Thursday, December 28, 2006

This Day in Music History: Helen Reddy and Angie Baby

On December 28, 1974 Helen Reddy had the #1 song in the country with Angie Baby. The song was written by Alan O’Day. He said the Beatles song Lady Madonna inspired him to write Angie Baby. Mr. O’Day is quoted as saying “The song Lady Madonna by the Beatles just killed me. I thought, well, I’m gonna write a song about somebody who’s growing up with the radio playing in the background of their life, with this rock and roll time we live in…there are songs for all of our emotions, and the radio really speaks for us in a way that nothing else does.”
However, the title character in the song was coming out sort of boring. Alan started making Angie a little bit weird. When he did that, the song started getting interesting. It was while on vacation that he showed the song to the woman who ran the motel he was staying at to get her opinion. He thought an opinion from someone not in the recording industry would count more as that was the audience who would buy the record. He said that she really liked Angie and he told her he was planning on having her pregnant to make things more complicated for her. The woman told him not to do that as Angie had been through enough.
When the song was completed his publisher asked Cher if she would record it. They thought she might as she already did Alan’s song Train of Thought on one of her albums. However, she turned it down. Eventually the song was recorded by Helen Reddy.
One of the things that made the song such a big hit was everyone wanted to know who that man was in Angie’s life and what happened to him. Alan and Helen have never given a definite answer. Some have said that he turned into a sound wave others have said he was really a DJ on her radio. Till Alan or Helen gives a definite answer we will never know.
This was the last #1 hit for Helen Reddy. She did have another top 10 hit with That Ain’t No Way to Treat a Lady and was later a host on NBC’s The Midnight Special. Also she has acted in films like Airport ’75, Pete’s Dragon and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. She has plans to write a book and act in musical theater. She started recording again in 1985 but says good material is hard to find.
Alan O’Day would record a #1 hit himself in 1977. It was called Undercover Angel.
If you want the photo above you can click on the title or click here to go to its website.

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