Categories: Interviews

Robin McNamara battles his way back

While still in the original Broadway cast of “Hair,” Robin McNamara was only 23 when he hooked up with producer Jeff Barry (Monkees, Neil Diamond, Archies) and scored a million-selling bubblegum hit with “Lay a Little Lovin’ On Me” in 1970.

He may have been a one-hit wonder, and one of his ex-wives may have his gold record stashed away someplace, but McNamara hasn’t stopped living life.

Now based in Gulfport, Fla., the 47-year-old McNamara has been mailing out copies of a three-song demo tape to major labels in hopes of at least selling one of his songs to an artist who might consider doing a version.

“Honestly, ‘Lay a Little Lovin’ On Me’ was a wonderful time for me and a wonderful lemonade song,” he says, “but wasn’t the ’70s sort of a blur for everybody? I went through a couple of marriages and a couple of sad airplane rides, but now is now and you keep pursuing life.”

“Lay a Little Lovin’ On Me” peaked at No. 11 on Billboard’s singles chart. Though a second hit never followed, McNamara continued to tour in the ’70s with his backup band, later known as Exile (who themselves had a No. 1 in 1978 with “Kiss You All Over” and became a top country act in the ’80s).

He also appeared in the 25th anniversary revival of “Hair” and is considering the lead role of Jesus in a remake of “Godspell” this spring.

How does he see his chances this time around with the demo tape?

“Nil to slim to none, probably,” he says, with a laugh. “I do this because it’s like a passion for a craft. If you’re a carpenter, and you love to work with wood, then you love to work with wood and you create things and you hope people enjoy it. That’s what I do.”

Gerry Galipault

Gerry Galipault debuted Pause & Play online in October 1997. Since then, it has become the definitive place for CD-release dates — with a worldwide audience.

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