The first kiss in between Alex P. Keaton and Ellen (played by Michael J. Fox and Tracy Pollan) was a big deal on family Ties, and it make "At This Moment" a large hit for Billy Vera. The scene, native the season 4 premiere, dram in the background in ~ a fraternity party, the lyric "What did girlfriend think / i would perform at this moment" deserve to be heard plainly several times. Alex traction Ellen out onto the run floor, then kisses her, and she runs off. A heartbreaking case of unrequited sitcom love. 

Audiences said "Yeah, but that song playing in the background -- what was that song?" 




You are watching: What did you think i would do at this moment

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Few things in life age as well as wine yet Billy Vera’s 1981 heartstring-tugging “At This Moment” provided old vino a operation for the money. In the ’80s Billy Vera snagged part success together a songwriter, scribing “I got The Feeling” for Dolly Parton. Despite developing a number #1 country hit, Vera struggled to rest through, posting part modest successes for a Japanese-owned Alfa label. Vera’s route to recognition followed an unexplained path. Because that example, his biggest hit, “At This Moment,” climbed to #1 in the nation 5 year after it at first debuted. Vera fan his success come his serious work ethic, luck, and a small show called “Family Ties.”

"At This Moment"s slow Burn


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Amazingly, it took Vera a full year to complete the delay hit. Like most writers, he necessary the ideal motivation. The genesis the “At This Moment” came when Vera began dating a quite vain girl in new York. During their courtship, the young lady called Vera about her most recent break-up and how her ex-boyfriend take it it. Vera to be so touched by the reaction of her ex the he went home and also wrote. “The an initial two-thirds of the track is based upon my (Vera’s) creativity of what this guy was feeling.“

However, Vera couldn’t number out how to finish the song. It no until virtually a year of dating when the various other shoe dropped and also the exact same self-obsessed girl dumped Vera. Prefer a lightswitch, the lovesick Vera knew the finishing of the song. “When she damaged up v me, I had actually gotten an extremely emotionally affiliated with her, and then i knew just how the song ended. And also that to be the famous line the everybody remembers: I"d subtract twenty years of my life.”

Debuted To little Fanfare


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Vera belted out "At This Moment" in small venus for 5 years prior to it made the big. (moranalytics)


Billy Vera and The Beaters exit the track in ‘81 and also it peaked at number #79. Respectable but certainly not worth a blog post. Vera blamed the song’s lackluster reception on a fail PR man.

“You know, everybody had actually high really hopes for that song. They had a very an excellent promotion man, Bernie to be his name. And also he wasn"t getting along with the boss. Therefore he quit simply as "At This Moment" come out. The man they rental to take it his place, that couldn"t have supported the Beatles. He to be this disastrous promotion man. For this reason that"s why "At This Moment" didn"t perform what the should have done.” Blaming the PR man lands 3rd on the most commonly used excuses for failed art. However, Vera just happened to it is in onto something. 

Billy Vera’s Hustle


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After his masterpiece sputtered, Vera began acting and continued playing tiny venues with his band to make a living. The did that for five years. Then, out of the blue, he got a phone call from a producer of a tiny program dubbed Family Ties -- at that time the #2 present on TV follow to Nielsen ratings. The male said, “I produce a present called family members Ties, and some of united state were in ~ your present the other night, and we heard you carry out this track that we believed would it is in perfect for an illustration that we have coming up.”

On come The huge Time


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Vera do the deal. "At This Moment" play on family members Ties ~ above September 26, 1985, together Alex P. Keaton had actually his heart broken by Ellen, and next point you recognize a giant bag the mail arrived at Vera’s doorstep. Previously, Vera was lucky enough to acquire a song or two on the air however he never got any type of interest concerning them.

All the letter read, “"Who"s the singer? What"s the surname of the song? Where have the right to we to buy it?"” due to the fact that the song was no much longer out, Vera went approximately to record service providers trying to record it again. No takers. If the wasn’t because that a little label called Rhino Records and also a male named Richard Foos, “At This Moment” could have continued to be anonymous. Thankfully, Vera was a grinder.

“I said, "Hey Richard, how numerous records carry out you should sell to break even?" He had low overhead in ~ the time, since it to be a tiny company. The said, "Oh, around 2,000 copies." i said, "Well, I"ll tell friend what, I"ll guarantee 2,000 albums. I deserve to sell castle in the clubs if require be. Will certainly you placed it out?" that said, "Sure."”

Almost to let go The Boat


With his music career stalled, Vera explored other options. He"s 2nd from left in this still from "Buckaroo Banzai" (1984). Source: marketwatch


Unfortunately, Vera and Rhino records couldn’t acquire things together with time to coordinate with the airing that the premiere episode, nor the one the followed, in which the tune was again used. However "At This Moment" no dead yet -- the next season, the tune played again, ~ above the October 2, 1986 episode.

Again, audiences want to know about it.

“The an answer was immediate, NBC called us (Vera) up, they said, "My God, we"ve never had any an answer like this in the background of the network because that a song. The switchboards space lighting up, we"re gaining letters, telegrams, where deserve to we uncover this record?" Well, luckily, Rhino had the record out. So world started phone call radio stations, which never ever happens. Ns mean, it was a complete organic hit. Friend know, Rhino wasn"t in the organization of modern-day music, therefore they didn"t have any promotion, castle didn"t do any type of payola, that was simply that the human being demanded the record, and thank goodness, radio listened and played it.”

“And it just kept shoot up the charts main after main after week. Next thing you recognize the phone"s ringing off the hook, word got out that ns was a cost-free agent, i didn"t have a document deal, so all these record providers started wanting me to sign with them, and also we were on every these television shows. Prick Clark to be wonderful come us. He placed me on every single one the his shows; American Bandstand and all the remainder of them. He to be just good to us." 

"At This Moment" got to #1 top top the Billboard warm 100 and Adult contemporary charts in January 1987. Much better late 보다 never. 


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67 Colorized image Captured way More 보다 Expected

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Rarely checked out Photos indigenous The 70s because that Mature audiences Only

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