The late American singer and songwriter, PF Sloan has finally been been recognised for the Songwriters Hall of Fame, 2019.
Sloan was one of the most prolific and influential geniuses to emerge from the golden age of the 1960s – one of the “Pioneers of Folk Rock.” Between 1965 and 1967, one hundred and fifty of his songs were recorded by major acts, of which, forty-five made the charts. Nobody has come close to that number of hits in such a short period of time.
From his little studio at Dunhill, P.F. Sloan was a veritable “hit machine” for major acts such as The Mamas and Papas (it was Sloan’s infectious guitar lick on California Dreamin’), The Turtles, Jan and Dean (that was Sloan on falsetto for most Jan and Dean’s hits), The Searchers, Herman’s Hermits, The Grassroots, Betty Everett, The Fifth Dimension, Ann Margaret, Johnny Rivers (Sloan wrote the iconic Secret Agent Man) and hundreds more.
When Sloan was 12, he encountered Elvis Presley at Wallach’s Music City in Hollywood. The King gave him a quick lesson, teaching him “Love Me Tender.” At only 13 he signed with the all-Black label, Aladdin Records. At 16, he was writing hit songs for anyone who came through the door. Sloan was authentic and there wouldn’t have been anything called the “Sunset Strip Sound” without him.
Sloan was one of the first to ever hear and give the Beatles their opportunity in America and Brian Epstein never forgot Sloan for his support. Sloan received a package from Andrew Loog Oldham, the producer of a new band called The Rolling Stones, who wrote to Sloan, saying Epstein had suggested that he listened to their demo.
Sloan was called the Prince of Protest and the music business considered him dangerous because of his controversial folk songs. Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs and David Blue were great allies of P.F. Sloan.