David Naughton: Makin’ It

Posted October 29, 2012 by J Matthew Cobb in Vault

Makin’ It didn’t make it on the small screen, but it did on the dance floor

Like any big or small screen disco-fied idea that came after Saturday Night Fever, the ABC TV show Makin’ It tanked. It only survived eight weeks on the air as the violent climate against disco started to mushroom. It also was supposed to the launching pad for a young David Naughton, who wooed teens with his Broadway-style performances on Dr. Pepper commercials. He seemed to be teased with a triple threat of acting, dancing and singing. Desperate to climb up the same ladder Travolta used in Saturday Night Fever, Naughton fell on his ass while his first-ever sitcom became the laughing stock of TV disasters.

Fortunately, the theme song from the show experienced a much different fate – it vaulted into the Top Ten on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming a million-selling hit. Inside the gold record were the glamorous disco-pop productions of Dino Ferkaris and Freddie Perren, who culled out hit records for Gloria Gaynor (“I Will Survive”) and the Tavares (“It Only Takes a Miracle”). Naughton sings like the popular Fonzie-inspired stud on the high school campus; nothing highly detailed or fascinating. But the ego-driven machismo of the lyrics (“I’m solid gold/I’ve got the goods/they stand when I walk through the neighborhood”) gives him a major boost of cockiness, while the background harmonies surround him like a set of teeny groupies. To top it off, the playfulness of the 12-inch single recalls Peaches & Herb’s eternal dancing jam “Shake Your Groove Thing.” Here, Naughton could do no wrong.

Since its release, “Makin’ It” has popped up on the big screen, particularly on the soundtrack of Bill Murray’s Meatballs and in the KISS comedy Detroit Rock City.

About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine


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