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Heartbeat - It's a Love Beat by The DeFranco Family

Album: Heartbeat - It's a Love BeatReleased: 1973Charted:
3
  • The DeFranco Family was Canada's answer to The Jackson Five, The Osmonds and The Partridge Family. Led by Tony DeFranco, who was 13 when this was released, they unleashed this Pop nugget on America and became a sensation, performing this song on American Bandstand and The Mike Douglas Show. They had 2 more US hits: "Abra-Ca-Dabra" and a cover of "Save the Last Dance for Me," both coming in 1974. Tony DeFranco became a successful real estate agent in Los Angeles.
    See how the DeFranco Family was hyped in Song Images.
  • You don't have to be rocket scientist to write a song like this, but it was written by one. Michael Kennedy wrote it with his high school friend Greg Williams, and worked for the McDonnell Douglas Astronautics Company at the same time. Kennedy and Williams also wrote "Is Anybody There" for Bobby Sherman in 1971, but shortly after "Heartbeat" was released, Kennedy decided to focus on Aeronautics. He worked on the International Space Station program and developed rockets.
  • Some of the top studio musicians played on this track: Hal Blaine on drums, Larry Carlton on guitar, and Max Bennett on bass. This collective of Los Angeles musicians came to be known as "The Wrecking Crew" when Blaine published a book with that title in 1990.
  • In an interview with The Pop Culture Addict, Tony DeFranco talked about who they got their start: "I always refer it to the magic carpet ride. Here we are playing in the Niagara Peninsula, I sing a song or two at a park, a gentleman saw us and approached my Dad and said 'Hey, I used to work with the Osmonds and your family's got something here' and my Dad says 'Okay, whatever you say' so this guy took some pictures, did a couple of recordings and sent them to various teen magazines and record companies. He got a response from AMPEX Records in Canada and we actually got a deal with them briefly. Then we got a response from the publisher of Tiger Beat magazine who flew us to Hollywood and I was like a deer in headlights. I'd never seen a palm tree. We met Chuck Laufer from Tiger Beat, we went to his house, I sang for him in front of a piano and he flew us up after and said 'You know what?  Let's do a few demos.' He couldn't get a producer who wanted to work with us who had success, just because they were saying 'I don't want to work with kids! What am I going to do with these kids?' So he got a guy named Walt Meskell under Mike Curb, and Mike Curb is huge these days, and we did three or four demos and one of them was 'Heartbeat.' We took it to Russ Reagan, president of 20th Century Records, and he basically flipped out and the rest is history. Within six months we're driving down Ventura Boulevard in the heart of the San Fernando Valley and my brother turns up the radio and he's flipping out! And then you couldn't stop hearing because, back then in AM radio, the rotation was really short so you'd just change stations and there it was."
  • The Replacements and Tina Arena both covered this song. Sonny & Cher performed it on one of their Valentine's Day shows.
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Comments: 4

On July 14th 1973, the DeFranco Family featuring Tony DeFranco performed "Heartbeat - It's A Lovebeat" on the ABC-TV program 'American Bandstand'...
Two months later on September 2nd, 1973 it entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #81; and on November 11th, 1973 it peaked at #3 (for 1 week) and spent 17 weeks on the Top 100...
It also reached #3 on the Canadian RPM 100 Singles chart...
The week it was at #3 on the Top 100, the #1 record was "Keep On Truckin'" by Eddie Kendricks and at #2 was "Midnight Train To Georgia" by Gladys Knight and the Pips...
As already stated the family group had two other records make the Top 100; "Abra-Ca-Dabra" (peaked at #32) and "Save The Last Dance For Me" (reached #18).
Barry - Sauquoit, Ny
the ultimate 70's bubble gum, but it is addicting..i was 14 when it came out and it was a big hit.still like it to this dayTerry - Va.beach, Va
Yeah, Tony may have been a Donny Osmond clone, and the song is basic 70's schmaltz, but I can never get over how clear and beautiful the backing vocals are, especially the girls. It makes this worth listening to.Scotty - Cheyenne, Wy
Corny doesn't even begin to describe the DeFranco Family or this song. They made the Osmonds look like a street gang.David - Youngstown, Oh