(Pictured: Andrea True.)
We’re out driving on a stifling summer night. In the distance, we see some lights. It’s a fair or a festival or something, so let’s park and wander in.
Over there, a crowd of people are disco-dancing to a band. Gotta give ’em credit for workin’ it like they are, as hot as it is tonight. On the bandstand, beneath the lights, it’s even hotter. The band is sweating more than the dancers are, and the singer, who started the evening with big 70s hair that has now wilted in the humidity, is working harder than all of ’em. That’s not stopping her, though. Neither is the fact that she doesn’t sing very well—the band is into the music, the crowd is into it too, and at the height of summer, that’s enough to make a party. For this is the summer of 1976—disco is starting to happen, but the beat has yet to become mindless, and sweat is not yet merely a fashion accessory. The band is playing their biggest hit, and to the extent that it’s mindless, it’s at least mindless in a charming way. More important—to the dancers, and to us—it also has more than its share of erotic attraction. The latter is no accident. The singer has deliberately worn as little as possible to this particular gig. As it turns out, she’s got plenty of experience with that kind of thing.
Andrea True wanted to be a serious actress, but it didn’t work out that way, and although she can be spotted as an uncredited extra in The Way We Were, most of her film credits would be in adult films, such as Sexual Freedom in the Ozarks, The Wetter the Better, and Deep Throat Part II. In 1975, she found herself stuck in Jamaica, and while she was there, a friend who was also a record producer brought down a track he’d been working on. They ended up with a master tape of a song that contained a sly reference to her former career: “Get the cameras rollin’ / Get the action goin’.” Once they sold it to a label, it became the signature song of her career, “More More More.”
Andrea True was more than a one-hit wonder. Her first showbiz break, according to a story Casey Kasem told in 1976, was a local TV show she got as a teenager through her local chapter of Junior Achievement. (Her quick thinking while stuck in Jamaica is further indication of her head for business.) And she would hit the Hot 100 three more times. “New York You Got Me Dancing” would reach #27 in 1977; “What’s Your Name, What’s Your Number” would reach #56 in 1978. Her followup to “More More More” was a song called “Party Line.” It peaked at #80 on the Hot 100 late in the summer of 1976. I never heard it then, but it’s become a favorite since then, mostly because it sounds like six extra minutes of “More More More.”
(Check this November 1976 clip from Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert, in which she performs “More More More,” “Party Line,” and “Fill Me Up.”)
Even after her musical successes, she made a few more adult films, although by the late 70s she was considered a bit too old for prime roles. What happened to her after that is hazy. Her 2011 obituary said she had worked as an astrologer and a substance-abuse counselor.
At some point in the late 1970s, while I was still living at home, Andrea True played a bar gig in my hometown of Monroe, Wisconsin. I wasn’t old enough to get in, but I know she sang what had been one of the signature songs of my favorite summer.
(Rebooted from a 2007 post with some new material.)