If I Don’t Stay on the Charts

Billy Joel did a killer job of summing up the life of a (professional) musician in the song, “The Entertainer,” from his 1974 album, Streetlife Serenade.

The song provides lots to think about for those who are, or are considering, pursuing the music business. It’s not “death and destruction,” but juxtaposes the lure of the industry, with the truths that are just around the corner. For example,

I am the entertainer, And I know just where I stand

Another serenader, Another long-haired band

Today I am your champion, I may have won your heart

But I know the game, You will forget my name

I won’t be here in another year, If I don’t stay on the charts

Ahh, it all looks so good when you see the flavor of the month being treated like royalty. But, when your “success” starts to diminish, you better have a good back-up plan in place. All of those that “loved you” will be gone.


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