"Please Don't Go Topless, Mother" songwriter tells all

The songwriter behind cult anthem "Please Don't Go Topless, Mother" (MP3 Link) stumbled on a pair (1, 2) of 2004 Boing Boing entries praising this fine song. Today, more than three decades after those ear-splitting dulcet tones hit the atmosphere, he shares the secret tale behind a "silly ass little ditty" he wrote for "a very nice lady named Dorothy."

My name is Ron Hellard. I am a writer in Nashville for the last 35 years. One day a secretary at the publishing company I was signed to, asked me to write a song for her son, Troy. I did, as a favor to her, knowing that nothing would come of it. it was just a custom deal.

I sat down and wrote this extremely tongue in cheek crap in about five minutes. I slapped it on a cassette and gave it to her.

The best thing you can say about the record was that it was round.

Showland Records (owned by troy's dad) probably pressed a thousand copies at most. I thought that would be the last I heard of this joke. But thirty years later it shows up on web sites and play lists here and across the great pond. I am amazed. I've read that the writer of this "song" must be a hick, and a lousy writer. That bothers me. as I said, it took ten minutes out of my life and it was a JOKE.

I am a pro writer with cuts by dozens of legit artists and have enjoyed success as a viable composer, but this thing sticks to me like glue. The original publisher was Acoustic Music, the catalog has been sold several times since.

I should clarify. One reviewer assumed that "Topless" was an attempt to write a serious country song, and slammed the writer for it. That's what got to me, it was meant to be, and most certainly is, a parody of country music.

Ron Hellard

Boing Boing readers who would like to express their thoughts to Ron may do so via nipitnipitnipit [at] aol.com. Thanks, Ron!

Previously: Anti-Porn hillbilly propaganda song — "Please Don't Go Topless, Mother" and "Please Don't Go Topless, Mother" singer Troy Hess found!