It’s funny how things turn out in music industry. Originally intended as a throwaway B-Side, the group Steam ended up with a number one hit with “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Good-Bye” in 1969.
The song was written by Pauk Leka, Gary DeCarlo, and Dale Frashuer from the group The Chateaus in the early ’60s. Then simply titled “Kiss Him Goodbye” the 1961 song was never released.
Songwriter and musician Gary DeCarlo had another hit with Green Tambourine that made it to the top of the charts for The Lemon Pipers in 1967.
DeCarlo planned another release, “Sweet Laura Lee” and, like all records back the the ’60s, there had to be a song on the the other side of the record, the B-Side. Now, most groups used songs that they never expected to hit the charts for the B-Sides so that disk jockeys wouldn’t play them, opting for the A-Side song that was being promoted. Such was the case for “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye.” But when the record producer from Mercury heard the song, he flipped the record making this the A-Side. It was a good decision as this song became number one in the Billboard charts.
It knocked The Beatles out of first place.
The song was such a hit that it knocked The Beatles “Something”/”Come Together” off the #1 Billboard position in December, 1969.
The group named “Steam” was invented for the release of the self-titled album that featured “Na Na…”
The song is introduced to a new generation in 2019.
Like all great music, it stays alive. IN 2019, GMC Trucks adopted Na Na as their theme songs to promote their tailgates as people kissed the competition’s products “Good-Bye”.
The use of Steam’s hit was so popular that GMC continued its use through 2020.