Get Answer Record essential facts below,
join the Answer Record discussion
Add Answer Record
to your PopFlock.com topic list for future reference or
this resource on social media.
answer song, response song or answer record, is a song (usually a recorded track) made in answer to a previous song, normally by another artist. The concept became widespread in blues and R&B recorded music in the 1930s to the 1950s. Answer songs were also extremely popular in country music in the 1950s and 1960s, most often as female responses to an original hit by a male artist.
The original "
Hound Dog" song sung by Big Mama Thornton reached number 1 in 1953, and there were six answer songs in response; the most successful of these was "Bear Cat", by Rufus Thomas which reached number 3. That led to a successful copyright lawsuit for $35,000, which is said to have led Sam Phillips of Sun Records to sell Elvis Presley's recording contract to RCA.  
Today, this practice is most common in
hip hop music and filk, especially as the continuation of a feud between performers; the Roxanne Wars was a notable example that resulted in over a hundred answer songs. Answer songs also played a part in the battle over turf in  The Bridge Wars. Sometimes, an answer record imitated the original very closely and occasionally, a hit song would be followed up by the same artist.
It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels", written by J. D. "Jay" Miller in 1952 and originally sung by Kitty Wells, was a response to " The Wild Side of Life", made famous that same year by Hank Thompson.  "
Mannish Boy" (1955) by Muddy Waters was a response to Bo Diddley's " I'm a Man", which also happened to be a response to " I'm Your Hoochie Coochie Man", an earlier song by Muddy Waters in 1954. "Can't Do Sixty No More", written and performed by
The Dominoes, was a response to their own hit song from four years earlier (1951), " Sixty Minute Man". "I Shot Mr. Lee" (1958) was
The Bobbettes' response to their own 1957 hit, " Mr. Lee". "That Makes It" was
Jayne Mansfield's response to The Big Bopper's " Chantilly Lace" (1958), suggesting what the girl may have been saying at the other end of the line.  "Oh Neil!" was
Carole King's response to Neil Sedaka's " Oh! Carol" (1959). "Short Mort" (1959) by
Carole King was a response to Annette Funicello's " Tall Paul" (1959), referencing "Tall Paul" in the line, "You can keep Tall Paul, I'll take Short Mort." "I Got a Job" (1957) by The Miracles, "I Found a Job" by The Heartbeats (1958), "I Got A Job" by The Tempos, and "I Got Fired" by The Mistakes, were all responses to The Silhouettes's "Get a Job" (1957).
1960s "Tell Tommy I Miss Him" (1960) by
Marilyn Michaels is a response to " Tell Laura I Love Her" (1960) recorded separately by both Ray Peterson and Ricky Valance. Versions of this answer song were also released by Skeeter Davis and Laura Lee. "I'll Save the Last Dance for You" by
Damita Jo (1960) answers The Drifters' " Save the Last Dance for Me", sung by Ben E. King (also 1960). Another Damita Jo track, "I'll Be There" (1961), was in response to King's solo hit "  Stand by Me" (1960). "He'll Have to Stay" (1960) was
Jeanne Black's response to Jim Reeves' " He'll Have to Go" (1959), and was answered in turn by Johnny Scoggins' "I'm Gonna Stay" (also 1960). "(I Can't Help You) I'm Falling Too" (1960) was
Skeeter Davis' response to Hank Locklin's " Please Help Me, I'm Falling", as was Betty Madigan's "I'm Glad That You're Falling" (1960). "There's Nothing on My Mind" (1960) was
The Teen Queens' response to Bobby Marchan's " There's Something on Your Mind" (also 1960). "Yes, I'm Lonesome Tonight" (1960) was
Dodie Stevens's response to Elvis Presley's " Are You Lonesome Tonight?" (also 1960). "I Really Want You to Know" (1961) was
Skeeter Davis' response to Eddy Arnold's " I Really Don't Want to Know". "Come on Back, Jack" (1961) written by Shuman and Carr and recorded by Nina Simone is a response to "Hit the Road, Jack", written by Percy Mayfield and recorded by Ray Charles.
"I'm No Run Around" (1961) by Ginger Davis and the Snaps is a response to
Dion's " Runaround Sue" (also 1961). "Hey Memphis" (1961) was
LaVern Baker's response to Elvis Presley's " Little Sister" (also 1961). "Don't Let Him Shop Around" by
Debbie Dean (1961) was a response to The Miracles' "Shop Around" (1960). Both songs were written by Berry Gordy and Smokey Robinson. "
My Big John" (1961) was Dottie West's response to Jimmy Dean's " Big Bad John" (also 1961). "Return of the Teenage Queen" (1961) was Tommy Tucker's response to
Johnny Cash's " Ballad of a Teenage Queen" (1958). "Don't Wanna Be Another Good Luck Charm" (1962) was Jo's (of Judy and Jo) response to
Elvis Presley's " Good Luck Charm" (also 1962). "I'm the Girl from Wolverton Mountain" (1962) was
Jo Ann Campbell's response to Claude King's " Wolverton Mountain" (also 1962). "
Judy's Turn to Cry" (1963) was Lesley Gore's response to her own song " It's My Party" (1963) on the same album. "Blackhead Chinaman" (1963) was
Prince Buster's response to Derrick Morgan's "Housewives Choice" (1961). Specifically, Buster claimed that Morgan and producer Leslie Kong stole hooks that Buster had created. Morgan responded with "Blazing Fire" and "No Raise, No Praise". The musical feud reportedly engulfed Jamaican culture to a level where the government ordered the two to appear in public together to calm the frenzied nation. "Hello Melvin (This Is Mama)" (1963) was
Sandra Gould's answer to " Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh (A Letter from Camp)" (1961), a novelty song by Allan Sherman "Queen of the House" (1965) was
Jody Miller's response to Roger Miller's " King of the Road" (1964). "
That's My Life (My Love and My Home)" (1965) by Alfred Lennon, John Lennon's father, was a response to his son's song " In My Life" (1965). "Hurry, Mr. Peters" (1965) by
Lorene Mann and Justin Tubb, a response to Roy Drusky and Priscilla Mitchell's " Yes, Mr. Peters".  "Dawn of Correction" by
The Spokesmen in response to "Eve of Destruction" by Barry McGuire (both 1965). "Evil Off My Mind" (1966) by
Burl Ives was a response to Jan Howard's song " Evil on Your Mind" (1966). "When a Woman Loves a Man" (1966) by
Ketty Lester was a response to " When a Man Loves a Woman" (1966 also) by Percy Sledge. French
Johnny Hallyday's 1966 Cheveux longs et idées courtes is a riposte to a direct, personal mockery in a verse of Antoine's Élucubrations of the same year; both were hit songs. (See Antoine's rivalry with Johnny Hallyday) "I'm Happy They Took You Away, Ha-Haaa!" (1966) is Josephine XIV's response in the form of Napoleon's wife to
Napoleon XIV's They're Coming to Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa! (1966) "
Back in the U.S.S.R." (1968) by The Beatles was a response to " Back in the USA" by Chuck Berry (1967) and " California Girls" by The Beach Boys (1965). "Billy, I've Got to Go to Town" (1969) by Geraldine Stevens was a response to " Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town" by Johnny Darrell (1967).
Travis Tritt wrote and released the song " Strong Enough to Be Your Man" in 2002 in response to Sheryl Crow's " Strong Enough" (1994).
KJ-52 released the song " Dear Slim" (2002) in response to Eminem's song " Stan" (2000).  "
The Night I Fell in Love" by the Pet Shop Boys also refers to Eminem's song " Stan," which in turn mentioned the urban legend that " In The Air Tonight," with which Phil Collins charted in the 1980s, inadvertently sparked. Eminem later made a reference to the Pet Shop Boys in his song "Canibitch." "
F.U.R.B. (Fuck You Right Back)" (2004) was Frankee's response to Eamon's " Fuck It (I Don't Want You Back)", promoting rumors that the two had been dating. It was the first answer song to reach No. 1 in the  United Kingdom. Both songs had topped the charts in that country.  "Good Idea At The Time" (2005) on
OK Go's "Oh No" album, was an answer song to the Rolling Stones' " Sympathy for the Devil" (1968): in it, the Devil argues that the historical atrocities enumerated in the original were entirely of human doing. "Me and Mr. Jones" (2006) on the
album by Back to Black Amy Winehouse was an answer song to--at least a riff off the title of--" Me and Mrs. Jones" (1972) made famous by Billy Paul.
Camera Obscura made the song " Lloyd, I'm Ready to Be Heartbroken" (2006) in response to Lloyd Cole and the Commotions 1984 song "Are You Ready to Be Heartbroken?". "
I Walk Alone," popularized by Tarja Turunen, is a response to " Bye Bye Beautiful" by Nightwish. "
Menor Que Yo" on (2007) album by Sentimiento Ivy Queen was a response to " Mayor Que Yo", a collaborative single by Daddy Yankee, Hector "El Father", Wisin & Yandel, Baby Ranks, and Tony Tun Tun. "Boys, Boys, Boys" (2008) on
album by The Fame Lady Gaga was a response to " Girls, Girls, Girls" (1987) by Mötley Crüe. "A Baker's Tale" by
Dean Friedman (2009, released 2010 on the album Submarine Races) was a response to "The Bastard Son of Dean Friedman" by Half Man Half Biscuit (1987, on the album ). In 2010, Friedman performed his song at a Half Man Half Biscuit concert; and accompanied the band during a performance of theirs. Back Again in the DHSS  "G.I.R.L.F.R.E.N" (2010) by
Everybody Was in the French Resistance...Now! was a response to Girlfriend by Avril Lavigne. Part of an album "Fixin' The Charts" full of answer songs. "
California Gurls" (2010) by Katy Perry featuring Snoop Dogg was a response to " Empire State of Mind" (2009) by Jay-Z featuring Alicia Keys. It was the first time both the original song and the answer song reached No. 1 on the Billboard . Hot 100
Marina and the Diamonds' cover of Justin Bieber's "Boyfriend" (2012) is an answer song to the original tune, the lyrics adapted to give it a female perspective. 
Lecrae made the song " No Regrets" (2012) in response to " The Motto" (2011) by Drake. 
Ewert and the Two Dragons wrote their song "Jolene" on the album Good Man Down in response to Dolly Parton's 1973 single " Jolene" from the male perspective. "
Big Girls Cry" on Sia's 2014 album is an answer song to 1000 Forms of Fear Fergie's hit " Big Girls Don't Cry" (2007).
Ellie Goulding's " On My Mind" is seen as answer song to Ed Sheeran's " Don't" by many critics (2015).
Christine and the Queens rewrote Beyoncé's Sorry from a male perspective. 
Esmé Patterson published Woman to Woman (2014), an album of seven answer songs from the perspective of famous women in pop songs, including Eleanor Rigby, Billie Jean and The Kinks' Lola.  "The Quantum Enigma;Kingdom Of Heaven Part II" popularized by Epica is a response to "Kingdom Of Heaven"
Salem, James M. (2001). The late, great Johnny Ace and the transition from R & B to rock 'n' roll'. University of Illinois Press. ISBN 0-252-06969-2.
"sam phillips and the remix". Archived from the original on 2012-03-13.
^ a b
Hess, Mickey (2009). Hip Hop in America: A Regional Guide: Volume 1: East Coast and West Coast. ABC-CLIO. p. xx. ISBN 0-313-34323-3.
"I Wonder Why Bill Bailey Don't Come Home".
"I Used to Be Afraid to Come Home in the Dark".
"I'm Afraid to Come Home in the Dark".
Woody Guthrie: this man is your myth, this man is my myth, section American Hero
"Country Music - Music News, New Songs, Videos, Music Shows and Playlists from CMT". www.cmt.com . Retrieved 2018.
The Big Bopper Archived January 12, 2012, at the Wayback Machine. hotshotdigital.com
damita jo soulwalking.co.uk
Whitburn, Joel (2008). Hot Country Songs 1944 to 2008. Record Research, Inc. pp. 255-256. ISBN 0-89820-177-2.
Alabama Archived July 18, 2012, at the Wayback Machine. http://music.yahoo.com/
^ Liz Smith, "
Papa Gets Second Chance In New Video", Sarasota Herald-Tribune (October 22, 1986), 5E.
"Mamado & She - I'm Your Wild Thang". Discogs . Retrieved 2018.
"Answer Records - everyHit.com". www.everyhit.com . Retrieved 2018.
"As Hundreds Cheer". www.villagevoice.com . Retrieved 2018.
Moring, Mark. "Getting It Right". Christianity Today International . Retrieved 2012.
"Discs at dawn - - guardian.co.uk Arts". arts.guardian.co.uk . Retrieved 2018.
"Answer Records / Sequels". everyhit.com.
Wright, Jade (September 29, 2011). "Dean Friedman tells Jade Wright why he's planning revenge on Half Man Half Biscuit". Liverpool Echo . Retrieved 2015.
Hill, Kellus (14 May 2012). "Lecrae - Church Clothes". Da South. Archived from the original on 24 May 2013 . Retrieved 2012.
Christine?theQueens [@QueensChristine] (15 September 2016). "@AFNoli Beyoncé est indépassable ds l'original car c'est une femme bafouée qui se révolte - dans la mienne, je suis le cheater" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
"Esme Patterson "Woman to Woman. "" Greater Than Collective . Retrieved 2018.
"Answer Records / Sequels", list of Answer Songs from everyhit.com B. Lee Cooper and Wayne S. Haney,
Response Recordings: An Answer Song Discography, 1950-1990, Scarecrow Press, 1990, ISBN 978-0810823426 (A comprehensive alphabetized list of over 2500 hit tunes that prompted the production of answer songs or other forms of response recordings) Answer Songs, Spotify playlist of some of the answer songs on this page