Unearthed Behind-The-Scenes ‘Chili’s Baby Back Ribs’ Footage is Pure Nostalgia
You remember the commercial. You remember the song. But have you seen the footage of the "Chili's Baby Back Ribs" song being recorded?
Chili's Baby Back Ribs
It happens every few years. Someone finds the behind-the-scenes footage of the "Chili's Baby Back Ribs" jingle being recorded, and it sets the internet ablaze. This is no different! I'm sure you remember the commercial:
Behind-The-Scenes of Chili's Baby Back Ribs
Behind the scenes, the story goes that the Don Draper of the 90's, Guy Bommarito, was kind of forced into creating SOMETHING for Chili's. The ad agency he worked for at the time, Austin-based GSD&M, had failed miserably on an ad campaign for the restaurant. After begging them for another shot, they said, "We need a spot for baby back ribs in about six weeks, and we want it to be music in the restaurant."
So, he wrote it in about 5 minutes, presented it to the client by singing it to them, got it approved, and called his friend in Dallas, Tom Faulkner to record the song. That's the version you hear in the above original commercial.
The behind the scenes video that everyone is freaking out over comes to us from the second, and arguably better, version.
Who Sings the Chili's Baby Back Ribs Song
In the second version of the song, Chili's decided to take the session a little more serious, and hired a group of guys with extreme musical chops, who really put some oomph into it, and created something special.
Alvin Chea, Dorian Holley, Louis Price, and Oren Waters are the four you see in the behind-the-scenes video above. Here's a little about the quartet (hint: there's a LOT of Michael Jackson history between them):
Alvin Chea, who provides the oh-so-important “baby back” baseline is the bass singer for Grammy-winning gospel a capella group Take 6. His other credits include national ad spots for McDonald’s, and back-up vocals on Michael Jackson’s “This Is It.”
The guy in the vest and tie providing harmonies is Dorian Holley, who performed as one of Michael Jackson's regular backup performers for years. All the way back from from the Bad Tour on. Not to mention spending several years as a vocal coach for American Idol.
The guy with the little mustache taking the lead on the soaring, "CHILI'S" is Oren Waters. Waters was featured in the documentary 20 Feet From Stardom, and is a member of the Waters Family, who provided back-up vocals on Thriller. No big deal, right?
Finally, the “Barbecue sauce” line is provided by Louis Price, lead singer of The Temptations from 1977 to 1980.
Willie “Wolf Johnson” McCoy
The glue that held the original song together, "Barbecue saaaauce," was sung by Willie McCoy, who unfortunately passed away in 2013. However, he did have probably the best funeral...EVER!
Around the time of McCoy's death, TLC apparently had a very "tasteful" show called Best Funeral Ever. McCoy's funeral was featured on the show, and rightfully so!
His barbecue-infused funeral featured pall-bearers singing the song, a barbecue sauce fountain, and a coffin designed to look like a giant smoker.
As it turns out, the "Chili's Baby Back Ribs" song has been recut numerous times, and, you may remember, was even featured in Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me.
*NSYNC even recorded the song for a Chili's commercial.
Now that you're hungry, I can guess where you're going for dinner and what exactly you're gonna order!
Or you can enjoy some of these fine dishes: