29
Jul 04

I’ve just been listening

FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 396 views

I’ve just been listening to a song called ‘Tupelo Mississippi Flash’ by Tom Jones. It’s on the flip of his 1970 single, ‘Daughter of Darkness’. Here‘s the lyrics. It’s one of Jones’ typically r’n’b b-sides but was written and first released by Jerry Reed. Jerry had written both ‘The Guitar Man’ and ‘U.S. Male’ for Elvis, so I guess you could see it as a typically country narrative conceit or maybe a simultaneous philosophical homage and sulk in honour of The King. But, as you can see, even without squinting, it’s about an A&R man. Which got me wondering about other songs about A&R men. And I couldn’t think of any. Now, I’m fascinated by A&R men and label politics, so, by a process of swift deduction, I guess other people could be too…

So, where are these songs to whet our appetites? There MUST be one about Dick Rowe, the guy who famously rejected The Beatles, but I’m damned if I’ve heard it. SURELY Berry Gordy will have done some. And, if there are plenty of songs about being a fan or a DJ and gazillions about musicians, why no A&R or label boss?

Any suggestions?

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