Song Sharking


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pHv2LkWkhm8

I was reading an interesting article on Wikipedia about a long gone practice called “Song Sharking”. Essentially there were businesses who ran ads asking poets to send in their poems which would then be turned into songs by professional musicians. In 2003 PBS produced a documentary about Song Sharking called “Off the Charts”. To see a full preview: pbs.org/independentlens/offthecharts/ It’s also available on Amazon: click here I wonder what other old music business practices that have long been forgotten.

“The business of recording song poems was promoted through small display ads in popular magazines, comic books, tabloids, men’s adventure journals and similar publications with a headline reading (essentially) Send in Your Poems – Songwriters Make Thousands of Dollars – Free Evaluation. The term lyrics was avoided because it was assumed potential customers would not understand what the term meant. Those who sent their poetry to one of the production companies usually received notice by mail that their work was worthy of recording by professional musicians, along with a proposal to do so in exchange for a fee. The early 20th century versions of this business involved setting the words to music and printing up sheet music from inexpensively engraved plates.” – Wikipedia

Read the full entry: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Song_poem

This entry was written by Oliver Chesler, posted on December 3, 2009 at 6:12 am, filed under song writing, video and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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3 Responses to “Song Sharking”

  1. James Lewin says:

    The power of human absurdity……

    Those look like they could be a record collecting black hole.

  2. distortedmemory says:

    “blind man’s penis” is the best thing to come out of song sharking.

  3. I think alot of musicians still steal from eachother some are pretty blatent about it I hear about these cases all the time and people do comparisons to see how similar the songs sound to eachother.

    And I mean cmon is it really that hard to write a song? Most dont even make sense or no one knows what they truly mean.

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