This weekend’s Wall Street Journal carried an online music piece by John Jurgensen about personalized music. We’ve had mashuips and remixes, bootlegs and rarities. Now the economies of scale brought to us by the digital world are giving us personalized music.

Like those kids license plate keychains you see hanging up in a Stuckey’s off the highway exit, these versions of the song are cut with individual names.

“Hey, Billy.”


“Hey, Chris”


“Hey, Dawn.”

and so on.

Jurgensen reports that Jessica Simpson’s A Public Affair has 534 different copies for sale. To make matters even more cloying and disgusting, Simpsonc couldn’t be bothered to actually record the shout-out, relegating it instead to a backup singer.

Personalized music could be like an autograph. If the shout out went something like, “Hey, Opie Taylor of Mayberry Enn Cee,” then I could maybe, somehow perhaps see spurging $1.99 extra for the song. There’s more money in shouting out to all the Billys, though, and having them or their friends pop down the extra money. And yes, the songs debuted at $1.99, although at iTunes (motto: “we’re even going to get The Beatles down to 99 cents”), they are now just a buck. That’s a third of a tall coffee at Starbucks. It hardly seems worth it.

Spinning In The CD:
I am really liking the new Bob Dylan album. I wrote someone that he was channeling bluesman Chris Smither, but his voice hasn’t sounded this good and his songs haven’t been this memorable in years. In fact, this is Bob’s best production since Jakob.