Zero to 180 – Three Minute Magic

Discoveries of a Pop Music Archaeologist

“TV Commercials”: ‘Mad Men’ Cautionary Tale

Don “Draper” Bowman, in February 1961, somewhat presciently grasped the enormity of Madison Avenue and advertising’s outsized influence on American attitudes and marketplace behavior in his first single, “T.V. Commercials,” recorded for the La Gree label:

TV Commercials 45Does Humor Belong in Music?  Don Bowman Says Yes

“T.V. Commercials” is actually the B-side of “Coward at the Alamo” – the first in a long line of cheeky song titles:  “Chit Atkins, Make Me a Star” (his first single for RCA); “World’s Worst Guitar Picker“; “Dear Harlan Howard” (written with Red Simpson); “I Get the Feeling We’re Through”; “Giddy Up Do-Not” (written with Red Sovine); “Folsom Prison Blues #2” (written with Johnny Cash); “Messin’ Up My Mind” (written with John Hartford); “Poor Old Ugly Gladys Jones” (written with Waylon Jennings); and “I Owe It All to You, Chit Atkins” (his final single for RCA).

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