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Steve Was The Joker

October 25, 2016

1974 was a real good year for Dallas native Steve Miller. He and his band released the album The Joker in late '73, and the title song from it became perhaps his biggest hit ever in early '74. Miller, in writing The Joker, cross-referenced a couple of older songs, Lovey Dovey by the Clovers, and The Letter by the Medallions, in his lyrics to the Joker. He also used a non-word which has become the most recognizable thing about the hit song when he refers to the "pompatus" of love.

 

Miller came up with that word when he misread one used in The Letter. The Joker climbed all the way to Number One on Billboard's Hot 100 pop music chart in early 1974. Sixteen years later, it would spend two weeks at Number One on the British music chart, after being featured in a Levi's jeans commercial in that country. That marks the longest amount of time between a song being number one in the U.S. and number one in Britain. I'm still kinda curious about what "the pompatus of love" really means.   @therealdonrocks

 

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