Anniversary For a #1 Hit That Has a Special Meaning
Ahhh, memories of growing up. My dad, due to his being in the navy, wasn't around a whole lot during my formative years. Consequently, my mom, two sisters and I got really close, perhaps to fill the gap. We loved our dad and we knew that it wasn't anything he asked for. It was just part of his job and sometimes he was away at sea for months at a time.
I remember in the early 70's, a song came out on the radio that hit close to home. It was by a band called Looking Glass and it was called "Brandy(You're A Fine Girl)". It became one of my favorite songs(still is!) simply because it was one of mom's favorites. The subject matter of the song revolved around a woman(Brandy, obviously) who worked as a barmaid in a harbor town. She's in love with a sailor who's long since left her because he claimed "my life, my love and my lady is the sea". Not a very happy song but a meaningful one. Often, when Dad was out to sea on a submarine for many months, Mom would play that song(I still can remember the picture sleeve of the 45 single that she purchased) and her eyes would turn moist.
Thankfully, there weren't a lot of parallels between the song and real life. Dad's "love" was not "the sea". It was, in fact, "Mom" and he would always return home to the family once his tour was complete. But I know she missed him tremendously when he was away. Whether it made her feel better to hear that song or she just wanted to feel sad or melancholy, I never asked. I just knew it was a special moment for Mom and a special moment for me.
On this date 46 years ago in 1972, "Brandy(You're A Fine Girl" by Looking Glass hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song's success forced Barry Manilow to change the title of his cover of Scott English's "Brandy"(completely different song) to "Mandy" so as to avoid confusion between the two. And, according to Kiss member Paul Stanley, the song helped inspire their song "Hard Luck Woman".
What's interesting to me now is that a song that had special meaning for my mother back then, holds an even more special meaning today because I can't help but think of both my mother and dearly departed father every time I hear it. Happy Anniversary, Looking Glass and thanks for the special memories both back then AND now.