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Miami Valley Music Focus explores the places and people behind the music of Southwest, Ohio.

Ohio Rocks! Hit songs from legendary Ohioans - 'Drive’ AND ‘You Might Think'

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This special edition of this series is about a once really big and important Rock band, The Cars. The Cars were and are major because:

1. They were one of the most popular American New Wave Rock groups of all time at their peak.

2. Their two founding members (and arguably the most important) were from Ohio.

Ric Ocasek (born in Baltimore, Maryland but lived and graduated high school in Cleveland, Ohio) and Benjamin Orr (born and raised in Lakewood and Parma, Ohio) met in Cleveland, Ohio in the 1960’s. The two were originally members of competing bands when they met, but ended up working together soon after. The men would form several different groups and move to Massachusetts, before they would eventually found The Cars in the 1970’s.

The Cars would go on to be a massive success in the early to mid 1980’s. They released their biggest selling and most popular album in March of 1984, Heartbeat City. This LP produced six single cuts for radio play. The two stand-out songs were Drive and You Might Think. Drive was the highest charting cut from Heartbeat City, it reached the number three position on the Billboard Hot 100 chart (Orr sang lead on the song, usually Ocasek was the group’s lead singer). You Might Think was actually released as the first single from the album. It rose to the number seven position on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart. The music video for You Might Think was, possibly, even bigger than the song. The video won Video of the Year at the 1984 MTV Video Music Awards and has since been hailed as a classic of the art form.

Sadly, we lost these two men in recent years. Benjamin Orr died of pancreatic cancer on October 3rd, 2000. Ric Ocasek passed away on September 15th, 2019 of heart disease. The music world lost two important figures in modern Rock history. But, they live on through these two fantastic songs, and forever in the state of Ohio.

Miami Valley Music Focus explores the places and people behind the music of Southwest, Ohio. This series is made possible by support from Ohio Arts Council.

Greg Simms Jr. is a veteran content creator and cultural expert who's worked for numerous digital publications over the years. He's a resident of Greene County, but he's always aware of social-cultural events happening all over the Miami Valley. To contact Greg, email him at: grgsmmsjr@gmail.com