Suggest a Songfact / Artistfact
Album: Styx IIReleased: 1973Charted:
Styx keyboard player Dennis DeYoung wrote this song about his wife Suzanne, who was his high school sweetheart; other song he wrote about her include "Babe
" and "The Best Of Times."
DeYoung's marriage endured, even through a late '90s health scare that ended his time with the band. He has often exclaimed how much he loves her and what an important part of his life she is.
Dennis DeYoung wrote this song in 1972, but Styx' record company rejected it for their first album, which was released that year. It was included on their second album, Styx II, in 1973 and released as a single, but it went nowhere. According to DeYoung, radio stations didn't know how to classify it, since it started slow and then picked up.
It was only through the efforts of a very persistent DJ on WLS in Chicago (the band's hometown) that the song got its due. Determined to make it a hit, he played the song every night at 8 p.m., until it caught on. It did, and other stations added it to their playlists (when DeYoung first heard it on the radio, he choked on his dinner he was so excited).
It wasn't until March 1975 that the song reached its chart peak of #6, giving them their breakout hit.
This was the first song Dennis DeYoung wrote and sang on his own that made it onto a record. The first Styx album had just two songs written by band members; from that point forward they wrote their own original songs, with DeYoung a primary songwriter.
Styx was signed to a small record label called Wooden Nickel when they first released this song in 1973. Styx later signed a a major label deal with A&M records, but the master of "Lady" was never released to A&M by Wooden Nickel. Styx had to re-record it in 1995 to get it on their Greatest Hits CD.
This was featured on an episode of The Simpsons
(titled "Tales from the Public Domain"), where Homer, playing Odysseus from The Odyssey
(a book that is in the public domain), passes by hell via the river Styx. In hell, they sing Styx music - "Oh my god! This is hell!"
At some of his solo concerts Dennis DeYoung would sing this with no other music or backup vocals except for his wife Suzanne, who was also one of his backup singers.