NEW YORK – Stephen Colbert wants to climb the charts.
Colbert debuted his new Jack White-produced single, “Charlene II (I’m Over You)” on “The Colbert Report” Thursday night.
Colbert has featured White on “The Colbert Report” all week during his “rock odyssey” series, “Dr. Pepper Presents StePhest ColbChella `011 – Rock You Like a Thirst-Icane.”
The former White Stripe and his Nashville-based record label, Third Man Records, produced the track. The Black Belles, a goth girl rock band on Third Man, performed backup.
The reference of the song is one only die-hard members of the Colbert Nation likely will grasp. It’s a follow-up to his mock `80s new wave song, “Charlene (I’m Right Behind You).”
Since 2006, Colbert has occasionally alluded to the song and suggested that before his conservative pundit character became a TV show host, he was the lead singer in a group called Stephen and the Colberts.
But the sequel, “Charlene II (I’m Over You),” is entering the real world. The song is to be available from iTunes and Third Man Records, including on vinyl copies. There’s even a limited edition red-white-and-blue edition, with the vinyl dyed in the colors of the flag.
Colbert and White will be selling copies Friday in Manhattan from the Third Man Records’ “rolling record store” – a truck that travels the country selling the label’s music.
This is White’s second collaboration with a late-night talk show host. Last year he released a live rockabilly album with Conan O’Brien.
Colbert has taken every chance to remind White that he’s a Grammy winner. Colbert’s “A Colbert Christmas” won the Grammy for best comedy album in 2010.
But this is far from the comedian’s first foray into musical performance. Among his greatest hits are a performance of “Empire State of Mind” with Alicia Keys, a “shred-off” with the Decemberists and a rendition of Rebecca Black’s “Friday.”