“Inside Llewyn Davis”: Who Wrote That Song?

In “Inside Llewyn Davis” there’s a scene where Llewyn Davis records a novelty song, “Please Mr. Kennedy (Don’t Send Me Into Outer Space).”

Today The Hollywood Reporter published a fascinating piece about that song, asking the question: who really wrote it?

Here’s some of the story:

[T Bone] Burnett’s rep explains that the music maestro and the Coens adapted their song, “Please Mr. Kennedy,” from another novelty song of the same name that came out on the 1962 album Here They Are by The Goldcoast Singers. That tune depicts a comical draft-board scenario where some shaggy rock & rollers beg President John F. Kennedy not to induct them into the army. Since these lyrics were modified for the film, the new songwriting credit shows original writers Ed Rush and Ed Cromarty now accompanied by T Bone Burnett, The Coens, and Timberlake.

That’s interesting, because before that song there was a 45 single release of “Please Mr. Kennedy (I Don’t Want To Go)” by Mickey Woods in December 1961 on the Tamla-Motown label, and you can easily hear the similarity between that war-phobic plea and the Coen creation. Credits for that particular tune actually list Berry Gordy, Loucye Wakefield and Ronald Wakefield as the song’s composers — no trace of Messrs. Rush or Cromarty here.

Read the entire story here.

Please Mr. Kennedy from The Goldcoast Singers on Myspace.

— A Days of the Crazy-Wild blog post —

About Michael Goldberg

Michael Goldberg is a distinguished pioneer in the online music space; Newsweek magazine called him an ‘Internet visionary.’ In 1994 he founded Addicted To Noise (ATN), the highly influential music web site. He was a senior vice-president and editor in chief at SonicNet from March 1997 through May 2000. In 1997, Addicted To Noise won Webby awards for best music site in 1998 and 1999, and also won Yahoo Internet Life! awards for three years running as best music site in 1998, 1999 and 2000. Prior to starting Addicted To Noise, Goldberg was an editor and senior writer at Rolling Stone magazine for 10 years. His writing has also appeared in Wired, Esquire, Vibe, Details, Downbeat, NME and numerous other publications. Michael recently completed his first novel, Days of the Crazy-Wild, and is currently writing a second novel.

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