Answer song

An 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.[1][2]

In Rock Eras: Interpretations of Music and Society, Jim Curtis says that "the series of answer songs which were hits in 1960... indicates the dissociation of the singer from the song... Answer songs rode on the coattails, as it were, of the popularity of the first song, and resembled parodies in that their success depended on a knowledge of the original... Answer songs were usually one-hit flukes by unknown singers whose lack of identity did not detract from the success of the record since only the song, and not the performer, mattered."[3]

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.[4] Answer songs also played a part in the battle over turf in The Bridge Wars.[4] Sometimes, an answer record imitated the original very closely and occasionally, a hit song would be followed up by the same artist.











Diss tracksEdit


  1. ^ 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.
  2. ^ "sam phillips and the remix". Archived from the original on 2012-03-13.
  3. ^ Curtis, James M. (1987). Rock Eras: Interpretations of Music and Society, 1954-1984. Bowling Green State University Popular Press. p. 88. ISBN 9780879723699. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  4. ^ a b Hess, Mickey (2009). Hip Hop in America: A Regional Guide: Volume 1: East Coast and West Coast. ABC-CLIO. p. xx. ISBN 978-0-313-34323-0.
  5. ^ "I Wonder Why Bill Bailey Don't Come Home". 16 November 2005.
  6. ^ "I Used to Be Afraid to Come Home in the Dark". 16 November 2005.
  7. ^ "I'm Afraid to Come Home in the Dark".
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2019-01-24. Retrieved 2019-01-23.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ Woody Guthrie: this man is your myth, this man is my myth, section American Hero
  10. ^ "Country Music – Music News, New Songs, Videos, Music Shows and Playlists". Retrieved 31 May 2018.
  11. ^ The Big Bopper Archived January 12, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ "Damita Jo Page". Retrieved December 9, 2019.
  13. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2008). Hot Country Songs 1944 to 2008. Record Research, Inc. pp. 255–256. ISBN 978-0-89820-177-2.
  14. ^ Playboy Magazine (1984). "Playboy Interview With Paul and Linda McCartney". Playboy Press. Retrieved 23 August 2008.
  15. ^ "Music | Yahoo Entertainment". Archived from the original on July 18, 2012.
  16. ^ Liz Smith, "Papa Gets Second Chance In New Video", Sarasota Herald-Tribune (October 22, 1986), 5E.
  17. ^ "Mamado & She - I'm Your Wild Thang". Retrieved 31 May 2018.
  18. ^ "Interview with Graham Sutton (taken by US zine Audrie's Diary, 1994)". Audrie's Diary. Archived from the original on 24 April 2009. Retrieved 1 March 2009.
  19. ^ "Answer Records". Retrieved 31 May 2018.
  20. ^ "As Hundreds Cheer". Retrieved 31 May 2018.
  21. ^ "Mariah Carey Casts "Rainbow" For Next LP; Taps Missy, Da Brat For Remix". MTV News. August 13, 1999. Retrieved May 7, 2009.
  22. ^ Moring, Mark. "Getting It Right". Christianity Today International. Retrieved 30 November 2012.
  23. ^ "Discs at dawn". Retrieved 31 May 2018.
  24. ^ "Answer Records / Sequels".
  25. ^ Wright, Jade (September 29, 2011). "Dean Friedman tells Jade Wright why he's planning revenge on Half Man Half Biscuit". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved September 12, 2015.
  26. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-06-21. Retrieved 2012-06-07.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  27. ^ Hill, Kellus (14 May 2012). "Lecrae - Church Clothes". Da South. Archived from the original on 24 May 2013. Retrieved 30 November 2012.
  28. ^ Lezama, Nigel (March 2019). "Status, Votive Luxury, and Labour: The Female Rapper's Delight". Fashion Studies. 2 (1): 1–23. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  29. ^ Corner, Lewis (17 September 2015). "6 ways Ellie Goulding's new single takes a swing at Ed Sheeran: A lyrical breakdown". Digital Spy. Retrieved 14 December 2018.
  30. ^ Hodgson, Claire (18 September 2015). "Is Ellie Goulding's new song On My Mind about Ed Sheeran?". Cosmopolitan. Retrieved 14 December 2018.
  31. ^ 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.
  32. ^ "Esme Patterson "Woman to Woman"". Greaterthancollective.; Retrieved 31 May 2018.
  33. ^ "Eels unveil an incredible animated video for 'Bone Dry' - premiere". The Independent. April 6, 2018.
  34. ^ "'Fresh Blood' on AOL Music". AOL Music. 2009-03-31. Retrieved 2009-03-31.
  35. ^ Nast, Condé. "Photos: Five Reasons to Think Taylor Swift Is John Mayer's "Paper Doll"". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 2019-10-25.
  36. ^ Lenker, Maureen Lee. "Rick Springfield helps give 'Jessie's Girl' murderous sequel in Coheed and Cambria music video". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2020-08-22.
  37. ^ Chiu, Melody. "Sabrina Carpenter Addresses Olivia Rodrigo Drama on New Song 'Skin': 'Don't Drive Yourself Insane'". People. Retrieved January 22, 2021.
  38. ^ Aswad, Jem (January 22, 2021). "Sabrina Carpenter Addresses 'Drivers License' Drama in New Song, 'Skin'". Variety. Retrieved January 22, 2021.
  39. ^ Bonner, Mehera. "Sabrina Carpenter 'Skin' Lyrics About Olivia Rodrigo and Joshua Bassett". Cosmopolitan. Retrieved January 22, 2021.
  40. ^
  41. ^ Hautman, Nicholas. "Sabrina Carpenter Denies Writing 'Skin' as a 'Diss Track' About Olivia Rodrigo: 'The Song Isn't Calling Out One Single Person'". Us Weekly. Retrieved January 25, 2021.
  42. ^

Further readingEdit

  • "Answer Records / Sequels", list of Answer Songs from
  • 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