HIT WOMAN by Susan Hamilton


Adventures in Life and Love during the Golden Age of American Pop Music
Email this review


A pioneering music producer describes her adventures in working with some of the biggest artists in showbiz.

Hamilton’s name may not be recognizable to most people unless they have been following the advertising business for the last several decades. She was one of the earliest female music producers and worked on many commercial jingles featuring famous singers. Hamilton’s debut memoir chronicles some of the campaigns she developed. She also talks about her father, who invented the toy Zoomerang, and her stint as a child actress. Growing up, Hamilton trained to become a concert pianist until she decided to go into the jingle business. Her “eagle ears” and perfect pitch served her well at her job, but she was also a problem-solver: “What worked for me in difficult situations time and again was to just put my head down and do my work well....And oddly enough, I found that the misogynists in business would usually relent and acknowledge good work.” The best parts of this memoir are her recollections of working with big-name stars—Elton John, Michael Jackson and Marvin Gaye. Chuck Berry literally held Hamilton’s team hostage until he was paid another $5,000. The book isn’t self-aggrandizing; the author frankly describes some heartbreaking moments, such as her failed marriages and the death of one of her sons. The memoir doesn’t follow a chronological narrative; chapters jump back and forth (especially in the book’s first half) between the personal and the professional. Through her storytelling, the author reveals herself as someone with the necessary traits to cope with her job. Hamilton always delivered in her professional career, and she does so again with this book.

A dishy tell-all from a veteran who survived the up-and-down world of the music jingles business.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2013
Page count: 428pp
Publisher: Hitwoman Publishing
Program: Kirkus Indie
Review Posted Online: