Just For Fun: The Story of the Late Laura Branigan’s Song ‘Gloria’ and the St. Louis Blues Hockey Team

Published May 22nd, 2019, Uncategorized

The St. Louis Blues are in hockey’s Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since I was a 15-year-old fan. How this intersects with one of my all-time favorite songs, “Gloria,” a 1982 hit by the late Laura Branigan, is one of those silly but fun mashups of pop culture.

Branigan was a minor-major talent whose signature was a throbbing contralto — sort of a white Donna Summer. Branigan didn’t really have a look or choreography suited to the early MTV era, and she had only one other hit. She died prematurely of a brain aneurysm in 2004.

But thanks to YouTube and the St. Louis Blues, Laura Branigan is immortal.

On January 3, the Blues had the worst record in the NHL, before starting an extraordinary run coinciding with the call-up of a rookie goaltender, Jordan Binnington. In November the Blues had fired their head coach and named a new one, Craig Berube.

In January several Blues players were at a sports bar watching an NFL playoff game on TV. The DJ played “Gloria” and the players liked it. They adopted it as the team’s unofficial theme song.

Last night, at the end of the conference finals clincher against San Jose, the Enterprise Center blared “Gloria.” A St. Louis radio station is threatening to rotate the song 24/7. The Laura Branigan legacy Twitter feed, run by her heirs, said it had fielded a request by fans of the Boston Bruins — who will face the Blues in the championship round — to post a link to “Gloria” in support of the Bruins. Uh-uh, the Branigan Twitter said: “Gloria” belongs to the Blues.