Mudcat Café message #438034 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #32975   Message #438034
Posted By: Jim the Bart
11-Apr-01 - 10:08 AM
Thread Name: Original =Best Songs?
Subject: RE: BS: Original =Best Songs?
Back in the early 70's, writing your own was the mark of a serious artist. Being a "cover" artist, except in the case of the established folk/trad canon, lumped you in with the "Holiday Inn" crowd. Which is why, to this day, I don't know any Jim Croce songs. But I digress.

One thing that became clear as I started to pay attention to the craft of songwriting was that there were a lot of performers around who had one (or maybe two) really outstanding songs in them. The rest of their stuff might be just so much navel-gazing, but those special songs would just shine. Unfortunately, when the writer didn't get a record contract and decided to "get on with their life" (probably selling shoes or something), those great songs would disappear.

I decided to do two things: 1. Collect and play those songs by unknown songwriters that I thought were really, really good. 2. Not play any of my own songs until and unless I felt they measured up.

My "career goal", at one point, was to have my own studio, where I could record people playing just their very best songs. I figured I could release compilation records; No one would make a pile of money, but at least those songs wouldn't just fade away.

I still haven't gotten there (yet), but at least my own writing has gotten better. I've come far enough in my own writing to put out a quality set or two of my own stuff. And it only took 30 years! When I perform I still sneak in some of my favorites by worthy writers who the world will probably never know about. What a shame.