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View Full Version : Na na na na, hey hey, goodbye composer dies


Vernam
10-23-2011, 02:45 PM
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/23/arts/music/paul-leka-a-songwriter-of-na-na-hey-hey-dies-at-68.html

Paul Leka was his name, and that tune is the songwriter's equivalent of winning the lottery. The NYT article has a great story about how it came to pass, and it mentions Nancy Faust's later role in popularizing it. I remember being embarrassed when it caught on in '77, because the taunt was already pretty trite when used at high school games before that. But now it's part of our franchise, and I kind of like it except for the occasions when it gets played as a pitcher leaves in mid-inning after a strong performance.

Vernam

LITTLE NELL
10-23-2011, 03:09 PM
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/23/arts/music/paul-leka-a-songwriter-of-na-na-hey-hey-dies-at-68.html

Paul Leka was his name, and that tune is the songwriter's equivalent of winning the lottery. The NYT article has a great story about how it came to pass, and it mentions Nancy Faust's later role in popularizing it. I remember being embarrassed when it caught on in '77, because the taunt was already pretty trite when used at high school games before that. But now it's part of our franchise, and I kind of like it except for the occasions when it gets played as a pitcher leaves in mid-inning after a strong performance.

Vernam

I've noticed that the new organist quite doesn't know when to play it.
You cite a perfect example.

#1swisher
10-23-2011, 03:16 PM
:rip: Paul Leka

Nice to see that Nancy Faust made the article.

Lip Man 1
10-23-2011, 03:36 PM
October 18, 1969 - A little known studio musical group comes out with an oddly named song. On this date it broke into the Billboard chart and would eventually move all the way to #1. The group was called Steam. The song, “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye” Thanks to the efforts of Sox organist Nancy Faust it would become the song fans used to ‘serenade’ pitchers being removed from games. It’s used practically at every stadium today but it started on the South Side!

http://www.411mania.com/siteimages/steam_67197.jpg

Lip

Fenway
10-23-2011, 04:41 PM
There is no doubt that Nancy made it universal but the first time I ever heard it at a sporting event was on April 23, 1970 at Boston Garden.

http://www.flyershistory.com/cgi-bin/poboxscore.cgi?O19700027


The crowd started doing with no prompting from the organist but had been urged to do so by a Boston DJ (the late Bud Ballou) all afternoon before the game as he kept playing it.

When the Bruins scored the empty net goal it meant that it was almost certain the Bruins would eliminate Chicago and win the Cup. (nobody was worried about the St. Louis Blues)

The video of that game exists and the crowd was loud.

But again Nancy made it mainstram.

tebman
10-23-2011, 05:27 PM
It's funny how that song tracked me. I was a high-school sophmore when that song came out and I always liked it. For some reason I didn't buy the record but I had friends (including my girlfriend) who did, and they'd bring it to parties to be played along with other records.

After 1969 the song would occasionally pop up on the radio and I'd hum along, still enjoying it. Then 1977 happened with the White Sox and it was a season-long party with that great song as an anthem. That same girlfriend had by that time became my wife and she still had the record. Her father, who was an old-school Sox fan, was impressed that we had it and enjoyed listening to it when he'd come to visit.

Nancy Faust knew how to bend and shape that familiar riff for every situation. Lori Moreland plays it as she'd directed, but I fear it's going to fade into irrelevance as the years go by. It's good that Paul Leka lived long enough to know that his song provided so many good times for so many people.

Johnny Mostil
10-23-2011, 07:57 PM
I've always been amused by the fact that Leka was from Bridgeport (yeah, I know, Bridgeport, Connecticut, but still . . . ).

Do I recall correctly that Leka and DeCarlo decided on the name Steam by looking out the window and seeing some escape from a manhole cover?

Thanks for posting, Vernam. Rest in peace, Paul.

thomas35forever
10-23-2011, 08:58 PM
RIP Paul. Thanks for composing the song most associated with Sox lore.

LongLiveFisk
10-23-2011, 08:59 PM
Nancy Faust knew how to bend and shape that familiar riff for every situation. Lori Moreland plays it as she'd directed, but I fear it's going to fade into irrelevance as the years go by.

I know a little something about music, but am hardly an expert, and I've noticed that Lori's version sounds very different (I think she is playing it in a different key or something) and I don't particularly like it. Sounds a little drab and lifeless to me and it will most definitely fade away if it continues to sound that way. The fans really don't seem into it at all when she plays it, at least the times I was at the park.

Just my opinion.

hi im skot
10-23-2011, 09:05 PM
I've noticed that the new organist quite doesn't know when to play it.
You cite a perfect example.

The guy in charge of audio at the ballpark doesn't know when to play it. They play the canned version...rarely does she play it.

hi im skot
10-23-2011, 09:07 PM
And right on cue, the Rangers use it inappropriately as Edwin Jackson leaves after giving up a single run.

SoxandtheCityTee
10-24-2011, 12:08 AM
There is no doubt that Nancy made it universal but the first time I ever heard it at a sporting event was on April 23, 1970 at Boston Garden.

I heard it at high school basketball games in the 1969-70 season. I've posted about this before -- I think CVS was first school where the crowd used it, but it was all over Chicagoland high schools (we played suburban schools too) by early 1970.

The first time I heard it at Comiskey it was the crowd, not Nancy. She was quick on the uptake, though!

TommyJohn
10-24-2011, 07:59 AM
I heard it at high school basketball games in the 1969-70 season. I've posted about this before -- I think CVS was first school where the crowd used it, but it was all over Chicagoland high schools (we played suburban schools too) by early 1970.

The first time I heard it at Comiskey it was the crowd, not Nancy. She was quick on the uptake, though!


I was only 8 at the time, but I distinctly remember watching a Sox game that year and we heard some members of the crowd singing-my mother even commented on it and laughed. It was the "Na na na na" song. I have always insisted that Nancy Faust picked it up from the fans, not the other way around.

SOXSINCE'70
10-24-2011, 08:44 AM
:rip:

Fenway
10-24-2011, 08:54 AM
dbIa2qaWX-I


http://whitesoxinteractive.com//NaNaHeyHey.rm

Warriorjan
10-24-2011, 11:48 AM
It did indeed start with the crowd, but Nancy quickly made it a standard.
The new version is pretty bad. If they're going to use a recorded version, they should use one of Nancy.

downstairs
10-24-2011, 12:35 PM
dbIa2qaWX-I


http://whitesoxinteractive.com//NaNaHeyHey.rm

Excellent find, Fenway! Any idea what year that's from? It sounds like Hawk is the announcer but it shows the older scoreboard.

Lip Man 1
10-24-2011, 12:45 PM
Looks like from 1981 to me and that's not Hawk with the voice over.

Lip

Fenway
10-24-2011, 12:46 PM
excellent find, fenway! Any idea what year that's from? It sounds like hawk is the announcer but it shows the older scoreboard.

1979

LITTLE NELL
10-24-2011, 12:47 PM
Looks like from 1981 to me and that's not Hawk with the voice over.

Lip

I remember the commercial and I'm going with 1979 or 80 while Veeck was still in charge.

tacosalbarojas
10-24-2011, 01:35 PM
The guy in charge of audio at the ballpark doesn't know when to play it. They play the canned version...rarely does she play it.
Regardless of what the reason is, I'd rather they go with no organ than what we had this season (personally I think Moreland is in over her head). But by the way they treated the song this season and its playing, I felt like the Sox are bastardizing the tradition. Rather it not be used at all in that case.

Medford Bobby
10-26-2011, 05:53 PM
I was listening to our top of the hour news from ABC radio at my radio station and heard this story and the news reader said "The Chicago White Sox popularized it after a batter from an opposing team would strike out"

gotta love the little time that these people do in research....:mad:

MarySwiss
10-26-2011, 06:50 PM
I was listening to our top of the hour news from ABC radio at my radio station and heard this story and the news reader said "The Chicago White Sox popularized it after a batter from an opposing team would strike out"

gotta love the little time that these people do in research....:mad:
I guess we should count our blessings that they at least got the team right. :smile:

Fenway
10-26-2011, 07:11 PM
hO5Z0PxiZkg

MeteorsSox4367
10-26-2011, 07:30 PM
I agree with those who have said that the current version sounds different. It's like it's in a different key and played too quickly.

I remember when Nancy started playing it at Old Comiskey. That's a great childhood memory.

Perhaps the most memorable playing of the song was in the 2005 playoffs against Boston. I was in the upper deck down the third-base line and when the Sox knocked out Matt Clement (IIRC), it was so wonderfully loud with the fans singing along. It was like the Sox fans finally had an opportunity to say that it was our turn and Boston and everyone else could get lost.

Warriorjan
10-26-2011, 08:06 PM
The intro this year seemed all muddied and screwed up as well.