Back in 1984, Columbia Pictures had a slight problem. Their new film "Ghostbusters" was nearly ready for release, but it still needed a catchy theme song.
Luckily, Columbia knew exactly who they were gonna call: Ray Parker Jr.
"I got a call from my buddy Gary LeMel at Columbia Pictures … and he called me up and said, 'Hey, I need you to help me with this film. We've tried different songwriters for about a year, we don't like anything,'" Parker tells FNM in an exclusive interview ahead of the latest "Ghostbusters" movie.
And not only did Columbia need a new theme song, but they needed it fast.
"I only had about three days," says Parker. "[LeMel] says 'Take three days and figure out a song for us, we only need about 20 seconds.' So I recorded about a minute and a half of it, a minute and fifteen seconds. And that turned out to be 'Ghostbusters.'"
After the recording was all squared away, the studio had yet another surprise in store: They were planning to shut down part of Times Square to film Parker's music video.
"First of all, I didn't really think they were gonna do that," remembers Parker. "I saw all those people walking in Times Square, like you see it today. I think it was like 1 o'clock in the afternoon. I said, 'Well that's interesting. I wonder what's gonna happen now.' And next thing I knew, they shut the whole thing down and we're out there dancing, [and] Bill Murray drops to the ground and decides he's gonna breakdance."
"That was an unbelievable experience."
Even today, more than thirty years after "Ghostbusters" cemented its place in pop culture history, Parker tells us he still gets a kick out of hearing his lyrics shouted back at him from fans.
"When I see them, and they say 'who you gonna call?' or 'I ain't afraid of no ghost,' everybody has a smile on their face. So it makes me happy as well."
Watch the rest of FNM's exclusive interview with Parker for more about the history of his "Ghostbusters" theme, and stay tuned for his thoughts on the new reboot.