Back in the day, non-musicians mailed in their addled and/or eloquent poetry (often scribbled on sandwich bags or cocktail napkins), and for a small fee, a song was created out their poetic detritus. The concept is nothing new - there have been numerous anthologies of song poems (and even a film about the phenomenon), so many in fact that you have to wonder just how much good material there is. These collections answer that questions - tons of it, especially if you keep an open mind and you're as receptive to the strangeness of the genre as you are to the pained emotion and the historical insight they often provide.
i present to you the long oop print volumes 2-4 of the msr madness series compiled by Tom Ardolino (nrbq) and Don Bolles (Germs). much ink has already been spilled over the song-poem phenom and it's shining star Rodd Keith (including a documentary), but these collections were the first exposure many of us had to this treasure trove of american weirdness at it's finest.
volume 1 was the vinyl-only Beat Of The Traps album, but fear not, as 12 of those 16 tracks are on volume 2 with the remaining appearing on volume 3. volumes 5 and 6 were unfortunately shelved until Phil Milstein and WFMU came to the rescue and put them up for [free download]. the complete liner notes to these and the many subsequent song-poem comps can be found at the [American Song-Poem Archives]. info about Rodd Keith can be found over [here] and an article by his son Ellery Eskelin can be read over [here].
[Tom Ardolino Presents: The Makers of Smooth Music- MSR Madness Vol. 2]
[The Human Breakdown Of Absurdity- MSR Madness Vol. 3]
[Don Bolles Presents: I'm Just The Other Woman- MSR Madness Vol. 4]