2008-10-23 / Local & State

Berks County Musician's Palin Song A Big Hit


STRAUSSTOWN, Pa. (AP) - A faked photograph of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin with a hunting rifle inspired a national hit just after the Republican National Convention in early September.

Country singer Pat Garrett, owner of Pat Garrett's Sheepskin Outlet and Pat Garrett's Amphitheater, wrote the tune "Moose Shootin' Mama,'' after seeing the photo in his e-mail account.

"I e-mailed the photo to my Webmaster, who is a staunch Obama supporter, and said, 'Look, it's our next VP.' He wrote back, 'She's a moose shootin' mama!''' Garrett said.

With the catchy quip from his pro-Obama friend, Garrett sat down and wrote part of the song in minutes. He then called Mike Borchetta, president of Lofton Creek Records, Nashville, and sang it on his voice mail.

"He listened to it and said come to Nashville tomorrow to record it. He said, 'I really think you have a hit here,''' Garrett said.

And a hit it was. "Moose Shootin' Mama'' sprang to number four on the country Billboard Music Chart's most downloaded songs by the end of its first week, mixing with names like Jessica Simpson, Alan Jackson, Dierks Bentley and Taylor Swift.

Since the song was released to radio stations Sept. 15, it has been played throughout the country and premiered on national television. Garrett will sing it live Oct. 21 at a McCain-Palin rally near Nashville, Tenn., where he'll be performing with country star Aaron Tippin, who wrote "Drill here, drill now.''

"Moose Shootin' Mama'' was requested for use by the McCain-Palin campaign, according to Garrett and Borschetta.

Borchetta signed country star Tim McGraw while at Curb Records, and was instrumental in the career of LeAnn Rimes.

"I called him back and said, 'Pat, I thought that might be interesting,''' Borchetta said.

He told Garrett that Palin is "hot,'' meaning, "hot right this instant'' and that it might be fun to record.

Garrett flew to Nashville to record the song with four other Tennessee musicians.

"It was recorded on a Thursday. We had it in our hands on Friday. We had it pressed and mailed out by Monday and radio had it by Tuesday,'' Borchetta said.

Musician Suzy Dalton, also Garrett's wife and bass player in the Pat Garrett Band, helped co-write "Moose Shootin' Mama.'' The single is on sale at www.patgarrett.com and at his Strausstown store.

Inspired by news events, Garrett's other political songs include "The Saddam Stomp'' (2003) which hit the Billboard 100 charts; "If You Love America'' (2001) written in response to 9/11, from which he donated thousands of dollars in profits to the American Red Cross, and "The Monica Lewinsky Polka'' (1998).

"I had a for and against song for Hillary (Clinton), but I never released it,'' Garrett said. "Actually, we took a line from the Hillary song I wrote for 'Moose Shootin' Mama,' 'Maybe what the country needs is a woman's touch.'''

Garrett said he's received a few complaints about the song, but a lot of positive feedback.

"I think it's very complimentary to her. She's a mama and she goes moose hunting,'' Garrett said with a laugh. "At least I didn't say anything about lipstick.''

"I'm a Republican and I think (Palin's) incredible and I think the whole country's in love with her,'' Borchetta said. "I just think she's got this way and she put a spark in the Republican party. If it was anything negative, I wouldn't have done it.''

Political parodies and entertainment are becoming a popular phenomenon. Media blitz has surrounded Saturday Night Live actress Tina Fey's rendition of Palin and country star John Rich performed his hit "Raisin' McCain'' at the September Republican National Convention. "Obama Girl'' actress and model Amber Lee Ettinger premiered a sultry music video on YouTube in September 2007 singing of her love for Illinois senator and 2008 U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama.

It's in the public's mind and to break into the forefront of people's minds is good, Garrett said. "Who wants to hear another love song?''

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