Singer/songwriter Peter McCann asked the question in his song, "Do You Wanna Make Love?" Apparently the answer was yes -- the record-buying public loved the song so much that they gave him a million-selling Top Five pop hit in 1977. McCann also wrote Jennifer Warnes' pop hit "Right Time of the Night."
Growing up in Bridgeport, CT, McCann was always in some kind of singing group. He won a glee club college scholarship from the Jesuit priests to a small Catholic college in Fairfield, CT. The education proved invaluable to him, as the glee club did 30 concerts a year. After college graduation, he was in a rock band called Repairs. A year later, the band was signed to Motown, where they recorded two albums with producer Andrew Loog Oldham (the Rolling Stones). In September 1974, most of the band members moved to Los Angeles, playing in clubs six nights a week. After two grueling weeks, McCann quit the band, then got married and started songwriting full time.
Making an appointment with Rick Weiser of ABC Music, McCann was introduced to Hal Yoergler. After several meetings and songwriting tips from Yoergler, McCann accepted a staff writing position with ABC Music.
The idea for "Do You Wanna Make Love?" came from a conversation McCann had in a bar with a friend about the promiscuous atmosphere that seemed to be in play. Despite the title and the locale where the initial idea sprang up, the song isn't about one-night stands. A listen or a look at the chorus: "Do you wanna make love or just fool around/You can take it seriously/Or take it somewhere else." Maybe 500,000 record-buyers bought the record for the promiscuous connotation of the title and perhaps the other 500,000 bought it for McCann's original romantic-based intent. Whatever the case, putting the song together was a whirlwind event. McCann did the basic sketch of the song in an afternoon. Taking the song to his publisher, ABC/Dunhill Music produced the single, which charted just two weeks after it was released. A self-titled album was rush-released by 20th Century Records to capitalize on the fast-selling single. The LP included his version of "Right Time of the Night," which predated "Do You Wanna Make Love" and Warnes' version.
When Warnes' cover started to take off and seeing that they were losing the "cover battle" (usually radio stations don't play two artists covering the same tune), 20th Century started to pull back their marketing and promotional efforts on McCann's version. McCann was perturbed that the label sat on his version, but no doubt the income earned from his songwriter's royalties (from Warnes' Top Ten hit version) were soothing to some degree. McCann followed his success with a February 1979 album on CBS Records titled One on One; it was produced by his songwriting mentor/manager Yoergler. McCann still writes songs and appears at Writer's Night seminars. ~ Ed Hogan