Once Upon A Time At The Top Of The Charts: The Association, “Windy”
50 years ago today, The Association were sitting atop the Billboard Hot 100 with a Ruthann Friedman composition that would be eventually be danced to by the Sex Pistols and serve as the soundtrack to the opening moments of an episode of Breaking Bad.
Produced by Creed Taylor, “Windy” was actually The Association’s second #1 hit, following their chart-topper “Cherish” the previous year. Despite claims to the contrary by Association member Larry Ramos, “Windy” was indeed written by Friedman about a woman, and she was purely fictional. Disputed rumors aside, however, the band thought enough of Friedman and her composition that she was invited into the recording session for the song, so if you listen closely, she’s singing a blues harmony at the end of the song.
“Windy” was and remains a beloved song by many, to the point where it’s popped up in a variety of different places over the years. As noted in the opening paragraph, it served as the theme song for Bill Grundy’s Today program on Thames Television, on which the Sex Pistols infamously guested and cursed profusely, but they also danced to the song as the episode ended. It’s also turned up in episodes of “The Drew Carey Show,” “Gilmore Girls,” “Malcolm in the Middle,” and, yes, “Breaking Bad,” where it serves as the soundtrack to the introduction of a meth-addicted prostitute named Wendy.
Yes, we know, the spelling’s different. But the usage was pure genius.
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