‘Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl)’ — NJ tune stands the test of time
It’s a staple of Jersey Shore radios and it was released May 18th, 1972. “Brandy, You’re a Fine Girl” by New Brunswick based band Looking Glass began its march to #1.
The band had been playing the New Jersey bar scene (three of the four members went to Rutgers) when they were signed to Epic Records by Clive Davis. Elliot Lurie, who wrote the song, says he penned the classic while the band was holed up in a Hunterdon County farmhouse trying to create their first album. Luire had had a girlfriend in high school named Randye. He decided that that name sounded too masculine, so while he was composing the song, he changed the name to “Brandy.”
The first single from their self-titled debut album, "Golden Rainbow," tanked, and the band’s future was in doubt.
A disc jockey in Washington, DC, however, liked “Brandy” and put it into regular rotation. According to The Vinyl Dialogues, the phones started ringing off the hook and other stations started demanding the song. Epic rushed out a pressing of the song as a single and the record took off. It peaked in August of 1972 at #1 for one week.
There has always been a rumor about who the song is exactly about (one story says it’s about a New Brunswick spinster), but Lurie says it is all “fiction.” The band never duplicated the success of “Brandy,” though another song, “Jimmy Loves Mary-Anne,” topped out at #33 in 1973.
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle. Any opinions expressed are Bill Doyle's own.