Friday, August 5, 2016

Get ready for "Ready 'N' Steady"!

This is primarily a political blog, but the story of "Ready 'N' Steady" has fascinated me for years.

This blog reported in 2009 that "Ready 'N' Steady" by D.A. was a record that charted on Billboard's Bubbling Under singles chart in 1979 - but nobody could ever find a copy of the record. This led Joel Whitburn and other music collectors to believe it was a phantom record that Billboard listed as a copyright trap.

Finally - after 37 years - the song has surfaced. Though it's the rarest record ever to appear on a Billboard pop singles chart, it's come to life thanks to the wonders of YouTube. The singer D.A. is the late Dennis Armand Lucchesi from northern California.

The reason it's the rarest record is that no copies were ever pressed. There's also no evidence it was ever played on the radio. In fact, the record label - Rascal Records - wasn't even real. (A different Rascal Records cropped up later.) So how did the song chart in an era when records that were not sold as a vinyl single were ineligible to chart? There's strong speculation by collectors that a record promoter who was interested in the song was friends with a Billboard employee, and he got Billboard to manipulate the chart. I certainly hope not, because I like to think Billboard had honest charts.

The song was never pressed as a commercial single, but a lone cassette recording does exist. It's the sort of Bob Seger-like rockabilly number that might have been popular in 1979. And YouPube's got it...

Mystery solved.