I learned how to be a professional songwriter from Noel Sherman,who along with his brother Joe had written hit songs for Perry Como (“Por Favor”) and
Nat ‘King’ Cole, (“To The Ends Of The Earth”) ,
but due to a brotherly feud at the time, was looking for another melody writer to work with. George
Paxton, who published “Just Between You and
Me”, and also published Noel and Joe’s hits introduced me to Noel.
Noel taught me how to write songs for a living. He treated me like a little brother who needed to be shown what
it took to be successful in the music business. I had to be at his apartment in Manhattan at exactly
3:00 PM everyday, and we would work until 6:00, and then I would have
to leave and come back at exactly 9:00 to work until midnight. When we finished a song, Noel would type up the lyrics, and
we would rehearse how to demonstrate it.
He took me by the hand up to Phil Kahl, who ran Morris Levy’s publishing company at Roulette Records. That’s where I met Wally Schuster, who was one of the best song pluggers that ever lived. After
Phil gave his nodding approval, Wally took our songs and the next thing I knew we had a Perry Como
record on the charts at #44 with “Beats There a Heart So True” and our other song “Three O’clock Thrill”
was on the “B” side of “When” by the Kalin
Twins, which was #5 on the same chart. Back then there were two sides to every 45rpm, an “A” side and a “B” side, and you got paid the
same for record sales.
(listen to the sound byte of the Perry Como record and see the Cashbox Disk of the Week review,
and Top 75 Sales chart from Aug. 16, 1958 below)
Beats There A Heart So True? - Perry Como Recording
the next year and a half Noel and I got twenty three recordings, including artists like Nat Cole, Johnny Nash, The Four Lads, The Pony Tails, The Chordettes,
The Four Aces, and Peggy Lee.
It's So Easy To Say - Johnny Nash
Fantastico - Peggy Lee
Who Do You Think You Are? - The
Seven Minutes In Heaven - The
World In My Arms - Nat Cole
Saturday Swing Out - The Four
Love Is A Two Way Street - The Chordettes