Steam Biography

Formed in 1969 in Bridgeport, Connecticut, USA, Steam recorded a single, ‘Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye’, that went to number 1 in the US during 1969. The group had roots in an early 60s band called the Chateaus, which recorded a number of singles for Coral Records and Warner Brothers Records which were unsuccessful. Two of the members of that band, pianist Paul Leka and drummer Gary DeCarlo, met up again in 1969, the year after Leka had co-written the hit ‘Green Tambourine’ for the Lemon Pipers. Leka then went to work for Mercury Records; he and DeCarlo teamed up with another ex-Chateau, Dale Frashuer, to update the song that became ‘Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye’, which they had written in 1961. They had not intended to let the finished version with the ‘na na hey hey’ chorus go out as a finished product, but Mercury released it on its Fontana subsidiary. The group quickly adapted the name Steam and watched as the single went to the top. Leka assembled a touring version of Steam which did not include the other two originators of their hit. A second single, ‘I’ve Gotta Make You Love Me’, was issued but missed the Top 40, while the sole Steam album fizzled at number 84, causing a quick end to this one-hit group. The popularity of their sole transatlantic hit was emphasized when Bananarama took ‘Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye’ back into the UK Top 10 in 1983.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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