Yesterday’s Name That Tune turned on a simple peculiarity. The song, Rosalie, was from an obscure album by a soon-to-be famous songwriter, and was much better known when it was covered by Thin Lizzy a few years after the original.
Bob Seger’s album, Back in ’72, topped out at No. 188 on the US charts in 1972 and was never released on CD because Seger didn’t like the sound of his vocals. The album features the backing of the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section on a few tracks, though a dispute over their pay rate (they wanted $1500 per “side,” which Seger took to mean $3000 for a two-sided album, while they meant the more traditional “side” to mean song) caused them to leave the sessions early because Seger couldn’t afford them.
The song, Rosalie, was about Rosalie Trombley, who was the program director of CKLW, a Top 40 radio station that was very influential in making midwestern hits and determining what songs were played on the radio across the nation.
Some say the song is angry and lampoons Trombley’s taste and expertise, though to my ear it is pretty even handed, so much so that it’s hard to see why this was a good subject for a tune. What is sure is that Trombley didn’t like the song and it was never played on CKLW.