Rock Ballad of The Week: The Box Tops “The Letter”

Gimme a ticket for an aeroplane
Ain’t got time to take a fast train
Lonely days are gone, I’m a-goin’ home
My baby, just-a wrote me a letter

I don’t care how much money I gotta spend
Got to get back to my baby again
Lonely days are gone, I’m a-goin’ home
My baby, just-a wrote me a letter

Well, she wrote me a letter
Said she couldn’t live without me no more
Listen mister, can’t you see I got to get back
To my baby once-a more
Anyway, yeah!

Gimme a ticket for an aeroplane
Ain’t got time to take a fast train
Lonely days are gone, I’m a-goin’ home
My baby, just-a wrote me a letter

Well, she wrote me a letter
Said she couldn’t live without me no more
Listen mister, can’t you see I got to get back
To my baby once-a more
Anyway, yeah!

Gimme a ticket for an aeroplane
Ain’t got time to take a fast train
Lonely days are gone, I’m a-goin’ home
My baby, just-a wrote me a letter, my baby just-a wrote me a letter

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SONGWRITERS
MIKLOS ROZSA

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PUBLISHED BY
LYRICS © SONY/ATV MUSIC PUBLISHING LLC

“The Letter” is a popular song, written and composed by Wayne Carson Thompson, which was a US #1 hit in 1967 for the Box Tops.

The recording session for “The Letter,” with Box Tops members Alex Chilton on vocals, Danny Smythe on drums, Russ Caccamisi on bass, John Evans on keyboards, and Richard Malone on guitar, began at 10 o’clock on a Saturday morning and took over thirty takes wrapping at either three or five o’clock that afternoon. Penn met Box Tops vocalist Chilton for the first time at the session: “I coached him a little…told him to say ‘aer-o-plane,’ told him to get a little gruff, and I didn’t have to say anything else to him.” (Composer Thompson, who says he played guitar at the session, was thrown by Chilton’s vocal, having imagined the song being sung in a higher key.) Penn recalled: “[Chilton] picked it up exactly as I had in mind, maybe even better. I hadn’t even paid any attention to how good he sang because I was busy trying to put the band together…I had a bunch of greenhorns who’d never cut a record, including me…I borrowed everything from Wayne Thompson’s original demo – drums, bass, guitar. I added an organ with an ‘I’m a Believer‘ lick.” Penn added the sound of an airplane take-off to the track by recording it from a special effects record played in an office adjacent to the recording studio. When the track was previewed for Chips Moman, he suggested the take-off sounds be excised, to which Penn responded angrily: “Give me that razor blade right there–[and] I’ll cut this damn tape up! The airplane stays on it, or we don’t have a record.

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source: wikipedia

photo credit: metrolyrics

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