Bruce Springsteen 6/9/21

It was 49 years ago today (June 9th, 1972) that Bruce Springsteen was signed to Columbia Records by record producer John Hammond.

Over the course of his career, both as a talent scout and producer, Hammond played an integral role in discovering and shepherding the careers of such icons as Bob DylanAretha FranklinBenny GoodmanBillie HolidayCount BasieBig Joe TurnerPete SeegerGeorge BensonMike Bloomfield, Leonard Cohen, and Stevie Ray Vaughan, among many others.

Springsteen had only recently scaled his act down to being a solo acoustic performer, having made his bones in and around New Jersey’s shore circuit leading such bands as ChildSteel Mill, the Bruce Springsteen Band, and Dr. Zoom & The Sonic Boom.

In 1998 Springsteen recalled to BBC TV how original manager Mike Appel secured an audition on May 2nd, 1972, purely through the gift of gab: [“He just talked his way into an audition with John Hammond. I remember I came up on the bus with my acoustic guitar with no case. I was embarrassed carrying it around New (laughs) York City, like, y’know, at my side. . . And we had the audition, and I played a couple of songs and he said, ‘You gotta be on Columbia Records.'”] SOUNDCUE (:18 OC: . . . on Columbia Records)

In March 1999, during his acceptance speech at his Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction, “The Boss” took time out to thank the past and current staff at Columbia Records for their faith and support over the decades: [“They created a conduit for a lifetime of thoughts and ideas. A place where I was a. . . I felt safe and supported and encouraged to do my best and my truest work. I’ve heard enough record company horror stories, right from this stage, to realize — to appreciate the fact that I don’t have one.”] SOUNDCUE (:19 OC: . . . don’t have one)

Bruce Springsteen, who has only ever recorded for Columbia Records, released his debut album, Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J., on January 5th, 1973.


  • One of the songs performed during Bruce Springsteen‘s May 2nd, 1972 audition for John Hammond has finally seen the light of day.
  • On his most recent studio set, Letter To YouBruce Springsteen & The E Street Band finally recorded a version of the early song, “If I Was The Priest.”