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Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye by Steam

Album: Jock Rock, Vol. 1Released: 1969Charted:
  • Writers Gary De Carlo, Dale Frashuer and Paul Leka from Bridgeport, Connecticut got together one afternoon to record a B-side for De Carlo's "better songs." They used part of an old song Frashuer and Leka wrote 8 years previously called "Kiss Him Good-bye," and slapped on a chorus without words, just "Na na" with an occasional "Hey, hey." There was no band, just the three of them with a spliced up drum track. By 5 am that morning they emerged from the studio to witness a fire with a lot of "steam" coming out of a manhole.

    When Bob Reno of Mercury Records wanted to release the song as an A-side, De Carlo, Leka and Frashuer didn't want their names associated with the song, so Leka remembered the "steam" incident and used that for a group name. Ironically, De Carlo's other songs released under his name flopped while this "embarrassment" went to #1. He was so dismayed that he refused to record more Steam records; Paul Leka had to recruit other musicians to make up the group. (Thanks to Kent at Forgotten Hits.)
  • This is commonly used at sporting events when the home team is about to win or an opposing player is removed from the game.
  • The recording was designed to be a seven-to-eight minute throwaway of a B-side. (The intended A-side, which became the B-side, was a song called "It's The Magic In You Girl"). It was shortened after test pressings had phonograph needles jumping out of the groove of the 45.
  • Bananarama covered this on their first album in 1983, taking it to #5 in the UK.
  • Paul Leka had a #1 hit under his belt when he co-wrote this song: He co-wrote the song "Green Tambourine" by The Lemon Pipers, which hit the top spot in 1967.
  • According to Tommy Mottola, who spent time as both chairman of Sony Music and husband of Mariah Carey, he is one of the backing singers on this track. He was working for MRC Music publishing at the time, whose workers were recruited to provide the group chorus.
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Comments: 32

I heard that Richard Nixon was a huge fan of this song, and even requested it be played at his funeral.Randy - Battle Creek, Mi
Who is Ray Coria? (not sure of last name spelling).
Says he was the drummer for this song and Steam drummer. Has gold record framed on wall.
Ctrocker - Bridgeport, Ct
I see Only one true comment on where it was first used at sporting events, Comiskey Park in Chicago. The organist started playing the "hey hey hey goodbye" part when s Sox player hit a homer, the term " you can kiss it goodbye " was commonly used by the broadcasters, hence the easy transition from the title. The fans of course saw the obvious and would sing along.Ce - Mesa, Az
Budd, and also, Rupert Holmes was not the "voice" of The Archies. That honor goes to Ron Dante.Ronald - Pendleton, , Sc
"He might be thrillin' baby, but my love, so dog-gone willin'" WOW. Some of the best rhyming lyrics to a song, EVER, and even better when you sing them along loud and passionately:
He might be thrillin' baby but a-my love (my love, my love)
So dog-gone willin'
So kiss him (I wanna see you kiss him. Wanna see you kiss him)
Go on and kiss him goodbye, now
Camille - Toronto, Oh
No cover of this song can match the one performed by The Nylons in the 80s. It would make a dead man's toe tap.Esskayess - Dallas, Tx
Brit girl group Bananarama covered this song in 1982 on thier debut LP,"Deep Sea Skiving".Richard - Calimesa, Ca
Sad news... Paul Leka passed away 12 Oct 2011 at the age of 68.Joshua - New Berlin, Wi
hey budd from n.y. where do you get your information from?? leka had nothing to do with the 1910 fruit gum co. and 12 writers did not write this song.and gary decarlo and garret scott are the SAME PERSON.if you were there,you would have known that. I WAS THERE !!and they were not staff writers for buddah the way,the record was on the mercury records subsidiary label fontana records.Bill - Ocean View, Nj
The now defunct NHL franchise Quebec Nordiques used to play this song every time the game's outcome was decided in favor of the Nordiques. The team moved from Le Colisee to Denver's Pepsi Center in 1995 and promptly won the Stanley Cup in their first year in Colorado.John - Grand Island, Ny
1969 was an interesting year,a lot of history. I loved growing up in the 60's.Chip - Stratford, Ct
My dad used to tell me a story about this song.. For the FIFA 1970 World Cup, Germany played in Leon, every time they were wining the game the crowd started singing "Alemania, Alemania Hey Hey Alemania"

Alemania is the Spanish word for Germany, used like this sounds exactly as the song.
Javier - Irapuato, Mexico
The drummer, the one you hear, was William "Bill" Bayers, he was only 17 at the time, he lived in Bridgeport Conn. He never received any payment for being the drummer on such a one hit wonder song. He and his family moved to Orlando in the 70's to work at Disney World as drummers, his father, and his brother were in the original fife and drum in front of Presidents Hall, they later were sent to work at Epcot to perform there. He was/and I am sure still is a brilliant drummer.Carla - Orlando, Fl
This song sounds fabulous on the ipod with earbuds. Just a fabulous beat. It's a song I always wish Cher would cover & have the radio play it, I think it'd be a huge hit for her.Camille - Toronto, Oh
to budd from n.y. the archies are ron dante not rupert holmes,it's dale frashuer not dale fruesco it wasn't written to be bad just a B side.Bill - Ocean View, Nj
tommy james did not write this song!!Bill - Ocean View, Nj
Five members of the "STEAM ROAD BAND"-(Hank,Tom,Jay,Bill,George) were also members of another Connecticut band called "SPECIAL DELIVERY" who had a single release in 1968 on Verve Records called "HELLO LOVE" Verve-VK 10606.George - Ansonia, Ct
I can't believe someone actually intended this song to be a B-side throw-away song. The rhythm section is complexly layered. It sounds like it combines at least 2 drum sets, bongos, a zylaphone, and chimes. A true musical genius arranged this song.Fran - Stockton, Ca
I was associated with Paul Leka back in the 60's and I remember being his studio in Bridgeport, listening to a rough mix of NA NA Hey Hey. It was pretty wild, and never thought this song would turn out to be as big as it did. I played a few rocl&roll gigs with Gary De Carlo, and he still collects royalties from that song!Bob - Westport, Ct
steam was the perfect name for a blue eyed soul group-hot,white and wet.Eric - Gnash, Tn
Working for Paul in the mid to late 70's, we would sometimes find ourselves in his studio (Connecticut Recording Studios, on Main Street in Bridgeport), late at night, seeing what would happen if we me put Na-Na to a disco beat. Or perhaps run it threw a new effect.
Paul was an incredible genus, and well ahead of his time, and a loyal friend. I too once lived in the NW CT facility - a piece of heaven.
David - Easton, Ct
This song was written by a team of 12 staff songwriters who worked for Paul Leka, Gary DeCarlo and Dale Fruesco who were the satff songwriters of Buddah records in the late 70's. True, it was written in one session and true, it was to have been a B-side. I was there... written in studio with the intent on being as bad as possible.
Paul Leka was never a member of any bands during that period, but as a member of Buddah Records was directly responsible for the Bubble Gum sounds with such bands as the Lemon Pipers (who evolved into Ram Jam with their hit "Black Betty", The Archies (who was actually Rupert Holmes of "Pina Colada Song" fame),and the 1910 Fruitgum Company. Paul was also later directly responsible for the legendary Harry Chapin (and did occasionally play keyboard during performances. Last time I saw Paul he was living in Northern Connecticut.
Budd - Ny, Ny
Paul Leka was not a member of the Lemon Pipers, merely a songwriter for them.Edward - Washington, Dc
I have heard that they "drummed" on the table and pots and pans because they originally intended this song to be a "B" sideJoe Ardinger - Fairfax, Va
I bought this 45 as a kid. I've since decided that the famous chorus is very reminiscent of the fade-out section of Hey Jude. Towards the end, the chorus starts out quietly and fades up; the fade-up is rather clumsy!Fyodor - Denver, Co
An unlikely number one song for a single that was intended to be a "B" side. Who would have thought that the song would be popular again thanks to the White Sox. I really like The Nylons version. It's one of the best songs to sing in the shower.Howard - St. Louis Park, Mn
This song was remade by the band Bus Stop (apparently called London Bus Stop or some such nonsense in the US) as Na Na. The same group has also remade Kung Fu Fighting by Carl Douglas, Jump by Van Halen, and You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet by Bachmann Turner Overdrive.Confusing - Sydney, Australia
Steam hailed from Bridgeport, Connecticut's largest city, a crappy place struggling to survive in the wake of investment pull-outs caused by the revelations of the decadent corruption of ex-Mayor/now-inmate Joe Ganim. (One of Connecticut's most disgusting ringleaders in a wave of atrocious and more-than-arrogant political crime to rock the state, which includes it's now ex-Governor/now-inmate John Rowland.) We have a kick-ass Attorney General, thank God, in Dick Blumenthal. He will be our governor in not too long. But it's about time I digress (sorry.) Steam's management compromised a bit when they formed an all-new touring band by the same name. Not the first time this has happened. It even happened to Fleetwood Mac at one point. I guess you could call Bridgeport the captial of compromise.Brian - Meriden, Ct
Despite the fact that this song has become a staple of baseball stadiums everywhere, few know that it was actually first used at Comiskey Park with the Chicago White Sox.
Go Sox!
Sam - Chicago, Il
An a cappella group called the Nylons released a version of this, too, in the mid-1980s.Deb - Boston, Ma
i heard that tommy james wrote this song after he wrote crystal blue persasion. becausee he was to write a song for them. but decided to keep it then he wrote ney ney hey hey kiss him goodbye for steamGary - Albertville, Al
this song was used on remember the titans in a few scenes.Caitlin - Sailsbury, Nc