Steve Noonan's Early Days
Like so many recording artists since 1955 or so, Steve was badly mistreated and disrespected by producers and record companies. In his case, one example was their failure to record “Buy For Me The Rain” properly and in timely fashion, and to promote it at all. The song has entered the folk canon, but with the correct handling, it could have become a major hit, and one that earned Steve the attention and sales he deserved.
Van Dyke Parks mentions a related problem, which was that record companies paid singers so little of what their records earned, they had to go on exhausting tours to support themselves. To cope with the exhaustion, frustration, boredom and loneliness of the road, many turned to drugs, and some died of overdoses. The trend has restarted as CDs and videos have replaced 45 and 33-1/3 vinyl records. Many singers and bands enjoy live performance and touring, to be sure. But within reason. Not to recoup earnings they never see when millions of listeners get their music free.