Song: “Angie Baby” by Helen Reddy
Reached #1: December 28, 1974 (her third, 1 week)
The song was written by the infamous Alan O’Day (“Undercover Angel”) – who disagrees, to this day, with Helen Reddy about the story behind the song. That does seem kind of odd, since you’d think O’Day knew what he had in mind…
O’Day intended for us to believe that Angie somehow shrunk her attacker into the radio (and kept him there as a plaything) – Reddy thought she’d turned him into a sound wave.
The moral, I guess, is that the song doesn’t belong exclusively to the songwriter once it’s released…?
Anyway, this song always creeped me out – whatever Angie did, it certainly seemed a bit scary, even though she did it to a boy who wanted to do… um… bad things.
After a fashion, it followed the theme of Reddy’s first two #1 songs (“I Am Woman”, “Delta Dawn”) – but Angie’s a different kind of woman than either the unnamed narrator of “I Am Woman” or the slightly batty lead character of “Delta Dawn”.
There’s no way to know if the odd nature of “Angie Baby” was the reason it was her last #1, or just that music changed… but after this single, Reddy pretty much fell off the pop charts (with just one more Top 10 single).
She continued to perform until 2001, then retired to become a hypnotherapist and motivational speaker – the retirement lasted until earlier this year, when she started doing a few dates (but not some of her biggest hits, as she says she can’t hit those notes anymore).
Tomorrow, as we close in on the end of the year, what if we could store the lost time somewhere?
Other songs that reached #1 on December 28:
1959 – “Why” by Frankie Avalon (his second, 1 week)