Monday, August 17, 2009

Song Poems From The MB

In the 50's & 60's the backs of magazines would be filled with ads looking for poetry as well as contests promising fame and fortune. Record companies had professional bands, they just needed quality lyrics. That, my friends, is where you come in. Send in your words and the best ones will get made into a song and even get played on the radio.

Except, there were no contests. Every single entry would get a letter back saying that it didn't win even though the lyrics were great. IF, by chance, you still wanted your poetry made into music, the record company would do it. For a fee.

In short, Song Poems were a scam. People would pay money to get their song made, the company would hire some struggling musicians to do a one-take recording, put it on to a 45 record and send it back to the person.

The result of these records are often ridiculous and utterly unique. Only a few records of each exist. Musically, song poems are far from perfect but contain an old-timey delicate sound that can never be recreated. Lyrically you never know what you will get, which is half the fun. Clunky? Dumb? Touching? All the above? For more information check out And buy this album. It's the best cd you can own.

Below are song poems from my personal collection.

Song Poems From The Milquetoast Brigade
Come On Down - Sammy Marshall (Souvenir)
Let Me Remember Yesterday - Unknown (Halmark)
Man In The Moon - Larry Bene (Tin Pan Alley)
Our Country Home - Unknown (Hallmark)
The Sanjacinto Mountains - Sammy Marshall (Souvenir)
Take A Look In The Mirror - Unknown (Halmark)
Times Awastin'! - Larry Bene (Tin Pan Alley)
When Is It Time To Say Goodbye - Unknown (Hallmark)


If you take a close look at the picture of the Hallmark record, you can see the names an addresses of the people who purchased the songs. Our Country Home is so over-the-top sorrowful that it becomes absurd & fascinating.

-posted by Indy

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