SI Vault
Jim Schottelkotte
April 15, 1985
Songs spawned by baseball range from such all-but-forgotten turn-of-the-century items as Let's Get the Umpire's Goat, Take Your Girl to the Ball Game and The Feds Are Here to Stay (they stayed all of two years) to the occasional serious offering—Frank Sinatra's 1973 recording of There Used To Be a Ball Park, for example. By and large, they haven't exactly stood the test of time. In fact, Terry Cashman's Willie, Mickey & 'The Duke' (Talkin' Baseball) is probably the most popular song about the sport since Take Me Out to the Ball Game, the old standby written in 1908 by Jack Norworth and Albert von Tilzer.
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April 15, 1985

Terry Cashman Scores Hit After Hit As Big League Baseball's Balladist

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Cashman was soon invited to sing Talkin' Baseball at ball parks. Seattle asked him if he could insert a few special lyrics about Mariner players, and he discovered that his basic melody was easily adapted to whatever lyrics another team called for. He sat down with "Mom"—his Baseball Encyclopedia—and put together Talkin' Baseball songs for virtually every club in the majors. That led to a pair of Lifesong albums—one of National League club songs, the other of American League songs. Both also had on them some instrumental and novelty fillers.

Each April, depending on what has taken place in the off-season, Cashman has to update his Talkin' Baseball 45s. He figures he's spending about 75% of his time on sports songs and sports-related business. All ready to go is a number about Pete Rose, to be released when Rose breaks Ty Cobb's record of 4,191 hits. Cashman is also working with one California team on a project involving a theme song for the upcoming season. The club is planning to use the composition in its TV and radio promotions. Recently, too, Cashman has been talking with film producers interested in having him score a feature-length film. You can guess what the movie is about.

Cashman is clearly a busy man, but should a ball club's advertising director want to secure the composer's services, he needn't be discouraged: Cashman works quickly, all things considered, and delivers either a demo tape or a master recording within months of the team's initial request. Joseph Pastore, Cashman's agent and publicist, details the process. "First I hear from their ad director. He explains what he wants—a theme only or an entire promotion based on, say, a single event or a season. I then get in touch with Terry. If he's interested, he goes to work almost immediately—but that depends on the deadline they've given us. Usually, we get them a demo tape within three to four weeks. A master takes a few weeks longer, but the project usually requires several months at most."

How much does all this cost a team? "It varies," says Pastore. "If a team wants only a theme song, we're obviously going to be spending less time and money coming up with the composition. When you want something that involves actual recording, you have to figure on both creative and studio costs—I guess the range is anywhere from $5,000 to $50,000."

Financial rewards notwithstanding, Cashman maintains he's not in it for the money. "I'm an entertainer, and I want to give people enjoyment. When I take a project on, I think I have a unique ability to capture the particular subject that's involved because I love sports and I love music," says Cashman. "The response, particularly to the Red Auerbach thing, really pleased me."

Yes, but does Cashman consider his lucrative avocation important?

"Important?" responds Cashman. "Is Boy George important?"

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