First recorded as “Cotton’s Theme” by Barry De Vorzon and Perry Botkin, Jr. (1971).
Also recorded (as “Cotton’s Theme”) by Sounds of Sunshine (1973). Rereleased as “Nadia’s Theme” by Sounds of Sunshine (1976).
Hit version (as “Nadia’s Theme”) by Barry De Vorzon (US #8/MOR #8/CAN #6 1976).
Hit version (sampled in “No More Drama”) by Mary J. Blige (US #15/R&B #16/UK #9 2001).
From the wiki: “Barry De Vorzon and Perry Botkin Jr. composed this piece of music, originally titled ‘Cotton’s Dream’, as incidental music for the 1971 theatrical film Bless the Beasts and Children. Botkin Jr. later composed a rearranged version of the instrumental theme for the U.S. TV soap opera The Young and the Restless, which debuted on March 26, 1973, on the CBS television network. Although a soundtrack album for the TV series was released by P.I.P. Records in 1974, the LP only contained a vocal cover version recorded by easy-listening group Sounds of Sunshine, rather than the original instrumental recording by De Vorzon and Botkin.
“In late July or early August 1976, ABC’s sports program Wide World of Sports produced a montage of Romanian gymnast Nadia Comăneci’s routines during the 1976 Summer Olympics, using ‘Cotton’s Dream’ as the background music. It was this American television montage that cemented the association of the tune with Comăneci in the public mind. Viewer inquiries about the music from the Wide World of Sports montage prompted a commercial release of the 1971 version of the song as a single through A&M Records on August 28, 1976.
“This re-released recording was identical to ‘Cotton’s Dream’ – except for a repeat from the bridge to the end edited in to lengthen the piece. The single was titled ‘Nadia’s Theme (The Young and the Restless)’ and was a commercial success. However, A&M Records failed to credit De Vorzon as the co-writer on the first pressings of the single. He successfully sued the record label for $241,000. ‘Nadia’s Theme’ won the Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Arrangement in 1978.
“In October 1976, as the De Vorzon & Botkin version on A&M climbed the charts, P.I.P. Records released a single containing the Sounds of Sunshine’s vocal and instrumental versions under the title ‘Nadia’s Theme’. The label also re-released the 1974 soundtrack LP, now stickered to say it contained ‘Nadia’s Theme’, although it still only contained the cover version. That same month, Barry De Vorzon capitalized on the success of the song by releasing it on his first album, Nadia’s Theme. Soon after, Sounds of Sunshine released their own Nadia’s Theme album.
“In 2001, Mary J. Blige sampled ‘Nadia’s Theme’ as a backdrop for her Top-20 single, ‘No More Drama’. Botkin, who had never heard of Blige prior to this was delighted to get a writing credit, saying: ‘I woke up one morning and I’m on the cutting edge of R&B,’ says the composer.”
Barry De Vorzon, “Cotton’s Theme” from The Young and the Restless (1971):
Sounds of Sunshine, “Cotton’s Theme” (1974, re-released in 1976):
Barry De Vorzon, “Nadia’s Theme (The Young and the Restless)” single release (1976):
Mary J. Blige, “No More Drama” (2001):