On this day in music history: December 8, 1979…

On this day in music history: December 8, 1979 – “Babe” by Styx hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 2 weeks. Written by Dennis DeYoung, it is the biggest hit for the rock band from Chicago, IL. In middle of a string multi-Platinum selling albums, Styx continues their hot streak as the 70’s come to a close, as they begin work on their ninth album. “Cornerstone” sees Styx moving away from the progressive rock of their previous work, refining their formula to more mainstream pop/rock sound. During the sessions, lead singer and keyboardist Dennis DeYoung writes the ballad “Babe” for his wife Suzanne as a birthday present. Recording it as a demo with just drummer John Panozzo and bassist Chuck Panozzo, the song is not originally intended for the album in progress, until band members James “J.Y.” Young and Tommy Shaw convince DeYoung that it should be included. When they find that DeYoung’s original demo cannot be improved upon, J.Y. overdubs  a guitar solo to the track, and the song is slotted into the finished album. Released as the first single from “Cornerstone” in September of 1979, “Babe” is an immediate hit. Entering the Hot 100 at #72 on October 6, 1979, it climbs to the top of the chart nine weeks later. “Babe” is later included on the soundtrack to the Adam Sandler film “Big Daddy”, and is covered by R&B singer Alexander O’Neal and Dutch pop group Caught In The Act. In spite of the songs’ ongoing popularity, Styx stop performing “Babe” live after Dennis DeYoung is fired from the band in 1999. “Babe” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.