To be honest, I never know where the next idea for the oldie will come from.
Unfortunately, and too often, it’s the obituary column.
This week’s inspiration popped last Sunday when I was watching the New Orleans Saints and the Los Angeles Rams compete in the NFC Championship game.
The one with the play that tens of thousands in attendance and millions more saw on television…
No call was made on an obvious pass interference. And the Rams rallied to win in overtime.
Sometime in the first half there was this commercial.
The actors are reciting the words to a song that dates back to 1976 when it was first performed.
If you’re my age you’ll remember. Otherwise you might be surprised the act and their song that were used to promote a pick-up truck with muscular presence on the road and enhanced aerodynamics. It was the bicentennial year.
Donny was 18 at the time. Marie was 16.
Marty Cooper wrote the song and spoke to the Nashville Tennessean last February.
I had enough success in Nashville with some ASCAP award winners, and Bobby Bare, and some other things, and I would come down to Nashville and pitch songs to wonderful people. And in several cases, they would say to me, “You know Marty, that is a heck of a song, but it’s a little bit too rock ‘n’ roll for here. Go on back to Hollywood and see what you can get.”
Chances are, I had already pitched it in Hollywood, to someone who said, “That’s a cool song, but you know, it’s a little bit country for what we’re doing. Take it down to Nashville, to see what you can get … .”
I had also played this song for Mike Curb, somewhere back there. … And so, I get a call from him one day, “You know that song you showed me, that ‘Little Bit Country, Little Bit Rock ‘N Roll’ song?” Can you send me that?”
I didn’t have the demo and he said, “Oh, don’t worry about the demo, just, uh, just sing it on the tape recorder and send me the tape.” So I got this little tape recorder at home. I sing it, play it, send him the tape. … He calls me in about two weeks, he says, “Marty, you remember that tape you sent me? Well, I can’t find it.” He put it somewhere and couldn’t find it. … I said, “Well, that won’t make a difference,” “No, just send me the same thing that you had so I can do it again so you can record it soon.” This happened three times, I still had never recorded the song. So now, I get a call from him, he says, “Marty, can you give me permission to show this to the producers of a pilot that Donny and Marie are doing for TV?” “Yeah, Mike, sure, that’d be great.” Never dreamed what would happen. So he did, and he called me back, they asked me for permission could they use it. So they put it in the pilot … selling the show. And it did, and it became the centerpiece of their show.
The album went gold and peaked at #57 on the Billboard Album chart. The “little bit” song the two Osmonds sang every week on television was never released as a single.