What’s the Real Story Behind the Mysterious 37-Year-Old Song, ‘Ready N Steady’?
Back in the summer of 1979, a song called "Ready N Steady" bubbled under the Billboard Hot 100 chart. After three weeks, during which it climbed to no higher than No. 102, it dropped off. And the artist responsible for the track, D.A., was never heard from again.
Over the years, music historians have wondered what it was all about. Who was responsible for the song? Why did it seem like nobody, not even the man who knows the Billboard charts inside-out, had ever heard it? And why had no copy of the record ever surfaced?
Mix 93.1, in a post called called "Solved! The Mystery of the Phantom Record," runs down the fascinating history of the little-heard track from 37 years ago. And as its title lets on, there are finally some answers all these years later.
For years, rumors escalated surrounding "Ready N Steady," including a prevalent one: The song never really existed in the first place. Joel Whitburn, whose Record Research publishes hefty books that chronicle just about every Billboard chart that's existed, says he owns a copy of every single song that's hit the chart ... except this one. For more than 20 years, he'd been searching for proof that it was even real.
In a 2014 interview with Mental Floss, he said “We think that it’s a girl’s rock group from Chicago. Punk group, we think.” Catch all the "think"s in there? Nobody was sure because nobody had ever heard the record. The next step was tracking down the record company listed on the Billboard chart: Rascal Records. Following an ad in a punk zine to a Detroit address, collectors discovered a vacant building. That pretty much led to Whitburn declaring the entire thing a fake.
Fast-forward to July 8, 2016, when "Ready N Steady" was played on Minneapolis' Crap From the Past radio show. Not only that, the decades-old mystery seems to have been solved. According to Mix 93.1 (via Lost Media Wiki), D.A. was a California-based mortgage broker named Dennis Armand Lucchesi, and a musician pal, Jim Franks. Lucchesi died in 2005, but Franks gave a recording of the song to Paul Haney, who played the song on Crap From the Past and filled in some holes.
Apparently D.A. recorded four or five songs in 1979 after a label rep offered them studio time after seeing them play live. He also said he could get them on the Billboard chart. But "Ready N Steady" was never pressed on vinyl, and it's doubtful that the song ever received any airplay back in 1979. But somehow it still charted higher than Molly Hatchet's "Dreams I'll Never See" during its peak week.
Either way, you can now hear the song that's baffled music historians and fans for decades. Check it out above, and within 20 seconds you'll never again wonder why "Ready N Steady" got any higher than No. 102. Or why you never heard of D.A. And also why it made its debut on a program called Crap From the Past.
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