Song: “Oh Sheila” by Ready For The World
Reached #1: October 12, 1985 (their first, 1 week)
For a long time, I’d heard the story that this song was meant as a testament of… um… interest in Sheila E., the female singer/drummer/Princeling.
But… when I went to do the research, I found exactly zero sources for that story, which I could swear I’d heard from the time it was released in the summer of 1985.
The clue was in the opening spoken-word segment… done in a faux-stralian accent, the song is a play on the fact that the Australian word for a beautiful woman is “sheila”.
Ready For The World came out of Michigan, and like many ‘80s bands, hit the charts and fell apart in relatively short succession. After “Oh Sheila”, they had one more big pop hit in them (“Love You Down”), then tried to chase that success for a while, then called it quits in the early ‘90s before reuniting for nostalgia tours a few years ago.
So, there you go. I really was hoping the Sheila E. story would be true. Oh well.
Maybe there’ll be a better story about tomorrow’s hit, which went to #1 a year before “Oh Sheila”. We’ll see…
Other songs that reached #1 on October 12:
1963 – “Sugar Shack” by Jimmy Gilmer & the Fireballs (his first, 5 weeks)
1991 – “Emotions” by Mariah Carey (her fifth, 3 weeks)