Trying to find a Pittsburgh song from the early 80's

I was in college in Johnstown, the year was 1981-1982.

This was a local song. I can’t remember the title or much of the words except in the beginning the person is going “back to Pittsburgh, PA” and each verse ends with “She said, I’m not that strong.” It’s a pop/rock sound and I believe the lead singer is male.

I know this isn’t much to go on. I’ve tried to search it and came up with nothing, but I don’t live in Western PA anymore so I don’t have anyone to ask.

I’d love it if someone remembered at least the title of the song and the artist.


The band that immediately came to mind is Donnie Iris and the Cruisers, a Pittsburgh band who was popular at that time. Iris was also in Wild Cherry, but I couldn’t find a song by either group (or any other group, for that matter) that has the lyrics you mention.

Heh. My buddy Joe Grushecky had a band called Iron City Houserockers at that time. Many of their songs included references to Pittsburgh.

Another buddy, Norman Nardini (the manful handful) did a bunch of Pittsburgh oriented songs as well.

Donnie Iris fits as well, but he aint a buddy so I’ll mention him last. :wink:

“She said, I’m not that strong.” sounds like pure Grushecky. I have the album “Love So Tough” at home, I’ll take a listen.

I checked out as much as I could on YouTube, but I didn’t find the song I’m thinking of. But I did recognize Donnie Iris “Sweet Merilee” as one that was being played that year, so at least there’s that.

I’ve been racking my brain trying to remember more about the song. It was uptempo if that helps any. It wasn’t really New Wave, just pop/light rock. Not much to go on, I know.

Pittsburgh’s own The SPUDS (special people under doctor’s supervision) did a bunch of Pittsburgh oriented rock (albeit with a punk flavor).

OK, I emailed Joe Grushecky. If anyone knows the answer to this, it’s Joe.

Heard back. Not an Iron City Houserocker’s song.


Any chance it could be something from Crack The Sky (not real familiar with their songs)?

It wasn’t on the Crack the Sky stuff I found on YouTube, but thanks for turning me on to them–they’re great! How does a band with that kind of talent not make it nationally?

The Clarks is another Pittsburgh band that flirted with national success a couple times but never really broke through. They didn’t start until after your stated 1981/82 period, so I didn’t mention them. Listen to their 1988 “Live” album for a real treat (you can listen to the entire thing on Spotify). I’ve seen The Clarks live a couple of times, and really like them.

If you ever find out, you make sure and let me know. I just read the Wiki page for CTS, and I’m more bummed than ever.

By being on a terrible record label who doesn’t know what they’re doing or how to promote an act. Their first album was named the debut of the year by Rolling Stone… how can a label not follow up on that? Crack The Sky were a terrific band, and yeah, it’s a shame more people don’t know them.

I’m still working on this. Yesterday I called Norman Nardini and left him a voicemail with the gist of the situation. Today he called me and left me a voicemail, suggesting I come down to his studio at my earliest convenience so we can hash this out. Emphasis on hash.

I’m driving to see him tomorrow late afternoon.

kayaker, you are a truly awe-inspiring person. If you guys find this song, I owe you massive quantities of beer. I’d say Iron City, but we can’t get that here. How’d you feel about a keg of Yuengling Lager? :slight_smile:

how about “Life During Wartime” by Talking Heads