Monday, January 21, 2008
Oh Daddy (original version)
oh daddy (original version)
volume 3 number 10
imagine my surprise. for a week I had been walking around humming this melody in my head. I had worked out the piano chords and practiced it daily. I had even spent time in the studio recording the instrumentation.
the novel idea behind the song was a "conversation" between daughter and father over the big question of success. this required two singers: the little girl with the questions and the father with the answers. no problem. my 10-year old daughter audie was a good little singer. whether it turned into something or not, we thought it would be fun.
the day arrived for the two of us to go into the studio to record the vocals. I was stunned to realize they were too high for either of us to sing*. rarely do I make such a mistake, but I'm shy about singing my vocals until I have the right words and know what I want to do, and in all my piano practicing had never sang them out loud! what an idiot. I quickly improvised a counterpart melody, a little lower, and began teaching the lines to audie. that became the melody you may know. overnight I changed some of the words. on the second day we recorded the actual vocals which are on the record.
to me oh daddy was a "novelty" song, something I wasn't even sure would go on a record. as it happened an A&R man from Atlantic Records named Jason Flom was working in the studio with another band, heard my song, and went back to new york raving about it. soon I had a 3-record deal with Atlantic. (I always get in the back door!) boy, were they surprised when they realized I didn't have anything else remotely like oh daddy. still, they really got behind the record, even footing the bill for my first serious video. the video was more of a hit than the song was and soon it was on all 3 american video outlets (MTV, VH1, and Nicklelodean). the song stopped at #38 when a load of new releases from big stars sent it spiraling off the charts. well, I almost had a hit.
I've always figured it was a good thing my novelty song didn't do any better than #38. otherwise I'd be forced to play my one-hit wonder for the rest of my days and where would I get a 10-year old girl year after year?
*the opening guitar line was the original melody.
vocal: audie belew
guitar, piano, bass, drums, vocal:
assistant: dan harjung
recorded at Royal Recorders in Lake Geneva, Wis. on June 14, 1988