Zach Montana found the CD in his car and started playing it before realizing it was actually his father singing.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on March 9, 2022. It has since been updated.
When Zach Montana switched on the stereo in his car, he was ready to plug in his phone so he could listen to his own playlist. But before he could do that, music from a CD in the car started playing. His dad usually listened to songs from CDs and it appeared to be one of his. Zach was intrigued by the song and let it run. It was so good but he just couldn't place the song. Then the vocals started. An eerily familiar voice. And then it hit him. It was his dad! Zach soon learned that it was an unreleased song from the '70s—"Surrender to Me." He was so overcome with emotion that he immediately shared it with his followers on TikTok, reported TODAY.
Zach is the son of drummer William “Curly” Smith and he even picked up his love for music thanks to his Dad. Smith was Boston’s drummer and he toured and recorded with the rock band from 1994 to 2001. He has also worked as a singer and guitarist with the likes of Rick Springfield, Bette Midler and Bonnie Raitt. Smith recorded the track 43 years ago and co-produced it along with singer-songwriter Mark Olson, who has since passed away. They never got to release the track as Smith didn't have a record deal.
"I decided it was time to write and record some R&B funk songs. I found some great, kickass, Motown session players and, after writing the song, I hit the studio to record it," recalled Smith, reported Insider. He believes it's a miracle. "Every now and then something truly miraculous and amazing happens in your life. I think this song being released after 43 years on a dusty shelf definitely qualifies for a miracle in my life. Hallelujah!" he said.
Zach, who's a budding musician himself, was blown away by his Dad's unreleased track. “I’m listening and I’m thinking, ‘Whoa, this is really good,’” said Montana. “Then the vocals come on and I hear a very familiar voice — and I’m like, ‘Oh my God, that’s my dad.” Zach is visibly excited jumping about in his seat, shocked at how good the track is and how good his father sounds. “There’s a horn section!” Zach excitedly tells his followers as they listen to the track. "Just wait… It’s so good.” The video went viral and has more than 3.6 million views and close to 100k likes. The song now has more than one million streams on Spotify. DragonForce guitarist Herman Li commented, "can he be my dad too?" and singer Meghan Trainor wrote, "so good."
Zach says his father, who's 70 now, "has been out of the game for a little while," but is seeing his music career kick off now. He was also invited to the "Jimmy Kimmel Live" show where he performed the song. Zach said his father loves that his track has seen the light but he's more excited about what it can do for his son, as a musician. “Of course, my dad is more excited about what it means for me,” said Zach revealed. “He’s like, ‘This is gonna get your music so much attention.’ That’s what kind of person he is.”
The 19-year-old believes his father's song didn't take off because the market was already flooded with this kind of disco music. “I believe they pitched it to Motown Records and a few other subsidiaries, but nothing happened. And back then, they had no way of distributing it without a label. Obviously, there were no streaming platforms,” said Zach, who believes the song has also brought them closer. “He’s always been an amazing father — the best I could possibly ask for. This experience has only brought us closer together.”