Monday, October 7, 2013

Initial 16: P.F. Sloan (song)

Yesterday, we began our look at the initial “P” used in artist names or song titles and we have a continuation of our first post with a song written in honor of P.F. Sloan. I first became aware of this song when I saw it listed on a 1971 album by The Association. At the time, I was not aware of Sloan’s songwriting contributions and his years in the music business. I assumed that P.F. Sloan, like The Monkees’ “D.W. Washburn,” was a fictional character.

“P.F. Sloan” (the song) was written by Jimmy Webb and appeared on his 1970 album “Words and Music.” While Sloan had done much in the music business, he longed for a successful career as an artist; that desire never materialized. Realizing Sloan’s unfulfilled dream, Webb wrote a song in honor of his contemporary and mentor “P.F. Sloan.” It was a situation with which Webb could identify, as neither Sloan nor Webb, both prolific songwriters, ever received recognition for their artistic talents as performers.

While other artists have been mentioned in a song, very few have had songs named in their honor. It may also be the only song that references the stuffing of Roy Roger’s horse Trigger. While the song is rather personal to Webb, it has been recorded by a number of artists including The Association, Jennifer Warnes (under the name “Jennifer”), Unicorn, and Rumer.

Webb recorded it two additional times with the third go around as a duet with Jackson Browne in 2010. It’s most recent run of the charts came in 2012 when British singer Rumer recorded it. On Webb’s original release, he utilized a Melodica and it may have been one of the earlier usages of this keyboard instrument in pop music. The first hit single I remember it being used was on Orleans’ “Dance with Me” in 1975. The Melodica had further exposure to the public when it became a primary instrument of The Hooters in the 1980s.

No comments:

Post a Comment