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THE MISSING PIECE

Once upon a time -- 1979, to be exact -- there was a single. "Ready 'N' Steady" was its name, by someone (or something) called D.A., on the Rascal label. For one week in 1979, it Bubbled Under the Hot 100. Then it disappeared. Joel Whitburn is still looking for it.

"It's the only record we've never been able to find in the history of the pop charts. Is that crazy?"

Whitburn has never seen the record, has never even heard the song. "We think -- we think -- that it's a girl's rock group from Chicago. Punk group, we think -- 1979. And we think that the Rascal label was out of a guy's home in Detroit."

There was a small ad one time, in some old punk-rock guide, for a Rascal label in Detroit. It even had an address. Whitburn checked it out.

"I sent a guy over there to Detroit," Whitburn recalls, "and it was just a vacant home, a house that was vacant, all boarded up, shut up. There was no business or anything. So we think the guy might have pressed up some records out of his basement or something. Probably sent 'em to radio stations and it got some play in some areas, a couple of Midwest markets or something, and it Bubbled Under."

And it vanished. Whitburn is offering a $100 reward for its capture.

-- Rick Horowitz

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