(Toronto June 11, 2019) — Hot Child in the City, a hit song that climbed all the way to Billboard’s No. 1 in 1978 will be inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame (CSHF) at a special ceremony in Vancouver on Tuesday, June 18, 2019, as part of SOCAN’s annual general meeting for members.
The song was written by Vancouver rockers Nick Gilder and James McCulloch after leaving their successful British Columbia glam-rock band, Sweeney Todd. In addition to platinum-record sales, Hot Child was recognized with JUNO Awards for Best-Selling Single and Most Promising Male Vocalist of the Year for Gilder, while he and McCulloch were also nominated for Composer of the Year in 1979.
“I am honoured and humbled to be in such esteemed company of the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame, and to have Hot Child in the City join the catalogue of iconic songs that have helped shape Canada’s musical landscape,” said Nick Gilder. “Music will always be a great passion in my life. I am very thankful to everyone who helped to make this song a classic; my very creative collaborator Jim McCulloch, the great band, the tireless efforts of Chrysalis Records, my family and our awesome fans who continue to request the song on radio after all these years!”
“With so many successful singles and albums over his career, it is wonderful to be able to highlight one of Nick Gilder’s biggest hits with the induction of Hot Child in the City into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame,” said Vanessa Thomas, CHSF Executive Director. “The song is still instantly recognized today, more than 40 years since it was released in the late 70s, which is a testament to great songwriting and its cultural impact. We can’t wait to celebrate with Nick on June 18, and are honoured to have him perform at the song induction presentation.”
Although the song induction will be presented in Vancouver, music fans from across Canada and the world can celebrate along through exhibitions at Studio Bell, home of the National Music Centre, in Calgary.
As the physical home of the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame, the National Music Centre will continue to honour new inductees through on-site exhibitions, featuring stories, photos, artifacts, and memorabilia.
In the mid 70s, Gilder was in pursuit of a solo career and traded the West coast for the California sun with his bandmate and co-writer James McCulloch. It was Central L.A., most notably Hollywood, that became the inspiration behind their biggest hit, Hot Child in the City. The famous Sunset Strip and the eclectic youth that flocked to it fascinated Gilder who recalls, “In Los Angeles you see everyone from different walks of life; a lot of would-be actors, the adventurous, the disenfranchised. The song is a celebration of life, ultimately, of going out and finding yourself.” He adds, “L.A. was a magnet for people trying to find themselves. We wanted to write this song about what we’d experienced and seen.”
The song’s catchy rhythm and bass line proved infectiously popular in the clubs where Gilder and McCulloch played in places like the Whisky A Go-Go and the Troubadour. On one occasion, Mike Chapman, the producer who had worked with Sweet and Blondie, heard Gilder and McCulloch on stage and said they should get in the studio. That conversation led to Gilder recording Hot Child for his second solo album, “City Nights,” using the same arrangements as they had used in live performances.
The President of Chrysalis Records, Terry Ellis, released Gilder’s single in June 1978, with Backstreet Noise on the reverse. Hot Child began a leisurely climb up the charts, reaching No.1 on Billboard’s Top 100 chart in October 1978 (setting a record for taking the longest of any single to do so). In Canada, Hot Child had a similar trajectory finding the No. 1 spot on October 14, where it remained the following week. By January 1979, Hot Child was still charting, with performances on numerous television shows including “American Bandstand,” “Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert” and “The Midnight Special.”
Capitol went on to release Hot Child on the compilation album “Solar Energy” in 1979, and it appears on “The Best of Nick Gilder” (2001). Gilder later remixed the song for his album “Long Time Coming.” It has been covered by Canadian and international bands such as The Trews, Nemesis, and Dieter Bohlen who recorded a German version (Heisse Nacht In Der City). Several television shows have played the song (“Ed,” “That 70’s Show,” “Nip/Tuck,” “Sex and the City”) as well as the films “Going the Distance,” “Barb Wire,” “The Hooker with a Heart of Gold,” and “Hot Child In The City.”
In addition to its JUNOs, the song amassed a BMI Award and a 2006 SOCAN Classic Award. It was also chosen for RPM’s Top 125 Cancon Hits in 1992 and Top 100 Cancon Tracks 1964‒1994.