Signature song: Wikis

  

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A signature song is the one song (or, in some cases, one of a few songs) that a popular and well-established singer or band is most closely identified with, even if they have had success with a variety of songs. Signature songs can be the the result of spontaneous public identification and/or a marketing tool developed by the music industry to promote artists, sell their recordings, and develop a fan base.[1]

Contents

Importance

A signature song is a must in many artists' repertoire, and one which they may choose to perform at every concert appearance.[2] Marketing programs by recording companies and fan expectations for these signature songs sometimes result in the artist's difficulty to perform other kinds of music. Two well-known examples of this phenomenon are Ricky Nelson's ill treatment by his fans at Madison Square Garden in 1971 (see "Garden Party") and Merle Haggard's public fight with Capitol Records to release his tribute album of Bob Wills dance songs after the success of "Okie from Muskogee" in 1969.

The difference from a one-hit wonder

The term signature song is generally not applied to the successful song of a so-called "one-hit wonder" — an artist who is closely identified with one song because they have had no other successful songs.

Shared signature songs

Some songs are so iconic and popular that many different singers may share that song as their signature song. A well-known example is "Over the Rainbow" but which is mostly identified as Judy Garland's signature song.[3]

Another song that has been identified with more than one singer is "Ol' Man River", which became the signature song of both Paul Robeson and William Warfield.

Artists may have different signature songs in different parts of the world depending on where they are praised; or they have more than one, even in one area of the world. In the cases in which an artist or band has more than one signature song, the songs are often from one particular album that was considered their best work. In some cases, there may be a divergence between the artist's most commercially successful song and the song most commonly associated with that artist by the media, resulting in each song receiving references to being the artist's "signature song."

The song "Goodnight Irene" became the best-known track for two different artists: Leadbelly and The Weavers.[4]

Anthems

Official songs or anthems for dignitaries also perform a similar function of fanfare and/or association: being played when a particular person or group makes their entrance. An example of this is the President of the United States with "Hail to the Chief".

List of Artists and their signature songs

The following is a list of artists' signature songs:

References

  1. ^ Umphlett, Wiley Lee. The Visual Focus of American Media Culture in the Twentieth Century: The Modern Era, 1893-1945. Fairleigh Dickinson University Press (2004), p. 157: "This practice soon began equating performers with signature songs as a way to promote and sell recordings and sheet music as well as establish a cult of fans to market these songs to."
  2. ^ Prescott, John. A Career in Show Business: Variety Entertainer. Institute for Research (2000), p. 8: "And if there's a phrase ... or you have a signature song ... then your audience will probably be disappointed if you don't repeat yourself."
  3. ^ a b c See each article page for detailed source references.
  4. ^ NPR: (Goodnight) Irene
  5. ^ The Andrews Sisters > Biography, Allmusic.com
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  7. ^ [2]
  8. ^ Diamonds & Rust > Overview, Allmusic.com
  9. ^ [3]
  10. ^ AT HOME WITH: Harry Belafonte; The Political Is Personal - New York Times
  11. ^ His Heart's Still In San Francisco, Tony Bennett's Career Spans Generations, But With One Constant - CBS News
  12. ^ The Two-Minute Man, Episode 15: What I Like About the Globe Edition – Washington Post
  13. ^ Jon Bon Jovi - Bon Jovi Stunned By Living On A Prayer Success
  14. ^ NPR: Buckley's Big Voice Built a Loyal Following
  15. ^ CNN.com - Jimmy Buffett sings for Clinton - August 25, 2000
  16. ^ Page 204 of From Abba to Zoom: A Pop Culture Encyclopedia by David Mansour with ISBN 0-7407-5118-2, ISBN 978-0-7407-5118-9
  17. ^ Petula Clark.net - Mini-Biography
  18. ^ BobbyDarin.net/BobbyDarin.com: "Mack The Knife"
  19. ^ CNN - Showbuzz - September 22, 1999
  20. ^ allmusic ((( Made in Japan > Overview )))
  21. ^ allmusic
  22. ^ Lonnie Donegan Biography - Discography, Music, Lyrics, Album, CD, Career, Famous Works, and Awards
  23. ^ Like a Rolling Stone : Rolling Stone
  24. ^ CNN Transcript - Special Event: Millennium 2000: When Midnight Hit the Pyramids in Egypt; Separating Good Champagne from the Best; Carlos Santana's Millennium - January 1, 2000
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  27. ^ CNN.com - Transcripts
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  29. ^ CNN.com - Transcripts
  30. ^ allmusic ((( The Best of the RCA Years > Overview )))
  31. ^ Beat It
  32. ^ POP REVIEW; Rick James Still Enjoys Singing . . . and All That - New York Times
  33. ^ a b CNN.com - showbuzz - Mar 16, 2005
  34. ^ Seattle Times review of Joel/John conert
  35. ^ allmusic
  36. ^ allmusic ((( Ben E. King > Biography )))
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  38. ^ Welcome to Producers, Inc
  39. ^ Julie London at Brian's Drive-In Theater
  40. ^ CNN.com - showbuzz - Oct 6, 2004
  41. ^ CNN.com - Entertainment - Mamas and Papas' John Phillips: An appreciation - March 19, 2001
  42. ^ CMT : News : 20 Questions With Barbara Mandrell
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  44. ^ CNN.com - Transcripts
  45. ^ ['Memories Are Made of This: Dean Martin, Through His Daughter's Eyes' by Deana Martin 2004, Pan Books, pg.110]
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  48. ^ Kurt Cobain - Biography
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  50. ^ Comment: Pavarotti, the global reach of a pop star - Times Online
  51. ^ allmusic ((( Edith Piaf > Biography )))
  52. ^ Singer Lou Rawls Dies : Rolling Stone
  53. ^ H2G2
  54. ^ Helen Reddy - Biography
  55. ^ Clash, Costello Make Rock Hall: The Clash : Rolling Stone
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  57. ^ Chairman Of The Board Steps Down: Frank Sinatra Dead At 82: Frank Sinatra : Rolling Stone
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  59. ^ http://www.aolradioblog.com/2009/10/30/best-slayer-songs/
  60. ^ Kate Smith (I) - Biography
  61. ^ Celebrity Lawmaker Wore Renewed Fame Lightly - 01-10-98
  62. ^ Madeleine Kingsley (2006-03). "Hello! interview, March 2006". Hello! Magazine, typed by (au nom de Geri). http://aunom2geri.ifrance.com/ihello.htm. Retrieved 2007-11-03. 
  63. ^ ReZoom Entertainment - Entertainment for an ageless generation
  64. ^ [11]
  65. ^ allmusic
  66. ^ allmusic ((( The Ventures > Biography )))
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  68. ^ allmusic ((( 16 Biggest Hits > Overview )))
  69. ^ Bert Williams - Free Music Downloads, Videos, Lyrics, CDs, MP3s, Bio, Merchandise and Links
  70. ^ allmusic ((( Stand by Your Man > Overview )))

See also








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