Monday, January 21, 2008

Oh Daddy (original version)

oh daddy (original version)
volume 3 number 10

imagine my surprise. for a week I had been walking around humming this melody in my head. I had worked out the piano chords and practiced it daily. I had even spent time in the studio recording the instrumentation.
the novel idea behind the song was a "conversation" between daughter and father over the big question of success. this required two singers: the little girl with the questions and the father with the answers. no problem. my 10-year old daughter audie was a good little singer. whether it turned into something or not, we thought it would be fun.
the day arrived for the two of us to go into the studio to record the vocals. I was stunned to realize they were too high for either of us to sing*. rarely do I make such a mistake, but I'm shy about singing my vocals until I have the right words and know what I want to do, and in all my piano practicing had never sang them out loud! what an idiot. I quickly improvised a counterpart melody, a little lower, and began teaching the lines to audie. that became the melody you may know. overnight I changed some of the words. on the second day we recorded the actual vocals which are on the record.

to me oh daddy was a "novelty" song, something I wasn't even sure would go on a record. as it happened an A&R man from Atlantic Records named Jason Flom was working in the studio with another band, heard my song, and went back to new york raving about it. soon I had a 3-record deal with Atlantic. (I always get in the back door!) boy, were they surprised when they realized I didn't have anything else remotely like oh daddy. still, they really got behind the record, even footing the bill for my first serious video. the video was more of a hit than the song was and soon it was on all 3 american video outlets (MTV, VH1, and Nicklelodean). the song stopped at #38 when a load of new releases from big stars sent it spiraling off the charts. well, I almost had a hit.

I've always figured it was a good thing my novelty song didn't do any better than #38. otherwise I'd be forced to play my one-hit wonder for the rest of my days and where would I get a 10-year old girl year after year?

*the opening guitar line was the original melody.

vocal: audie belew
guitar, piano, bass, drums, vocal:
rich denhart

assistant: dan harjung

recorded at Royal Recorders in Lake Geneva, Wis. on June 14, 1988
length: 3:04


  1. It could be done...
    The show I saw featured Digital Audie 1.0 in an effort to save on per diem and backtalk.

  2. So What's Audie upto these days?

  3. Novelty or not, it was Oh Daddy getting airtime on MTV that introduced me to your music. I'm certainly glad it happened.

    Mr. Music Head is one of my "staple" albums and I'm surprised the CD hasn't turned to dust from repeated use. In fact, I just popped it in now.

  4. How about a Reverse Smarties Contest ? How about the loyal Belew-gers send incomplete songs to Adrian for him to complete. This would be totally fun.

    Anyone else think it's a good idea ?

    Ron C

    P.S. Happy Guy Rocks !!!

  5. I feel the same way as Doug. It was the Oh Daddy video that introduced me to Adrian, though I already heard Adrian on the Talking Heads CD.

    I loved Oh Daddy so much when I seen it, I had the get the album. It is still one of my favorite albums of all time!

    BTW, I saw on the net some where Audie is a Unix Admin. True??

    ps. Love the dust version.

  6. so as to not sound creepy, I am friends with one of Adrians other daughters, and though I have never met Audie, I was told she lives in the North West.

  7. Preface:Mr. Music Head is a whammer Jammer!

    Dear Flower,

    The entire Mojo Ballroom Staff (including Lady Igor) are fasting from Sunday at 11:OO pm to Monday at 11:00 pm, to purify ourselves for an entire show of sacred NRBQ music. A big thank-you to the universal orb for granting this honor. To break-the-fast we will be ritually stuffing ourselves with gobs of RC Cola and Moon Pies as we listen to the "Q" and dance "The Hora" . Actually, we will not be drinking RC Cola as RC Cola cannot be obtained in the greater Carrboro/Chapel Hill area without incurring great expense (we are pooling our monies together to buy a couple of cases of Sam's Club Cola instead-necessity is the mother of accommodation). If you shop around, you can usually find boxes of Moon Pies, 2 for a buck (they may be kind of old but they taste the just the same as new ones) at your best discount stores. So get your Hojo* working over at Mojo Ballroom, this Monday at 11:00 a.m. Gratitude is manifested toward Sir Todd Remley, PH.D. N.R.B.Q for toiling in the Mojo Ballroom Test Laboratory to help with the spells for this show!!

    P.S.-Listeners who are susceptible to sugar comas probably should not model our behavior. Please first check with your physician before doing anything "nutty." Please go easy on those Moon Pies.

    *Taken from famous NRBQ tune "Howard Johnson's got his Hojo Working" (ask your mom, dad, or grandparents-if you don't know what Howard Johnson's is about?)

    Mojo Ballroom on WCOM, 103.5 FM, Chapel Hill-Carrboro, Stream if living outside of this ultragroovy community, stream here

  8. Always love the background tales on these tracks. But where did this occur in the scheme of Mr. Music Head overall? Was this song an isolated incident, and then MMH made possible by the Atlantic contract?

    If so, that's sure one more reason to be wonderfully grateful for this song! I certainly enjoy the first couple of albums, but MMH is the critical turning point of the whole solo career, if you ask me! And what a *wonderful* turning point! My ears still drool...

  9. I could not find a good conversation between a father and daugther so I think that the blog say rhe true and very clean .

  10. This is great! I like to share it with all my friends and hope they will also encourage him.just signing in to say THANK YOU. I agree with all of it.