NORWICH, Conn. -- Nancy Hall's pop music column
Plain white T-shirts have been around forever, which is why four guys from Villa Park, Ill., named their band Plain White T’s in 1997.
The guys hoped to make their music as versatile as the clothing, and with their single “Hey There Delilah” at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, it seems they may have achieved just that.
With its sweet lyrics, “Hey There Delilah” could sweep any girl off her feet. However, the real-life Delilah was anything but impressed with the song.
Lead singer Tom Higginson met Delilah DiCrescenzo, a 24-year-old Olympic hopeful, five years ago. Higginson was so taken by DiCrescenzo he spent more than a year writing “Hey There Delilah” for her.
DiCrescenzo, dating someone else at the time, struggled with the intensity of the song. As she told USA Today, “There was pressure to live up to this ideal. I didn’t know how to be polite but, you know, ditch him.”
The two never would date, but the members of Plain White T’s got a song that has lasted two albums. First released as the third single from the 2005 album “All That We Needed,” it managed to become the band’s first mainstream hit more than two years later. Fans seemed to like the song so much, copies of their latest album, “Every Second Counts,” also features “Hey There Delilah” as a bonus track.
But don’t let one song fool you. Plain White T’s are a punk rock band, and most of their other songs are much more upbeat. Some of my favorites from "Every Second Counts" are “Hate (I Really Don’t Like You)” and “So Damn Clever.” They also do an amazing version of Blur’s “Song 2” on the "Punk Goes 90’s" compilation.
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Norwich (Conn.) Bulletin