The Story Behind The "New Cape Cod" Rejection Letter

The Patti Page and Bette Midler classic hit, "Old Cape Cod" was always a favorite of Red Peters. The salty air, the numerous 2nd degree sunburns and the boners on the beach were all pleasant memories for Red growing up and vacationing on the Cape. As a matter of fact, early in Red's career, he once met one of the writers of the song, Milton Yakus, at a yard sale and they really hit it off. Little did he realize then that this brush with greatness would later result in a personal, artistic experience with the song.

In the summer of 1994, Red, along with the Alan Pinchloaf Singers, recorded bandleader Babe Marino's masterful arrangement of the song. Babe had just returned from a five-year stay in Hollywood and saw Cape Cod in a whole new light. Cape Cod had changed in his absence. The new lyrics seemed to just pour out of his head after a brief, unpleasant vacation with his whole family. Red thought the beautiful tune would be perfect for inclusion on his first album, "I Laughed, I Cried, I Fudged My Undies!" The album was set for a Fall 1995 release.

But that was not to be. On August 15, 1995, Red's high-priced Boston attorney, Javier Pico, received a rejection notice from the George Pincus Publishing Company in New York. A flat-out refusal to issue a mechanical license and denied Red permission to include the recording on his album!

For some strange reason, they said no. They even insensitively stamped the lyric sheet, NO LICENSE, faxed it back, shut off their phones and left for the day. There was absolutely no room for negotiation. Just before the manufacturing was set to begin, Red pulled it out at the last second and the song was shelved.

Red was crushed and disappointed, but instead of wasting or losing the song to oblivion, he decided to post the tune for free in the Sound Snatches section on his website so all his fans could enjoy this very special recording. What a good sport!

And today - when Red sings "New Cape Cod" in his live show with the beautiful Delicious Dips, there is a certain magic is in the air, and a little extra smileon the face of one of our nation's biggest-hearted crooners.

 

 

Lou Cielball, correspondent

 

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