Don’t Call Us, We’ll Call You

Two days ago, my friend and fellow author Chris Devlin blogged about More Great Story Songs of Yore, featuring classics such as “Ode To Billie Joe” and “The Night Chicago Died.”

Here’s another great 1970’s story song:
Sugarloaf: “Don’t Call Us, We’ll Call You”

A story song with a humorous tale of intrigue played out behind the scenes.

Sugarloaf, a band that was based here in Denver, Colorado, had just been turned down for a contract by CBS records. What should an enterprising band do when they’re in that situation?

Write a story song about it, incorporating all the juicy details. The band naturally serves their comeuppance to the rejection in the last verse:
“Any way, we cut a hit and we toured a bit
with a song he said he couldn’t use
And now he calls and begs and crawls
It’s telephone deja vu
We got percentage points and lousy joints
And all the glitter we can use, Mama
So, uh huh, don’t call us now, we’ll call you”
©1975 Sugarloaf

On top of this lyrical denouement, Sugarloaf played a practical joke at CBS’ expense. The song includes a recording of a touch-tone phone dialing an unlisted number at the CBS Records offices in Los Angeles. Pranksters all across the U.S. started dialing this number, and CBS had to rid themselves of it.

Did I mention this song went to #9 on the Billboard singles chart? 😈

I’ve loved this song ever since it came out, but of late I find it downright inspirational. If anyone ever gives you the “don’t call us, we’ll call you” routine, remember the sweet lemonade Sugarloaf squeezed from their lemon.

How Stuff Works: 14 Best-Selling Books Repeatedly Rejected by Publishers

Writer Profits: How a Rejected Fiction Author Topped Amazon Bestseller List



  1. Aw, brings back memories! Why did they have a music video in the early 70s? Way ahead of their times?

    Thanks, that’s a great story song. Dramatic twist, happy ending, in your face…

    • Actually, someone “made” the video by adding the song as a soundtrack to an old Bell System promotional film. Fits wonderfully, doesn’t it?

      Music videos have roots going back at least to the WW-II era Panoram visual jukebox.

      Bob Dylan’s Subterranean Homesick Blues (which one of my chapters is named after!) had D.A. Pennebaker’s highly influential (and much-imitated) promotional film clip featuring Bob Dylan holding up cue cards for the song lyrics.

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