Sugarloaf – Don’t Call Us We’ll Call You

My sister was a high school student when this came out and would sometimes skip school. I was 8 years behind her and sometimes she would take me where ever she went. I was sworn to secrecy and I thought it was cool to hang around my big sister and her pretty friends who made a fuss over 7-8 year-old me. We would go to a state park and hang out and I would have fun. On one of those adventures I remember this song clearly…it was playing over the AM radio station here that was WLAC at the time. And no…I never gave the secret away to mom or she would have killed my sister.

This group is known for the song “Green Eyed Lady” which hit number 1 in 1970. Don’t Call Us is the song I remember the most. It peaked in 1975 at #9 on the Billboard 100 and #5 in Canada. The song is about frustration in the music business. After Green Eyed Lady it was hard for them to get another record contract which makes no sense.

One of the labels that turned down the band was CBS Records. Sugarloaf got revenge by revealing the unlisted phone number of the label in this song by playing the sound of the touchtones when the number is dialed. Listeners with good ears could identify which tone corresponded to each number and called it to find out where it led. After the song became a hit, CBS changed its number.

Another funny thing was at the end of the song, there is another set of tones… this one led to the main number at the White House. They didn’t change their number, but the band got a visit from a State Department official trying to figure out why they were getting so many calls talking about Sugarloaf.

They actually play the Beatle’s “I Feel Fine” riff in the song and sang the lyric that sounded like John, Paul, and George (And it sounds like, uh, John, Paul and George). Included also is the rift from Stevie Wonder’s Superstition and a Wolfman Jack imitation so they picked a lot from everyone.

Van Halen would cover this song in their early years before they got a record contract.

Don’t Call Us We’ll Call You

A Long distance, directory assistance,
Area code 212.
Say, hey, A and R this is Mister Rhythm and Blues.
He said, “Hello,” and put me on hold.
To say the least the cat was cold.
He said, don’t call us, chil’,
We’ll call you.

I say, “You got my number.”
He say yeah, “I got it when
You walked in the door.”
Don’t call us, we’ll call you.
Don’t call us, we’ll call you.

I got your name from a friend of a friend,
Who said he used to work with you.
Do you remember the all night creatures,
From Stereo Ninety-Two?
“Yeah,” I said, “Could you relate
To our quarter track tape?
You know the band performs in the nude?”
He said, “nUh-uh, don’t call us, chil’,
We’ll call you.

Listen, kid, you paid for the call,
You ain’t bad but we’ve heard it all before,
And it sounds like, uh, John, Paul and George.

Anyway, we cut a hit and we toured a bit,
With a song he said he couldn’t use.
And now he calls and begs and crawls,
It’s telephone deja vu.
We got percentage points and lousy joints,
And all the glitter we can use,
Mama, so, uhh don’t call us,
Now we’ll call you.

Listen kid you paid for the call,
You ain’t bad but I heard it all before.
Don’t call us, we’ll call you.
Don’t call us.
Don’t call us, we’ll call you.
Don’t call us, we’ll call you.
Don’t call us, we’ll call you.


Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

36 thoughts on “Sugarloaf – Don’t Call Us We’ll Call You”

      1. Yeah we’re lucky to have a rare independent classic rock station here in Charlotte, NC. The owner’s had it forever and refuses to sell. It’s called The Ride if you’re ever curious to check it out online. The DJs are great and they still play uncensored versions of “Money,” “Devil Went Down To Georgia,” et cetera.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I heard this one growing up more than Green Eyed Lady but I was only 3 when that came out. Very clever of them to add the touchtones.


  1. Lucky you, getting to go hang out in the park with the cool older sis back then!
    Always a song I really liked, and its running through my head ever since I saw the title without even listening to it! Like Randy said, it was big in Canada – certainly in Ontario – and it always surprises me, when I posted about it some years ago, how few people seem to know the song. Quite clever lyrics and really catchy hooks.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It is catchy and frankly I heard it more than Green Eyed Lady growing up…and yea I like it more.
      Very cooll of them using the touchtone of the Whitehouse also lol

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Back in the days of those tones on the telephone, there was a guy known as Captain Crunch who developed a tone generator to fool the phone circuits so he could make free long distance calls (back when it cost more money to make a non-local call – dang, this stuff is complicated for younger folks!). There was a free whistle in Cap’n Crunch cereal that had the right tone to disconnect a call but leave the line open so you then had free access to use your tone generator (known as a blue box) to call anywhere free. Sorry for the digression – never heard the song before. The concept kinda reminds me of “The Cover of Rolling Stone” by Shel Silverstein (recorded by Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show in 1972).

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Cap’n Crunch- cereal long distance anarchist! (And yeah, explaining collect calls, connections by the operators, party lines- they all mean diddly-squat to the Smartphone crowd now. Any questions it’s just Alexa/Siri to the rescue.)
      The times I’d be left be scrounging in my pockets for a dime that wasn’t there…

      Liked by 2 people

    2. It’s amazing what humans can do when they want something!
      I have been in IT for years and I’ve known some of those original phone and computer hackers…just awesome stuff. They didn’t do it to be malicious…at least the ones I knew…they just wanted to see if they could do it.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I never quite understood why they didn’t have any hits after “Green Eyed Lady” until this one. They were a hell of a band. I’m going to find their first album and see if there wasn’t another song on it that would have made a good single…

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I’m listening to their first album, and they sound kind of like a band that wants to play but no one wants to sing. After “Green-Eyed Lady,” they do “Train Kept A-Rollin'” (later covered by Foghat) without vocals and “Chest Fever” (which I remember Three Dog Night did), again without vocals. Not real instrumentals, more like backing tracks…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh Chest Fever…the Band song?
        I wonder if they started as a strictly studio band? That is odd about the no vocals….t?


    1. LOL…yes she did bless her heart! She was/is a good sister to me. I don’t think we had any serious argument growing up at all. Not many can say that.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Fun tune and kind of cool how they worked in samples from other songs – I had not heard before. I also like the background stories about your older sister and the song.

    I was always very close to my six-year-older sister. While she didn’t take me to hang out with her friends, she shared some secrets with me about her boyfriends. I guess she felt I was a good listener, which is what evidently needed. And listen I did. Obviously, there’s only so much love advise a 7 or 8-year-old can give! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL…yea only so much you can give them. My mom would make Tammy (my sister) take me on dates with her…boy mom would have been shocked. I saw my first R rated movie (Cheerleaders) when I was 9 years old in a drive inn…
      She is a great sister…we never had bad arguments at all.

      Liked by 1 person

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