The Gregory Brothers Auto-Tune the Net

From the New York Times:

“When Diana Radcliff stepped into a convenience store in Kansas City, Mo., on the morning of Sept. 1, 2010, she had no idea she’d be a witness to a botched robbery and a frantic escape accompanied by a hail of bullets; or that her account of the thwarted crime, as recorded by a local ABC television station, would become an Internet viral sensation; or that this video, in turn, would make her, at least for a short while, a pop-music star.

“Speaking to a reporter for KMBC-TV, Radcliff described her ordeal. “When I’m on my knees, I’m backin’ up, backin’ up, backin’ up, backin’ up, backin’ up, backin’ up, ’cause my daddy taught me good,” she said, while hunching down and shuffling backward to recreate the scene. And that was how numerous Internet users were introduced to Radcliff in a video clip that was posted about a year ago.

“Many millions of viewers know her from a different video, though, one in which she does not merely recite the story of her ordeal, but rather sings it, accompanied by snappy electronic percussion:

I’m backin’ up, backin’ up,

backin’ up, backin’ up,

’Cause my daddy taught me go-oo-d

I’m backin’ the hell out of there

And I’m like oh, my God

Oh, my God, my God

“This might not seem like the kind of thing you would hear on a Top 40 radio station or see on MTV — not yet, anyway — but “Backin Up Song (feat. Diana),” a video produced by a Brooklyn-based group of musicians-slash-Internet comedians called the Gregory Brothers, has been viewed more than 10 million times.”

Read the rest of the article here.


Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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