Day 162: “Mailman, Bring Me No More Blues”

When was it recorded?   Jan. 29, 1969

When was it first released, and on which album?   Oct. 28, 1996 on “Anthology 3”

Who wrote it?   Bill Katz, Ruth Roberts, and Bob Thiele

Have I heard this song before?   No

What my research dug up:

Digging up dirt on this song took more work than usual, but information I did find.

“Mailman, Bring Me No More Blues” is credited to Ruth Roberts, Bill Katz, and Stanley Clayton. (Wikipedia also credits a “Row,” but no first name or page link was given, sooo we’re ignoring him/her.) Roberts seems to be running the show (she was also the only writer with her own Wikipedia page), so we’ll start with her.

Ruth Roberts (1926-2011) was an American songwriter who attended Julliard. Though she wrote a number of notable solo pieces, according to Wikipedia, “She had a long professional collaboration with lyricist Bill Katz.” Together, the two are best known for penning “Meet the Mets” in 1961. The tune is the official theme song for Major League baseball team the New York Mets.

William “Bill” Katz’s songwriting bio didn’t reveal anything new compared to Roberts’ page, but I did notice a song Roberts and Katz wrote with Robert “Bob” Thiele. I didn’t think anything of it until I Googled the third “Mailman” songwriter, Stanley Clayton. Turns out Clayton was an alias of Thiele’s! Thiele (1922-1996) was a prolific American jazz record producer. Under the pseudonym George Douglas, he also wrote the classic Louis Armstrong song “What a Wonderful World.” (According to Wikipedia, Stanley, Clayton, George, and Douglas were Thiele’s uncles. Go figure.)

Anyway, Beatles’ idol Buddy Holly first recorded “Mailman, Bring Me No More Blues” in 1957. It appeared as the B-side to his popular single, “Words of Love,” and on a 1958 compilation album, “Buddy Holly.”

Quoth the Beatles Bible, “‘Mailman, Bring Me No More Blues’ had been a part of The Beatles’ live repertoire until 1962. However, they didn’t record it until January 1969, during the Get Back sessions at the Apple Studios in London.” While recorded along with a number of classic covers that appeared on “Let It Be,” “Mailman” was withheld until 1996’s “Anthology 3” compilation.

Like “Maggie Mae,” this song appears to be one John had a soft spot for, if his cover that appeared on his final piano demo tapes is anything to go by.

Eh. It’s not my favorite song. Again, that doesn’t make it bad; it just means “Mailman” doesn’t do anything for me in any iteration.

 

Sources

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruth_Roberts

http://www.beatlesbible.com/songs/mailman-bring-me-no-more-blues/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddy_Holly_%28album%29

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/05/arts/music/ruth-roberts-meet-the-mets-songwriter-dies-at-84.html?_r=0

http://www.dbopm.com/link/index/4201/3743

http://www.discogs.com/artist/1130472-Stanley-Clayton

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Thiele

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