Off the Charts: The Song-Poem Story

The subculture of the song-poem industry is where a dream and a song come together as people mail in poems to be set to music.

Off the charts 01
Independent Lens, True Stories
Premiere Date
February 11, 2003
60 minutes

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The Film

Off the Charts is a fascinating, hilarious, and at times unsettling film that explores the strange underworld of the song-poem industry. In this little known subculture, "ordinary people" respond to come-on ads in the back pages of magazines ("Send in Your Lyrics—Make $50,000 in Royalties!"), mailing in their heartfelt but often bizarre poems to music industry companies that, for cash, set those poems to music.