This rejection form was found amidst a packet of letters in the Music Division of the Library of Congress, which were part of a 1972 exchange between Lew Tobin, founder of Five Star Music Masters (the production arm of Sterling Records) and William Lichtenwanger, the highly-respected head of the LoC Music Division's Reference Section. Tobin had written Lichtenwanger in response to a letter Lichtenwanger had sent to Rep. Charles H. Griffin of Mississippi (who in turn was responding to a constituent inquiry), which had somehow caught up to him. Tobin strenuously if inarticulately (despite the fact that he himself was an attorney) defended his industry from Lichtenwanger's use of the term "song sharks," stressing the fact that "we reject almost as many poems as we select." As proof of the legitimacy of his song service, he included a sample of their standard rejection form. In an interesting aside, he went to say, "A few months ago I was asked to do a television program here in Boston, Mass., consisting of an interview and illustration of some of the songs that are submitted to us, as well as some of the songs that we actually complete and I played some of them."
... Thank you for submitting your song material. We regret to inform you that we find it unacceptable for the reason checked:
Subject not commercial
Subject not suitable for use as a song
Writing not clear (please print)
Incomplete (send the whole poem)
We hope you will find he enclosed pamphlet helpful. Try again.
FIVE STAR MUSIC MASTERS
101 Tremont St. -- Boston, Mass. 02108
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