Nearly 25 Years Later, a Behind the Scenes Look at the Musicians Who Sang the “Chili’s Baby Back Ribs” Jingle

Those who use social media frequently know: you can find some odd stuff on Twitter.

Videos by American Songwriter

Like earlier this week, when a user on the site shared the behind-the-scenes clip of the artists who sang the “Chili’s Baby Back Ribs” jingle.

Todd Spence wrote, “‘Chili’s Baby Back Ribs” behind-the-scenes recording session from 1998. This is amazing.”

It’s truly mesmerizing. Take a look for yourself.

Wasn’t that something?

And doing some further research, it became clear that the author of the song, Guy Bommarito, whom VICE called the “Don Draper of the ’90s,” was something of a wizard as an ad-man.

Check out this interview from VICE with Bommarito, who talks about the song’s popularity and where it came from. Or check out the Cliff Notes version below:

Bommarito: I wrote it in, like, five minutes. I presented it to the client, I just sang it to them, and they said, “Yeah, that sounds fine.” I called a friend of mine in Dallas—Tom Faulkner—and I asked if he would put it together for me. He recorded me over the phone and made it sound like a professional had actually done it. So it ran, and we thought that it would go away. And then months later, it ran again, and then after a couple of years, I had left the agency, and I got a call saying, “You know, your song is going to be in the new Austin Powers movie in two weeks.” And I said, “What song?” I’ve been totally blown away by the popularity of the song and all of the places it’s appeared. It’s not so much that I’m angry about it, I’m kind of just like, how did this happen, why did this happen?

VICE: That’s the fascinating part. When people think of Chili’s, they immediately think of that song. I think it did a lot for the brand, you know? And a lot for baby back ribs. 

Bommarito: I tell people: I’ve never had a Chili’s baby back rib, so you don’t necessarily have to try the product to write the song, I guess.

VICE: You’ve never eaten baby back ribs? 

Bommarito: I’ve had ribs before, and I guess I’ve had baby back ribs before. But I’ve never had them at Chili’s. The whole thing was kind of this fluke that happened because restaurants love having music over food, “bite and smile” kind of stuff, the way that Las Vegas loves slot machines. It’s just part of who they are. It’s a really tough category, casual dining. The clients were even tougher, constantly pushing towards “I want to see more shots of people biting and smiling.”

Photo by Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

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