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"Stolen Songs"

A letter from our friend Zeke,
(steel player and owner of y2k Studios)
got me thinking about this subject.

There are a lot of stories
about bigshots stealing songs from unknown writers.
I don't doubt that this could happen,
but I was just never a witness to it.

The question comes to my mind:
Why would they steal songs,
with hundreds of songwriters walking up and down Music Row,
handing out tapes to anybody who would listen?

When we had our office in Nashville,
we would go through thousands of songs,
submitted by new and old writers,
before we could find one hot enough to use.

I've known a few songwriters who never made it,
who claimed their songs were stolen.
I'm sure it must have happened at times.
I just never would have thought of stealing a song myself.
The bigger problem for us
was wading through all the "pretty good" songs that came in,
looking for a great one.

Whenever we used outside songs,
they were always written by top writers.
We didn't plan it.
They were just the ones we liked best.

I once tried to help a songwriter from Florida
by setting up a demo session with my money,
and offering to publish and pitch his one song.
He never showed up to sign the agreement, or for the session.
Then he went around telling everybody that I was a crook.
For a long time I wondered why.

I think I finally figured it out.
It was safer for him to back out and tell people I was a crook,
than to take the chance of having his only song flop.
This way he was the hero,
he had a bad guy to blame,
and nobody could say he failed.

Copyright  January 1, 2002 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved.


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