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Posted at 09:00 PM ET, 09/15/2011

New RIAA Chairman Cary Sherman takes music-industry job to heart, performs at farewell reception


Ladies and gentleman, at the piano — RIAA Chairman and CEO Cary Sherman! (Carly Glazier Photography for RIAA)

One comes to expect certain appropriate amenities when our city’s lobbying giants throw a party: Free movies at the Motion Picture Association of America. High-quality sweets from the National Confectioners Association. A fantastic open bar from the Distilled Spirits Council.

The Recording Industry Association of America delivered on those expectations at its reception Tuesday in honor of departing chairman and chief executive Mitch Bainwol. But rather than just rely on a hired country band to provide the tunes, the association also brought in a little cabaret act — the musical stylings of Cary Sherman, the RIAA’s new top boss.

Sherman, a longtime No. 2 at the trade group, accompanied himself on the piano as he sang to the tune of “There Is Nothing Like a Dame” from “South Pacific.”

There is nothing like a Mitch

He’s come far since he worked for Frist

He’s a pro at politics

And at getting jobs that make him rich. . .

True! Bainwol, now taking over at the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, got a $2 million compensation package in 2008, according to tax records. You want to hear more of the song?

I don’t know why he tired of the music label gig

Perhaps it was the grandmothers we threw into the brig

It may have been the bloggers, they never could be pleased

Perhaps it was the death threats — from our member companies. . .



Not bad, huh? Shall we keep going?



No more hanging with stars

Pivoting from music to cars

Bye to Bono and Beyonce

Hello to Camry and Chevrolet

Trading liberal Hollywood

For real manufactured goods

He’s smart, he’s kind, he’s a mensch clear through

And even more rare, a Republican Jew

Wow, we didn’t know you could sing! “I can’t sing, but I sang,” he clarified. Sherman took piano lessons for years as a kid, and even as an adult, but said he’s really more the play-by-ear type. He’d written other satirical songs for charity banquets for friends to sing, “but I got tired of hearing other people do it wrong,” and got the courage to take the mike himself.

Was this talent a prerequisite for the job? Heh, heh, said Sherman: “It wasn’t for Mitch!”

By  |  09:00 PM ET, 09/15/2011

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