Off The Charts

Series: Mississippi Records Music & Film

The next offering in our Mississippi Records Music & Film Series is Off The Charts , a great documentary about the Song Poem industry. Starting in the 1940's and continuing on to present day, folks have been urged to send in their song lyrics to “publishing companies” through ads in newspapers. In exchange for a nominal fee, these companies will have their studio musicians record a demonstration record of whatever songs are sent in – no matter how surreal, grotesque, religious, satanic or just plain bad, they are. The film follows both the charming and innocent folk artists who write these song lyrics and the cynical but still likable musicians who set the poems to music…sometimes as many as 40 poems a day. Unexpected great art collaborations are created through these exchanges.

After the film, some local bands will perform song poems written by Portland locals. The best song lyrics will receive a $100 reward. Runners up will receive Mississippi Records and Hollywood Theatre Gift certificates.

YOU CAN GET INVOLVED! If you’d like to submit song poem lyrics of any type, they will be considered for live performance and prizes. Please send in your lyrics by June 2nd. This is your chance to have your poems performed by a beloved Portland band. Mail poems to or 1827 NE 44th Ave, Executive Suite 140, Portland, Ore USA.

MISSISSIPPI RECORDS MUSIC AND FILM SERIES is new monthly series of events curated by Mississippi Records. Events include film showings, live music and lectures featuring artists close to the heart of Portland’s Mississippi Records label and shop. Artists and collaborators featured include Sun Ra, Philip Cohran, Harry Smith, Les Blank, Michael Hurley, the Academy Film Archive, and many many more.

Off The Charts Poster


Friday, June 13