The Original Blue Jays Theme Song

The Original Blue Jays Theme SongIf you're my age, the only Blue Jays theme song you know and love is "OK Blue Jays (Let’s Play Ball!)".

What if I told you there was another Toronto Blue Jays theme song from their inaugural season in 1977? This disco number is by Paul's People and I heard it today for the first time.

Does anyone remember this one?


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Cbab

OMG.

(Also, I thought it sounded like the Shaft theme song at first)

:D

October 17, 2012 @ 3:40 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

I found this in the SI Vault in an article from April 1977.

The Blue Jays, a disco number performed by a Niagara Falls ( Ont.) group known as Paul's People, has surpassed recordings by John Denver and Bette Midler on the local charts.
October 17, 2012 @ 3:51 PM

Cheryl

No, I don't remember this song. As for Okay Bluejays, I hated that song with a passion. It kept getting played over and over again.

October 17, 2012 @ 4:37 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Cheryl

When was the last time you heard OK Blue Jays outside of Rogers Centre / SkyDome / Exhibition Stadium?

October 17, 2012 @ 4:43 PM

Mike from Lowville

I don't remember it but I have all those baseball cards that I thought would be worth $$ some day....... yea right.

October 17, 2012 @ 6:10 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

Here's the rest of the article in the SI Vault from April 1977:

Otto Velez, an obscure player even by Toronto Blue Jay standards, was enjoying a rare moment before the TV lights in the clubhouse one day last week. A youthful newsman, dapper in a three-piece suit of improbable hue and immense checks, had thrust a microphone in front of Velez and was inquiring what had passed through his mind when he pinch-hit the three-run, eighth-inning homer that had given the expansion team its fifth win in its first week and, astonishingly, a share of first place in the American League East. Velez was glad he was asked that question, because he had an amusing story to relate. It seems he had come to bat somewhat more relaxed than he might have been, since he thought that the score was tied. In fact, it was 3-2 in favor of Detroit, but Velez had been warming up in the clubhouse, don't you see, and was not aware that the Tigers had scored the go-ahead run in their half of the inning.

Velez smiled in anticipation of all those Canadians chuckling before their tellies at his anecdote and began to speak in a lilting Puerto Rican accent: "I'm glad you asked that question. You see, I didn't know...." The cameraman stepped in suddenly. "Oops, sorry, Otto," he said. "We're out of film. Maybe later." Velez was only mildly disappointed. It had been such a banner week for all of the Blue Jays that it seemed obvious this would not be his last moment in the limelight.

Velez and his teammates, most of them either too young or too old for other teams' tastes, had been prepared to accept adversity graciously and entertain their fans in ways other than winning, like doffing their caps after homers or dandling infant spectators on their knees. But in their first seven games, the Blue Jays had won two of three with the White Sox and taken three of four from the Tigers. They were flying high and loving it, though they knew it would not be long before they would come to earth. To a degree, that is exactly what happened at week's end when Toronto went on the road for the first time, lost three at Chicago and fell to third place.

"We have no particular goals," says Blue Jay Manager Roy Hartsfield. "We don't have any phase one, phase two or anything like that. We're not saying how many games we'll win. We're just trying to maintain a positive attitude. If we do, we'll surprise a few people."

That the Blue Jays were winning more than they lost was surprise enough for the 146,041 Toronto fans who showed up for the first seven games. They would have cheered the new team for accomplishing nothing more than lining up in the right positions. In this first glorious week, discontent was registered only over the absence of beer in the ball park. By law, alcoholic beverages cannot be served in any sports facility in Ontario. Exhibition Stadium thus claims the singular distinction of being the only brewless major league baseball park. For years fans of the CFL Argonauts and the NHL Maple Leafs have neatly sidestepped the prohibition by brown-bagging it, but baseball fans are obviously much more aboveboard. At every Blue Jay game last week they set up the plaintive chant, "We Want Beer! We Want Beer!" The beer issue has been the subject of considerable letter-writing to the three Toronto newspapers, which have responded with editorials, and if political soundings are accurate, headier days lie ahead.

The Blue Jays may lack beer, but they are already in the gravy. Because of the relative inexperience of its players. Toronto has the lowest payroll in the majors and, with Labatt brewery—oh, the irony of it!—among its owners, one of the best-heeled front offices. And according to General Manager Peter Bavasi, the Blue Jays took in more money before the season opened than any team has in major league history, about $7 million from the sale of 8,500 season tickets, radio and television time and an appalling array of decals, posters, T shirts, caps, books and even a hit record. The Blue Jays, a disco number performed by a Niagara Falls ( Ont.) group known as Paul's People, has surpassed recordings by John Denver and Bette Midler on the local charts. But the biggest sellers have been the Blue Jay decals. "Buzzie wrote me that he saw one on the bulletin board of the Waikiki Country Club," says the 34-year-old Bavasi, who, like everyone else, calls his father, San Diego Padres President E. J. Bavasi, Buzzie.

The promotional success is even more stunning when it is considered that the younger Bavasi had as office equipment "two paper clips" when he took charge last June. He quickly assembled a staff of 42 mostly young, mostly Canadian workaholics who consider a 19-hour day a short shift. "We showered and slept right here in the office," says Bavasi. Reckoning, perhaps incorrectly, that the team they would put on the field would not amount to much, the Blue Jay management decided to provide the fans with every amenity short of the forbidden brew. Players were urged to "establish a dialogue" with the spectators by acknowledging cheers and by making themselves readily accessible to the public.

Toronto fans merit such congenial treatment; they have been grumping for nearly eight years over the injustice of archrival Montreal having a major league baseball team when they did not. Montreal, to be sure, is a bigger and flashier city, a painted madam to Toronto's good gray lady. But Toronto has money and drawing potential—with a metropolitan population of 2.8 million and a regional population of nearly twice that.

Paul V. Godfrey, chairman of the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto (a kind of supermayor of five boroughs), is considered to be the man who was most influential in acquiring the franchise. When he was but an alderman in 1969. Godfrey began badgering Commissioner Bowie Kuhn about the cold shoulder baseball had been giving his city. "Go out and get yourself a stadium, young man," Kuhn advised Godfrey, who is 38 and looks younger. When Godfrey became Metro Chairman in 1973, he instantly appointed a committee to investigate the stadium problem. It was determined that the most economic plan was to expand and install artificial turf in Exhibition Stadium, which the municipality already owned. The tenants, the Argonauts, were agreeable when advised that the remodeling would add 22,000 seats to the structure. The stadium now holds about 43,000 for baseball and 53,000 for football, the extra 9,000 seats being situated too far beyond the portable outfield fences to be suitable for viewing baseball. The stadium project cost $17.8 million, small change when compared with the $875 million or so reqired to build Montreal's Olympic Stadium. "We spent less money on our stadium than Jean Drapeau [ Montreal's mayor] spent spilling champagne at the Olympic Games," said Godfrey.

But a ballpark did not immediately mean a baseball team. Godfrey and his friends at Labatt nearly had the Giants last year, but were thwarted at the 11th hour. After that cliff-hanger, things got a bit sticky for Godfrey, who was accused by political opponents of saddling the city with a white-elephant stadium. Then in March of '76 the American League voted to expand. The Blue Jay franchise was awarded to the got-rocks troika of Labatt, financier R. Howard Webster and the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.

October 17, 2012 @ 7:51 PM

Mississauga Phil

@ Cheryl - yeah, but you don't like anything... except the habs, coyotes, your trainer, and John Mellencamp....

October 18, 2012 @ 12:28 PM

Fake Cheryl

@ Mississauga Phil
I do too like things. I like my Phoenix Suns, Bob Seger, and being cantankerous. Who says I like my trainer?

October 18, 2012 @ 4:39 PM

Cheryl

Of course I like my trainer. I remember Okay Bluejays got played on the radio a lot. It really did. It got played other places besides games.

October 18, 2012 @ 6:05 PM

Leanne

To update your records..... The original Toronto Blue Jay Theme song was written by Dr. Michael Lococo Sr. I believe the man who arranged the song was named Paul and they just called the studio muscians "Paul's People". I don not believe they were from Niagara Falls. Dr. Lococo is a dentist from Niagara Falls, ON. Also, when the song was written, disco was in!
Thought you should know this information.
Thanks

January 25, 2013 @ 10:41 PM

Ernie Pattison

I played bass trombone on the recording session for this theme in 1977. I'm not sure who wrote the music but the arranger was Paul Zaza and it was recorded at his studio in the west end of Toronto, Zaza Sound. All of the musicians were local Toronto studio players. The vocals were added later but i would assume that they were studio singers. Paul Zaza wrote many movie scores including Porky's, Murder By Decree, Boy In Blue, A Christmas Story and many more, often for director Bob Clark. I haven't heard this song in over 30 years. I was 22 when I played on this recording. It was put out as a '45' and I still might have a copy of it somewhere. Thanks for posting it.

April 2, 2013 @ 6:40 PM

Dr Michael Lococo

When I wrote the song I was partners with Foster and Bill Hewitt and Len Branson. I was asked to write a commercial for Labatt's Blue which I did. Everyone loved it but as big business goes I was messing with the big guy's rice bowl and was treated not too kindly. The only hero I had was Sam the Record Man. "Mike , How can I help you?"
I lost about $10,000.00 and would up making the kids at Sick Kids happy as I gave every kid a record. If you look carefully at the jacket the person that designed it had a vision. All the players from the World series Champs were there.
The call of the Jay echoes loud in the sky!

God bless all.
Mike

August 1, 2015 @ 9:50 PM

Steve Gilkes

Hi Mike, I'm the guy that posted this on youtube. Glad you added it to your website so more Blue Jay fans can here it. I have the original 45 of this song. The other side was just the instrumental version. I might post it on youtube sometime. Go Jays..

August 15, 2016 @ 5:19 AM

Gary Wiese

I have this record from my mothers colletion. Is it worth anything today?
Go Jays

December 19, 2018 @ 11:27 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Gary Wise

I'm no expert, but I'm guessing it's worth pretty little.

December 19, 2018 @ 11:53 AM

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