Artist development in 2011: Mercury Records needs help finding a young’un with ‘range & twang’


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Perhaps male country artists are an endangered species. So if you’re a guy between the ages of 18 and 26, the A&R department at Universal Music Group’s Mercury Records wants you to drop them a line, as the label is offering up a ‘rare opportunity’ to directly reach Team A&R.

Sound fishy? No, promises the label, and the imprint even offers a disclaimer. ‘This is NOT a TV show, a contest, or marketing scheme,’ reads the statement from Mercury -- the all-caps emphasis purely on the part of the label.


But here’s the catch: Don’t be thinking about doing anything fancy now, as nowhere does the label say they’re looking for an artist. The label clearly specifies that it’s on the prowl for a ‘singer,’ although one with ‘true talent.’ Rest assured, the lucky singer ‘will make an album with a multi-platinum producer, promote it and take it on the road.’

In order to prove your worth, you must sing one of the following songs: Bob Seger‘s ‘Rock & Roll Never Forgets,’ Frankie Miller‘s ‘Darlin’’ or Randy Travis’ ‘Forever & Ever Amen.’

But, you say, you have this really awesome tune about ex-girlfriends, whiskey and a dead guy? Save it, Hank Williams. Do not ‘submit songs other than the three on this page,’ writes the label. In fact, Mercury has even provided you with instrumental versions of the songs to slap your voice on. So keep it simple and sing, boy, sing.

The notice is generically signed ‘Mercury Records A&R,’ but if you ask the Encyclopedia Browns over here at Pop & Hiss, that signature looks awfully familiar.


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-- Todd Martens