|"Ready 'n' Steady"|
|Song by D. A.|
|Writer(s)||D. A. Lucchesi
"Ready 'n' Steady" is a song written by D. A. Lucchesi and Jim Franks, and performed by D. A. The song appeared on Billboard magazine's Bubbling Under the Hot 100 chart for three weeks in June 1979. For many years, neither the record, nor any information about it or the artist, could be found, leading many collectors to consider it a "phantom record" until a recording surfaced in 2016.
On the Billboard Bubbling Under chart
The June 16, 1979 issue of Billboard listed 10 songs on its Bubbling Under chart, including "Ready 'n' Steady" by D. A. at No. 106. The record, listed as being released on the Rascal label, moved up to 103 on June 23, then up to 102 the following week before dropping off the chart.
Music historian Joel Whitburn, whose company Record Research Inc. specializes in researching the Billboard charts, has published various books containing chart data. He has collected tens of thousands of records, including all of the 45s ever to hit the Hot 100 or Bubbling Under charts—all except "Ready 'n' Steady".
In a 1995 interview, Whitburn said he had never actually seen or heard the record, but added, "We think—we think—that it's a girl's rock group from Chicago. Punk group, we think—1979. And we think that the Rascal label was out of a guy's home in Detroit." Whitburn had found a small ad for a Rascal label located in Detroit in a punk rock publication and had the address checked out; unfortunately, all that was found was a boarded-up vacant house. The entry in Billboard shows "Ready 'n' Steady" had a catalog number of 102; if there was a Rascal 101 released, it remains unknown to collectors.
A female-fronted punk rock group from Chicago called DA! were active in the early 1980s. The band released a single and an EP on the Autumn Records label in 1981–82. This is presumably the band that Whitburn thought (as of the 1995 interview) could have recorded "Ready 'n' Steady" in 1979; the band has stated that they did not record the song.
In the fourth edition of Whitburn's Bubbling Under the Hot 100 book, published in 2005, the entry for "D. A." was amended with a note stating, "The existence of this record and artist is in question", and quotes a price of $150 as its value; in 2009, Whitburn published his latest Top Pop Singles book, which includes both Hot 100 and Bubbling Under singles—but D. A. was not listed at all. In an interview with the website CelebrityAccess, Whitburn noted he still had not been able to find "Ready 'n' Steady" and said, "I don't think it exists". Whitburn also speculated that the song's listing on the chart could have been a copyright trap by Billboard. Whitburn has used copyright traps in his own books: "The Song of Love" by Ralph Marterie (1955) and "Drag You Down" by the Cyzterz (1986) have appeared listed as songs in Whitburn's work, and the band Charlie was credited with an album called Fifth Flight (1980). Bandleader Marterie and the British group Charlie were both real, but the records themselves were fictitious; both "Drag You Down" and the group cited were invented by Whitburn.
The 2002 16th edition of Jerry Osbourne's Official Price Guide to Records lists the record (and a value of $75–125), along with an unnamed LP on the Frontline label, dated 1985 or 1986 (this is actually the album Fearful Symmetry by the Christian rock band Daniel Amos, which sometimes used the abbreviation "D.A.").
The United States Copyright Office catalog contains a registration of a song titled "Ready & Steady" with authorship credited to D. A. Lucchesi and Jim Franks; it was registered on September 16, 1986 with a creation date of 1979. Dennis Armand "D. A." Lucchesi (June 5, 1945 – August 18, 2005) was a California-based mortgage broker and part-time musician who performed locally as "D. A. and the Dukes."
In 2016, further investigation into this copyright registration by Paul Haney, of Record Research Inc., led to co-author Jim Franks, who provided Haney with a recording of the song. According to Haney, the song was recorded but never pressed as a vinyl record or offered for sale. As for how it appeared on the charts without any records for sale or any airplay, according to Haney, a record promoter with a major label took an interest in the band and somehow managed to get the song listed on the Billboard chart. The "Rascal" label, at that time, existed only on paper and was owned by a relative of one of the band members. In 1984, Rascal (based in Hollywood) would issue a few independent singles, though nothing by D.A.
"Ready 'n' Steady" was probably never played on the radio until Haney appeared on the Crap from the Past radio show on KFAI in Minneapolis, Minnesota on July 8, 2016, during which the recording was aired.
- "Bubbling Under the Hot 100". Billboard. 1979-06-16. p. 38. Retrieved 2009-12-18.
- "Bubbling Under the Hot 100". Billboard. 1979-06-23. p. 28. Retrieved 2009-12-18.
- "Bubbling Under the Hot 100". Billboard. 1979-06-30. p. 23. Retrieved 2009-12-18.
- Horowitz, Rick (1995-06-30). "Listmania: Joel Whitburn Is on Top of the Charts". Deseret News. Salt Lake City. Retrieved 2009-12-18.
- "DA - Ready 'N' Steady (1979)". popbomb.com. December 3, 2013. Archived from the original on November 11, 2014. Retrieved August 22, 2015.
- LeBlanc, Larry (2009). "Industry Profile: Joel Whitburn". CelebrityAccess. Gen-Den. Retrieved 2009-12-18.
- "Ready & steady.". Public Catalog. United States Copyright Office. September 16, 1986. Retrieved May 15, 2016.
- "Dennis Armand "DA" Lucchesi (obituary)". Ukiah Daily Journal. August 23, 2005. Retrieved May 15, 2016.
- "Crap From The Past - July 8, 2016: Paul Haney presents a world premiere of D.A.'s Ready 'N' Steady from 1979!". Internet Archive. July 8, 2016. Retrieved July 10, 2016.
- Ron Gerber, Paul Haney (July 8, 2016). Crap From The Past – July 8, 2016: Paul Haney presents a world premiere of D.A.'s Ready 'N' Steady from 1979! (digital audio file) (Radio program). Minneapolis: KFAI. Event occurs at 44:00 – 59:51. Retrieved July 1, 2016.
- Jim Cofer (June 20, 2013). "The Record That (Apparently) Doesn't Exist". Jim Cofer's blog. Retrieved July 10, 2016.
- ""Ready" Or Not: It Almost Charted — But It Doesn't Exist?". POP! Goes The Charts. August 3, 2013. Retrieved July 10, 2016.