Hit Woman Reviews
62 of 65 Readers Post 5-Star Raves on Amazon.com
“Susan Hamilton’s Hit Woman = A Hit..“
I just completed reading Susan Hamilton’s book, Hit Woman, and now I get a chance to wholeheartedly recommend to anyone interested in a fun read to get a copy and enjoy! Susan has a natural flair for telling interesting stories about her experiences. I found her experiences to be fascinating, fun, and it even connected a few dots here and there in the music world for me; a deeper look at people we all know through their music from a person who spent time behind the scenes seeing it all first hand. From Paul and Linda McCartney to Chuck Berry, to Steely Dan, and so many others, this book is a glimpse at the personal side of many people we only know through their public faces and managed imagines. Susan is honest in putting herself out there, and to put it simply, …get the damn book!
The Groucho Marx spot with her father was particularly fun ( I Youtubed that clip), but most of all – Susan is fun. I couldn’t put it down, and neither will you.
Eric C. Berg
“And I just finished this bio…“
What a generous and passionate share! Talent, drive, ambition, serendipity, artistic embrace packed into the most momentous narrative whirlwind. Yep, Susan Hamilton was everywhere.
“Susan Hamilton wrote a GREAT book, and I’m not the least bit surprised.“
Here you have an inside look at the intriguing world of the music industry by the woman who wrote the proverbial book on the jingle business. Susan Hamilton is responsible for so many songs in the public consciousness that it goes without saying that she would be the person most appropriate to tell this story. Not surprisingly she’s done a fantastic job of illuminating the rich cast of characters that made up the NY music scene, herself included. There are so many great stories in here, I don’t know where to start. It’s funny, it’s interesting, and it’s all true.
“Bold, ballsey and brilliant.“
Hit Woman is a great read and more of a page turner than the last page turner that I read. Told by a brillian talent with a freakish recall of memories and details from her crazy interesting one life, which seems equivalent to many! Most importantly, told with great humor.
Ivan Horvath [Verified Purchase]:
A great book.
A must for any book club.
Best book I’ve ever read.
I hope it’s made into a movie.
Stephen A. Valerio [Verified Purchase]:
“BUY THIS BOOK!”
1) It’s not just about one woman’s success in a male-dominated industry.
It’s not just about making it in the Music Business.
It’s not just humorous anecdotes about the famous, the not-so-famous, and the rest of us.
It is all of this. And a helluvalot more.
Hit Woman is a hilarious, lucid account of perseverance past the inevitable obstacles of life. Absent resentment, finger-pointing and self-pity, SUSAN HAMILTON deftly demonstrates the human spirit via humor, wit, grace, tenacity, and plain old hard work.
Her book is a candid and enormously entertaining narrative of a gifted and resilient person’s remarkable journey to self; honestly revealing characters, episodes and meditations both grand and giddy. Hit Woman is a delightful, intimate account of becoming; of accepting and loving who you are, the path you have chosen, and those souls captured or thrust into your life.
It is a story of gratitude and victory.
Laugh with her, cry with her or just hang out with Susan Hamilton as she deftly navigates her way through the world of Music Production, cultivating talent, owning circumstance, and ultimately succeeding as an authentic human being, not just “a girl in The Business”. It is the story of a life well-lived, despite the perpetually capricious fortunes of Time.
2) IT. IS. FUNNY. AS. HELL!
Thomas Lipscomb [Verified Purchase]:
“EVERY YOUNG WOMAN PROFESSIONAL NEEDS THIS BOOK!”
Susan Hamilton’s witty, wise, and shrewd story of how she survived and prospered as a key executive in the shark tank of the advertising game in the glory years is an inspiration to any woman on the edge of a professional career.
Ask yourself how a cloistered child prodigy pianist cushioned with a supportive family, Fulbrights and scholarships, summers in Italy, seminars at Aspen, headed for a great career as a soloist, found the nerve to chuck a profession she had trained for all her life for a chance to work on the perilous creative side with the Mad Men of Madison Avenue. Then watch as she shows you how she threaded her way through three martini lunches and casting couch clutches to disco nights as an agency insider; how she was able to buy out her boss and launch her own multi-million dollar service agency writing and producing music and jingles for the hottest agencies in the business. From Foote Cone, to J Walter, McCann, Dancer, you name it, Susan Hamilton made herself the indispensable catalyst for the top agencies and their top clients from McDonald’s and Kentucky Fried Chicken to Coke, Dr. Pepper, Eastern Airlines and dozens of other advertisers.
She ran up millions of miles of frequent flier mileage jetting from LA to London, Paris to Nashville, locked in control booths directing some of the greatest talent in the business from Elton John to Dr. John, Marvin Gaye to Chuck Berry, Paul McCartney to Maybelle and June Carter, and having a pro like Mel Torme choosing her as “his” director. She had to patch up some of the stars before she put them on like Tina Turner whose face had been battered by Ike, and create some of her own, like a nobody named Michael Bolton whose only two Grammys and number one hits were directed by Susan, and who repaid her with a lesson in ingratitude.
Somehow in the midst of all this she had 3 marriages, five children, ten houses, innumerable boyfriends, dozens of cats, dogs, prizewinning horses, monkeys, rabbits, and a snake and tarantula or two.
Success may be hard, but it has never been so much fun and few successful women have been as sane, and as marvelous a story teller as Susan Hamilton.
So there is not only hope for a young career bound woman, there is a road map. It is called HIT WOMAN. Don’t send out a resume until you’ve read it.
Jonathan Schneider (The Rock Doc) [Verified Purchase]:
“The magic is in the music and the music is Susan Hamilton“
Hit Woman is more than just a glimpse into the creative process that lies behind the jingles most of us grew up with. Susan Hamilton not only reveals the secrets of producing great music but exposes us to the people (and their wacky personalities) that made it all happen.
Susan effortlessly intertwines tales of her childhood with those of her professional career. And the people we meet along the way! You feel like you are in the recording studio control room with her as she takes control of everyone and everything. As you read, you are with her as she travels all over the world providing intimate details of places as diverse as Vermont and Sienna, Italy.
It is all written with an endearing sense of humor which you definitely need if you want to survive in the music biz.
There is no timeline in the book as it jumps from one event to another in the past or future. This may be disconcerting to some but I had no issue with it.
Buy the book!
Sammy Figueroa [Paperback]:
“A Tower of Force”
Susan Hamilton, a true child prodigy to later become an amazing and unique producer in the music world. I read this book and could not stop reading it, its fast pace and right to the punch and funny. I had the honor of working with Susan and it was so much fun, but to read about so many great musicians that I knew, took me back to the greatest days of my life, and even if you did not know Susan this book will take you on a super journey through some of the greatest musicians’ life and stories that will move you and sooth your soul. Susan is still the queen, there should be a movie about this … Sammy Figueroa
Robert [Amazon Verified Purchase]:
“A delightful and fun book!”
Susan Hamilton claims she’s not a writer, but she’s just putting us on. With colorful and engaging prose, Ms Hamilton takes us through an exciting career in the entertainment field working with some of the biggest names in the business – Elton John, Ike and Tina Turner and many others both in and around the music business.
It’s not a kiss-and-tell book, so you will not find any dark secrets. But you will gain a new appreciation for the talent – both Ms Hamilton’s and those she’s worked with. Ms. Hamilton simply takes us along through the triumphs and the challenges as she lives her life – works her magic (which sometimes means getting out of the way and letting the magic work) like the enormously talented and creative human being that she is. Her writing style is fun and engaging, and sprinkled with that understated sense of humor that I like so much. It’s also one of those books that you can pick up, randomly turn to a page, and begin reading. If you’re on the run like me, it’s a big relief to not have to remember where you are in the story-line. There is a fascinating storyline, but the bite-size snippets are just as enjoyable. I highly recommend it.
John M. Glotzer:
“To read “Hit Woman” is to climb aboard the now defunct Concorde, have the Air France Stewardess (before they became Flight Attendants) slip a glass of cold Champagne in your hand prior to takeoff, and then to sit back and enjoy the supersonic and occasionally bumpy ride. Fasten your seat belts!”
Susan Hamilton, during the course of her career, became a household name in the music business. Not in my household or your household necessarily, but in the households of people who made a difference in music and advertising.
She did this by almost single handedly creating an entirely new field – that of music producer for advertising i.e. commercials. And to top it off, she did this as a woman in what, starting off in the sixties, was an exclusively male fraternity.
She achieved this by combining musical talent, hard work, brutal honesty, a willingness to compete and win in a male dominated arena, a zest for life and a great sense of humor and irony.
She brings all these qualities and more to her new book “Hit Woman”. The result is a sort of twofer.
On the one hand, it’s a behind the scenes look at music production in general and advertising music production more specifically. The names that strut and fret their hour upon her stage are legendary – Chuck Berry, Elton John, Randy Newman, Julian Lennon, George Martin, Clive Davis, Phil Spector and many others. In “Hit Woman” Hamilton is able to add amazing insights and anecdotes to what we already know about these very public figures. Also, we are privileged to see music tracks being created from scratch from a seat next to hers in the control room. All the creative inspiration, the arguments, the excesses, the late nights – they’re all there. You can almost smell the leftover pizza.
On the other hand “Hit Woman” is an intensely personal journey told with humor and honesty. It’s also told with great insight – insight regarding people, situations, and above all, regarding herself.
I was struck by how this book reminded me of one of my favorite books of the last few years – “Life” – Keith Richards’ very fine autobiography. Both are written by intelligent, worldwise individuals whose lives have traced what some might say are some very unlikely trajectories.
In Keith Richards’ case his trajectory extends from his being born in post-war Dartford amidst the bombing of The Blitz, to Boy Scout (or simply “Scout” as they say in Britain), to choirboy (literally), to starving member of a struggling blues band, to Rock and Roll god, and then on to a sort of Soul Survivor – the guy who went through it all and lived to tell about it.
In Hamilton’s case she started out as a child piano prodigy in the New York City area, and then her family moved out to California where she added acting to her resumé, as well as horsewoman and keeper and lover of nearly all members of the animal kingdom. We then follow her through music camps, college, and European music studies as a Fulbright scholar.
Eventually, she leaves her original career path of concert pianist, and ends up, quite fortuitously, working at the figurative intersection of Tin Pan Alley and Madison Avenue. Along the way we see her becoming a force in an industry she had a large role in creating. As in Richards’ autobiography, we see the personal transformation that accompanies the career transformation and again no details are spared or glossed over. The events are portrayed exactly as they happened and can be either funny, enlightening, or sometimes less than flattering. But through it all – totally real.
As advertising becomes a driving force, if not *the* driving force in the American media and economic landscape, Hamilton’s financial rewards track her professional accomplishments. We see the additional transformation that comes with that sort of financial success – flights on the Concorde, houses in the country complete with stables of Morgan horses, fast cars, New York City nightlife – we go beyond the velvet rope along with Hamilton as she lives the high and fast life. Naturally, none of this happens without a personal cost and that cost is laid out for the reader as well.
In the autobiographical tradition of “A Life and Times” in “Hit Woman” we see not only Hamilton’s life, but of course her times as well. As in Forrest Gump, every decade becomes a minor character in the book – some of this is in accord with received wisdom – the “normality” of the 50’s, the excesses of the 80’s etc., but some of it is not – even in the late 60’s it wasn’t all flower power, especially on Madison Avenue. Parts of the book seem like they’re from a bygone era and that’s because they are – crossing the Atlantic on an Ocean Liner, riding horses through the open fields of 1950’s California – the chronological scope is as impressive as the professional and the personal.
The book does suffer from a few weaknesses. It’s structured as two intertwined chronologies – chapters on her childhood and adolescence are juxtaposed with chapters concentrating on the height of her career. This can be somewhat disconcerting but by no means unique to this book. Some of the anecdotes require a lot of exposition due to a determination to leave nothing out. The lengthy expositions can involve a multitude of characters and relationships. From time to time it’s easy to get a bit lost. These editorial and structural choices, I think, stem from her innate sense of getting to the heart of the matter – towards the ultimate truth. To fully understand what happened or what was said, the reader has to have all of the things that preceded it explained and thus she’s determined to put all her cards on the table. At it happens, there are often a lot of cards!
An editorial decision that I particularly like are the little vignettes that follow the longer expository chapters. After dishing all on some issue or person, we turn the page and come to a chapter of a few paragraphs which contain an ironic twist on what was just depicted in depth. These chapters are marked with a depiction of a tornado or a … twister. Get it? I didn’t until just now!
To read “Hit Woman” is to climb aboard the now defunct Concorde, have the Air France Stewardess (before they became Flight Attendants) slip a glass of cold Champagne in your hand prior to takeoff, and then to sit back and enjoy the supersonic and occasionally bumpy ride. Fasten your seat belts!
“It’s the best, best book…“
Susan Hamilton…I was always nervous just being around her.. A real live star and I was in her presence….Whoa!!! Now I understand why that was…She is “Hit Woman.” How great it is to read her beautifully written and private life story…Her wacky adventures in this crazy world we live in…It’s the best, best book…It’s a hit, just like the woman who wrote it: Susan Hamilton.
“I recommend this funny, informative and entertaining book to all.”
Just finished reading Susan Hamilton’s book “Hit Woman” knowing nothing about the music business I found it fascinating. Susan traveled the world and worked hard to succeed in a business dominated by men. I recommend this funny, informative and entertaining book to all. Congrats Susan, well done!
Baxter Churchill “Baxter”:
“Men, women–people starting out in the music business or any other creative business–need to experience Hit Woman….”
This is a unique story about a unique woman. Chances are there is no woman in the world that has the story that Susan Hamilton has. From a pure 1950’s US family to reaching the highest places in the music and advertising world, Hit Woman will take you to a unique world that few have been to and a life that had joys as well as darker consequences to go with the great success’s she had.
I was never bored and held onto many words and sentences. I can only say that If you want to experience what it was like to be a woman and make it to the top of the mountain during a time when woman weren’t really allowed there and then still grow and hold onto the success, you need to read this book. Men, women, people starting out in the music business or any other creative business need to experience Hit Woman. Highly recommended and highly entertaining
“Pick up this book. Be dazzled.”
By a wonderfully strange coincidence up popped notification that Susan Hamilton had written a memoir, and the question arose, ‘Where does she find the time?’ But a bit of history first: Susan Hamilton was that wonder girl classical pianist headed for international stardom, the pert and beautiful little lady next to whom this reader had the inordinate pleasure of sharing the piano bench to play the four hand accompaniment for the Occidental College Glee Club’s performances of the Brahms’ Liebeslieder Waltzes circa early 1960s. Always both in awe of her musicianship as well as her wildly hilarious sense of humor and manner of relating to people in general, this reader at first found it difficult to 1) read about the wild life she has enjoyed, 2) the fact that she forsook the classical repertoire and devoted her gifts to write advertising jingles, and 3) that she is such a brilliant satirist and writer.
Every, repeat EVERY page of this engrossing chatty memoir cum exposé cum history of the musical spectrum of the world is laugh out loud funny, full of Hamiltonian wit and charm, and very rich in insights into some of the most famous persona of the last half century. But overriding all of this PR glitz and glamour that follows the publication of a book of this nature (and yes, it will happen, Susan) is that fact that this is from the pen (or keyboard, pardon the referential pun) of a polished writer. Maybe all of the ‘stuff’ she has witnessed or participated in makes her 150 mph mind now know exactly how to express it without any of the usual acerbic razor edge we have grown to expect. But the fact remains that this book can stand solidly beside polished authors in any genre.
Why then am I not surprised to read this HIT WOMAN that was once just a beautiful little exceptional pianistic artist? Because this is Susan Hamilton, and those few who are not aware of the dynamo in our midst will be now. Pick up this book. Be dazzled.
James H. Wilkinson:
“…her accounts inspired me again and again to head to the web to find out still more…”
This is a fast-paced and funny memoir by a child prodigy pianist who in the late ’60s and ’70s went on to become one of the leading producers of
advertising jingles while also producing some big hit singles. The book presents a series of episodes, ranging from short vignettes to longer pieces,
involving an eccentric family (and I should note that I am one of her first cousins), oddball family friends, unusual pets, famous classical and pop
musicians, film stars, and a wide array of less famous but important contributors to the music of this turbulent era. The author celebrates the
talents of her associates and displays some of their foibles, sometimes with chagrin but never with malice. Many of the stories help fill out what we know
about the very famous, but I was most intrigued by the important musical contributors hitherto only slightly known or utterly unknown to me, and her
accounts inspired me again and again to head to the web to find out still more about them.
“Young women should read this for inspiration. Everybody else should read it just for fun!”
Once I started reading Susan Hamilton’s enormously entertaining memoir, Hit Woman, I couldn’t stop. This is a woman who knew every genius in the music world and married half of them. She gives you an inside view of the advertising music business in its golden and gilded age. In turns wacky, hilarious, mystical, and heartbreaking, this is an enormously honest account of what it was like to be a strong, confident, competent, and opinionated woman in a man’s world. Young women should read this for inspiration. Everybody else should read it just for fun!
Paul (NYC, NY):
“I was hooked immediately and couldn’t put it down.”
A great book about an important time in NYC musical history. I was hooked immediately and couldn’t put it down.
Susan Hamilton was right in the middle of everything and is a funny and eloquent storyteller. Highly recommended!
“Susan Hamilton kicks the doors open on the music and ad biz post Mad Men.”
Susan Hamilton kicks the doors open on the music and ad biz post Mad Men; A sexy, irreverent and creative time. She provides an unflinching tale of personal and professional experience giving us the inside skinny and naming names!
“…it is the personal stories that make the read enjoyable…”
Susan Hamilton’s book touches a chord for those of us working in the music industry in the incredible 70’s and 80’s. I will admit that I was not sure what to expect. I don’t know Susan, had never heard of her and frankly held very little regard for jingles. That all changed through the pages of this marvelous book.
Clearly a gifted musician with a future as a concert pianist, instead she found herself moving from the front office of a growing successful music jingle company in New York, to Producer, Supervisor and eventually owner. Along the way we learn a lot about Susan the person, growing up with her quirky but loving family and how she copes in the time of Mad Men when creative opportunities for women were few. She clearly is a woman of high standards who takes no prisoners. I am sure she was demanding to work with but from what I can tell, had real vision and a determination to achieve it. But it is the personal stories that make the read enjoyable.
The entertainment industry is full of incredible people whose names you never see and roles you don’t know exist. Here is your chance to get to know one. This book will delight those of us who were there, and entertain completely those that just hum along with the tune.
“…incidental depictions of landscapes and lifestyles in America and Europe are truly beautiful. The cast of characters is unforgettable… .”
The events depicted in this book are wholly remarkable indeed, but it is the context in which they occur and their relationship to the author’s life that make the book itself a total wonder. So, while frequently sensational, the personalities and events that populate its pages do not represent the total scope and function of the book, which is somewhat greater and frequently finds itself recording, perhaps unintentionally, incidental depictions of landscapes and lifestyles in America and Europe that are truly beautiful. The cast of characters is unforgettable, but it is the author herself whom ultimately we get to know and whom we come to admire. I finished the book in one, extended sitting and look forward to reading again.
“…I still sing some of the jingles you created…they were that good & they pop off the pages of the book!”
An amazing look into the advertising jingle business as seen thru the eyes of the “HIT WOMAN.” (flashback) Just finished “HIT WOMAN” great read, great take on the “BIZ” and a wonderful look into your life. From now on instead of calling you Susan you shall from here on forth be known as “WARRIOR PRINCESS” a well deserved name! Loved the sections about the family stay well “WARRIOR PRINCES” … (flashforward) I still sing some of the jingles you created … they were that good & they pop off the pages of the book! That’s pretty amazing in itself since I can’t sing!
Robert M. Freedman:
“Even though everything in it is factual it’s as interesting and absorbing as any popular novel.”
“Hit Woman” by Susan Hamilton is one beautifully written book! Whether or not you are or have been in the music business you will find this a fascinating read. Even though everything in it is factual it’s as interesting and absorbing as any popular novel.
“…fascinating, hilarious, poignant, and touching.”
Susan Hamilton’s story is fascinating, hilarious, poignant, and touching. Hers is a truly unique life that is constantly touched by stars and/or amazingly talented people. At times, seeming too crazy to be true, a quick google search confirms just about everything.
You won’t be able to put it down, and those who were alive in the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s will likely have touchstones to relate to many of the stories. I am too young to be familiar with most of the work mentioned in the book, but was nonetheless drawn in by the great, revealing stories and wild cast of characters, and when I couldn’t find time to continue reading, I’d always be thinking about Susan and her book.
“It’s filled with celebrities, weirdos, winners, losers and her propensity to create and sustain a menagerie of the most unlikely animals…”
Susan Hamilton seemed to”slip”into New York…. Unknown… and fearlessly fell into the world of advertising and, against all odds, became one of the greatest Jingle and music producers during the greatest era of advertising. But aside from her wonderful recollections of her times and accomplishments in music, were her details of an amazing life journey encompassing fascinating people, adventures, trials and disappointments that make your head spin with seemingly incredulous veracity that made her the super woman that she became.
Any fly on the wall that attempted to document her escapades had to have fallen dead from exhaustion trying to keep up with her. Thankfully her memories held
true so that we can follow her trail from there to here. For me… reading it… was like cramming for a history exam about historically famous people that left a treasured trail of achievements for those who followed to revel in and aspire to. It’s filled with celebrities, weirdos, winners, losers and her propensity to create and sustain a menagerie of the most unlikely animals topping even my friend Melonie’s mom Tippy.
The places she’s lived. OMG! I can’t imagine the packing and unpacking and the moving costs. The masterful, untiring global wanderings. The egregious amounts of money she pissed away on herself and others in an unquenchable thirst for adventure from a need to see and do it all.
I am exhausted but extremely inspired by reading her book. What a life. What a woman! Thank you Susan for taking the time and effort to put this in my reach. Looking forward to your next book.
Mark D. Goldstein:
“Imagine being at Abbey Road when The Beatles were working out harmonies. If you were in advertising in the 70’s and 80’s, that’s what it was like to be in the studio with Susan and her amazing partners.”
Imagine being in the studio with Frank Sinatra when he first heard all those Gordon Jenkins arrangements. Imagine being at Abbey Road when The Beatles were working out harmonies. If you were in advertising in the 70’s and 80’s, that’s what it was like to be in the studio with Susan and her amazing partners. The heroes of the music world gathered to make magic about everything from fried chicken to postage stamps to tennis balls. Being there was all the fun, and Susan brings that to life in “Hit Woman”.
If you know the enormous cast of characters only through reputation, the book deserves a Five for a surprising story of personal accomplishment and being in the right business at the perfect time, with the absolutely best partners. If you do know many of the bold-faced names, as I was so honored, you might argue(vehemently, in some cases), with certain of the characterizations. But that doesn’t make it any less interesting of a read.
“…a must read for anyone with a love for the art of “creating a sound”.
Susan Hamilton’s book about the up and downsides of life in the highly competitive world of the recording industry is a must read for anyone with a love for the art of “creating a sound”. The reader learns how this classically trained musican and former child actress made good friends (and more) with some of the cream of music creators in New York, Nashville, L.A. and London. It is also a story of a very human lady. Susan tells her story with candour, wit, and reverence to the folks she remembers. I am proud to write this review as a person from the UK. (I hope that indicates that this book should be a massive hit worldwide!)
B. Lee: “…a page turner of a book providing a deeply personal look into the world of music…”
This is a page-turner of a book providing a deeply personal look into the world of music, production, the ad game, jingles, and genius. Susan tells the story of her life in a business that has changed enormously in the past few decades.
Well worth a read. You’ll be amazed, and entertained.
Sharon A. Ziglar:
“…every chapter in itself is an adventure. You can stop after a chapter with an adventure ended and know that the next time you pick up the book a whole new adventure will begin.”
I am almost finished reading Hit Woman and I don’t want it to end. I cannot believe all the adventures that Susan Hamilton has experienced in her life!! A fun book to read; both her witty comments and writing style are unique and enjoyable. You could easily sit down for a couple of days and keep reading never being bored! But, with my life I don’t have that kind of time, so I enjoy the fact that every chapter in itself is an adventure. You can stop after a chapter with an adventure ended and know that the next time you pick up the book a whole new adventure will begin. Great job Susan!
“…get the book into your hands, where it belongs.”
Well, there are a lot of reasons to read this observant, funny book. 1) If you appreciate strong female protagonists, who also happen to be non-fictional; 2) If you want to understand how the music business REALLY works, rather than the crap you’ve usually told; 3) If you’re curious about the intersection of music and marketing – which is fascinating; 4) If you enjoy a great story. This is also a book about a lot of my friends, which made it especially fun for me. Susan is exceptionally smart and accomplished. She’s opinionated and firm. She does not suffer fools, even a fool with a checkbook. So, if you’re going to work with her, you’d better have your act together, because she’s unlikely to be wearing kid gloves. Of course, it is these qualities that helped get her to where she got, and to get the book into your hands, where it belongs.
“You will want to savor this book. Take your time. Enjoy it. You will.”
What’s not to love? I admit it. I bought the book because the author is a college friend. Susan was a gifted musician “way back when” at Occidental College. What a pianist! She soloed and accompanied the storied Occidental College Glee Club, of which I was a member. A gifted all-around musician, she was also a heck of a lot of fun.
As I read the book, I came to a deeper appreciation of the breadth of Susan’s talents and experience. She us a superb writer who makes the memorable moments come alive. I am in awe. I knew Susan had gone into jingle production, and I always wondered “why.” Back in the day, we all were classical music sorts. I still am. However, as I read, I was forced to question some assumptions that go back more decades than I care to acknowledge. Susan writes glowingly of the talents of many, many in the pop, rock, r &b, jazz, etc. fields. Many are household names that I “sort of liked.” Others are “icons” that I had considered “beneath my musical dignity.” Well, did she ever open my eyes! You can bet that if “Ms. Perfect Pitch/Perfectionist/Brilliant and Incisive Cut-Through BS” wrote them up as talented/professional/blow-your-mind-great, THEY ARE! So…kudos for opening my eyes.
The writing style is intimate and breezy. However, the content is “meaty.”
You will want to savor this book. Take your time. Enjoy it. You will. I guarantee it.
Candy L. Sharp:
“Insightful, entertaining glimpse behind the curtain of names and music we all know.”
Insightful, entertaining glimpse behind the curtain of names and music we all know. A truly fun read from cover to cover.
“…fun, factual, hilarious and stuffed with great sotries about famous and really famous musicians, singers, writers, other music biz people as well as her extraordinary family and a few oddballs…I really didn’t want it to end.”
Susan Hamilton’s memoir about her meteoric rise in the jingle business is fun, factual, hilarious and stuffed with great stories about famous and really famous musicians, singers, writers, other music biz people, as well her extraordinary family and a few oddballs. I loved it and read it very slowly ( for me) because I really didn’t want it to end. Whether or not you are of the age to remember the hit songs and award-winning jingles she produced, this fascinating book is very hard to put down.
I was a bit confused about the sequence of certain events, as the book skips around with sagas about Susan’s early childhood, on to adulthood, with three marriages mixed in there somewhere and then back to her childhood, etc., but this just adds to dizzy pace of her story that is actually very enjoyable.
I would have loved a timeline somewhere so I could just keep track of all her moves to California, then back to the east coast, up to Vermont, then back to California, interesting places around the world, with or sans a husband–you get the picture. Regardless, I enjoyed it immensely.
“This is the most accurate and entertaining book about the music business I’ve ever read.”
This is the most accurate and entertaining book about the music business I’ve ever read,and I’ve read many which do not portray realistically all the hard work and practice it takes to succeed as Susan has. Having worked with her many times in the studio or on location, I can attest to the veracity of everything written here. I could not put this book down!!
“Hit woman is the perfect combination of a beautifully written book, and an easy read.”
Hit Woman is the perfect combination of a beautifully written book, and an easy read. I was so impressed at all of the names she remembered and the faces and dates. She used wonderful discretion while telling an honest, friendly story. I loved seeing my friends names in print!
“As a lifer in the business, I soaked up her perfect descriptions on the internal mechanics of music production.”
In life, truth is often stranger than fiction. I doubt whether a team of crack, Hollywood screenwriters can top the realities of Ms. Hamilton’s life. Her book, Hit Woman, is the logical extension of the saying, “You just can’t make this stuff up.” As a lifer in the business, I soaked up her perfect descriptions on the internal mechanics of music production. Whether you’re an industry insider, or a voyeuristic outsider, this book will sustain interest and fascination.
Faith Norwick: “The book is smart and funny and I can’t wait for Hit Woman – Part 2.”
What fun. Could not put it down. I worked with Susan back then and she was amazing. I loved working with her and I love her book. Knowing a lot of the people mentioned and hearing some things I didn’t know about them was a hoot! But, you don’t have to have been in the business to really enjoy this book. She was a trailblazer for women in the ad/music business – back when so many of the people doing these jobs were men. The book is smart and funny and I can’t wait for Hit Woman – Part 2.
Julie Kalick: “I would recommend this to anyone, in or out of the music world.”
Susan Hamilton was a classmate of mine at Canoga Park High School in California. All of the classmates knew her as an excellent student and accomplished pianist. None of us, I’m sure, realized the true talent this lady had. Her book reveals this amazing talent and takes you on a ride from California, to New York and all over the world. I knew nothing about the music world but Susan led me through a maze of interesting interactions with many well known artists. She certainly did not let the grass grow under her feet. I would recommend this to anyone, in or out of the music world. It’s a great read.
BlindLemonPeel “mollyorules”: “I’d give it ten gold stars if I could.”
I had the great fortune of working with, traveling with and sitting in awe of Susan’s talent. It was a two week production road trip for Burger King and we recorded the Neville Brothers in New Orleans. John Lee Hooker in SF. The Fabulous Thunderbirds in Austin… Mel Torme, Was (Not Was), the Letterman band…. the list goes on and on…. I have never seen anyone own a session like Susan does. The room, the charts, the performances and even the artists themselves all belong to her. And the respect she shows for her craft is unequalled; the woman is a virtuoso. Having heard several of Susan’s stories over dinner ( Chuck Berry, my favorite!) and way too much to drink, reading Hit Woman is like having an acid flashback. Familiar names. Familiar places. All in perfect kaleidoscopic detail… But as outstanding a story teller as Susan is live, her stories come to life even more engagingly here on the printed page. Her pacing. Her wit. Her insight. Her obvious love and passion for the music she makes, makes this a MUST READ. Whether you’ve been in the business, have ever wondered what happens behind the scenes in the business, or even just watched MadMen, Hit Woman is a must read. I’d give it ten gold stars if I could.
Alaina Stanford “awritr”: “Exciting, funny and touching story of the music business. Wow!”
Exciting, funny and touching story of the music business. Wow! What a fun life filled with adventure and celebrities. Well written and entertaining. I will look for more from Susan.
Gregg Mangiafico: “A fantastic book!”
A fantastic book! What a talent she is and what a life she has led. Thanks so much for sharing with us Susan – your wonderful book constantly entertains and inspires ! And now we can include first class author and raconteur to your resume. Movie coming soon ?
Topangomango: “The section of photos are a bonus! This book will appeal to all ages.”
What a read! This book was recommended to me by a friend who can always pick a winner…and this book is on the mark! It is amazing to me that this is the author’s first endeavor. I could not put this book down and now that it is over, I want more. Ms. Hamilton’s ability to relate her life’s experiences is uncanny. I knew so little about the music business but she has a knack of teaching the layman (myself) in a comprehensive, interesting manner. That being said, what stories! And the vignettes at the end of each chapter just keep the reader hooked. The section of photos are a bonus! This book will appeal to all ages. Susan Hamilton, a child prodigy, scholar and a lone woman in a world dominated by males – all success stories AND she has penned a well written book. What is she up to now? I will guarantee that it has to be interesting. My plan is to purchase more of Ms Hamilton’s book to share with friends and family who will soon agree with me, James Patterson, Judy Collins, Julian Lennon (I am in pretty good company, aren’t I?) that this book is a WINNER!
Empress Jingle: “It’s wonderful…”
I Love her, Love her Talent and her Brain, and she talks about me in it. Ha Ha. Seriously, It’s Wonderful, Reliving our Great Careers all over again. God Bless her!
Mary M.: “I’ve had fun taking advantage of YouTube to dig out most of the music Susan talks about.”
Susan Hamilton is a musical whiz and story teller extraordinaire. Her book “Hit Woman” is an education in the music biz, and embroidered with great humor, life, and love. Some of her personal stories are so revealing, I’ve asked myself if I would have the chutzpah (thank you, Walter) to tell it if it was my story. I’ve had fun taking advantage of YouTube to dig out most of the music Susan talks about. Get a copy for yourself and a couple of Christmas presents. Everybody will enjoy the read.
Arthur B. Schroeck “Opera Maven”: “…reads like a fst moving novel and a hit TV show like MAD MEN…”
I met and worked with Susan in the late 1960s when I was an arranger for recording sessions. I’m reading this wonderful book along with my wife Linda November and enjoying it so much. It reads like a fast moving novel and a hit TV show like MAD MEN but it’s all true. Linda and I know, we’re mentioned in the chapter, STUDIO. So if you want to know what went on in the music and recording business in it’s hey day, when everything was real, you had to play your butt off, when they couldn’t tune you up mechanically and read it like a page turner, read Susan Hamilton’s HIT WOMAN.
Dougasaurus: “…an unbelievable journey through her life! This should be a sitcom!”
Susan Hamilton walked the walk and is now talking the talk! And besides the amazing no holds barred tales about Michael Bolton and Elton John and Chuck Berry and dozens more A-list stars, dirt on the industry big wigs, and the struggles of being a woman in the man’s world of music and record and jingle production, there is wit and humor and an unbelievable journey through her life! This should be a sitcom!
Ladyvln: “Fasten your seatbelts — you will not be able to put this book down…”
Hit Woman is for any young person, especially a woman, who thinks outside of the box. It’s a thrilling tour through a career BEGINNING with being a Fulbright Scholar musician. From there Susan Hamilton blazes a career trail so extraordinary even those of us who are honored to have worked for her are amazed at the layers of brilliant ingenuity.
Fasten your seatbelts- you will not be able to put this book down and you don’t want to miss anything!