NEW YORK – Watching the one-time Peg Bundy of Married...With Children deliver a knock-out version of "Silent Night" with folkie sweetness and a touch of Darlene Love is the real surprise of tomorrow's 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter.
That is, until you find out Katey Sagal -- the daughter of show business veterans -- toured as a backup singer with the likes of Bette Midler. She even (get this!) sang with Bob Dylan.
"This is my really good Bob Dylan story," says Sagal.
"I always put it on my resume. I rehearsed with him for three months for a tour. It was my first big job. I'd been on tour with a rock musical, but this was my first . . . This was what I really wanted to do.
"It was right after the Rolling Thunder Revue. So I was 18 years old or 19 and it must have been 1976 or something like that. I was rehearsing ‘Just Like a Woman' with him and 'Like a Rolling Stone.'
"It was pretty awesome to me. He didn't say much, but he didn't need to say much and it was great.
"Then one week before the tour, he fired everybody -- half the band and all the singers. . . . I wasn't surprised I got fired because I could barely speak!
"It was good that it wasn't just me, but I was devastated. You don't answer the phone for a while. I got my gig with Bette Midler pretty soon after."
She then hooked up with a Mamas & Papas-style group that signed with the then-hot Casablanca Records -- thanks in part to an introduction from her friend, Gene Simmons of Kiss.
"We did an album over there. Then we went over to Elektra and did a single and then the band broke up." But what was the group called?
"It was a horrible name," Sagal laughs. "If I tell you will you promise . . . well, who knows. It's public record. It was called The Group With No Name.
We made the record; we didn't have a name. The record's being pressed. We don't have a name. The record's being released. We still don't have a name. So [they] thought, 'Well, we'll call this The Group With No Name.'
"They did this big advertising campaign where they'd show our faces without our names. It could have worked. It was a good record."
Of course, Sagal went on to sitcom fame with the trashy, satiric Married . . . With Children, a monster hit for Fox that aired for a decade and helped build a network.
Now she plays Cate -- who works at a hospital while hubby John Ritter tackles raising the kids -- on a hit show that could help rebuild another network.
In tomorrow night's episode (8 p.m.) she is asked to sing at midnight mass on Christmas Eve.