Leka, who died in 2011, wrote some hits for the psychedelic bubble-gum band The Lemon Pipers, including their #1 smash “Green Tambourine”:
And that’s the story behind “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye”. Now you can use this knowledge to amaze your buds next time you’re at the ballgame! And thanks, Gary DeCarlo, Paul Leka, and Dale Brasheur.