The “Golden Hits Of The 60s” 

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(Gary DeCarlo, Dale Frashuer, Paul Leka)

Fontana 1667

No. 1 December 6, 1969




Steam came from Bridgeport, Connecticut. As the Chateaus, Gary DeCarlo (drums), Dale Frashuer, and

Paul Leka (piano) recorded some failed 45s in the early ’60s for Coral and Warner Bros. As time moved

on, they separated but kept in touch. Paul became a tunesmith with Circle Five Productions. In 1968,

Leka met Shelley Pinz; the couple wrote and produced THE LEMON PIPERs'”Green Tambourine” in

addition to other Pipers numbers.


The following year, Leka was working at Mercury Records. Gary DeCarlo, his old Chateau buddy, had

convinced the label’s A & R man, Bob Reno, to let DeCarlo record some solo sides. With Paul producing,

four numbers were quickly canned. Reno liked the tracks, and thought that each would do well issued as

an “Pl.’side. To fill up the “B” side of the first single, Paul and Gary were sent back into the Mercury

Sound Studios to cut a throwaway flipside. Dale Frashuer stopped by the studios that night and

suggested using a 1961 ballad from the trio’s Chateau days called “Kiss Him Goodbye.” “I said we should

put a chorus to it, “Leka told Fred Bronson in The Billboard Book of Number One Hits. “I started writing

while I was sitting at the piano going ‘na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na .. : Everything was ‘na na’ when you

didn’t have a lyric.”


To the great surprise of all involved, the powers­ that-be at the label decided to release “Na Na”-“… an

embarrassing record … an insult;’ in Leka’s opinion­ as the “X’ side on Fontana, a Mercury subsidiary.

Since no one wanted credit for creating the tune, a name for this nonexistent group had to be concocted.

Steam­ now there’s a name that sounds nebulous. Gary’s solo singles, which Leka and Reno had preferred

to “Na Na;’ were eventually issued as by Garrett Scott, but not one even charted. Steam’s “Na Na;’

however, sold more than a million copies, and has been for years the unofficial anthem for the Chicago

White Sox.


Paul assembled a Steam band to tour in support of the studio creation: Jay Babins (guitar), Ray Corries

(drums), Mike Daniels (bass), Hank Schorz (key­ boards), Bill Steer (vocals), and Tom Zuke (guitar) were

all from the Bridgeport area. When an album was need­ ed, Gary was approached,  but refused to return

to the studios. Before Steam went the way of all water vapor, more singles appeared, but only one made

the charts­ ‘Tve Gotta Make You Love Me” (#46, 1970).


Sarah Dallin, Keren Woodward, and Siobhan Fahey-Bananarama-returned “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him

Goodbye” to the U.K. Top 10 in 1983; Fahey, wife to DAVID A. STEWART, is 1/2 of SHAKESPEARE’S

SISTER. Four years later, THE NYLONS brought Leka’s “embar­ rassing” ditty back to the U.S. Top 20.