I’m Glad I Did

Written by Cynthia Weil
Review by Alana White

New York City, 1963. JJ Green wants to be a songwriter. Unfortunately, as she says, in her family this is like announcing she wants to be an axe-murderer. Still, her parents allow her to take a summer internship with Good Music Publishing at the Brill Building, the mecca of songwriting in the heyday of rock and roll. In exchange for general office work, JJ will receive feedback on her songs.

There she meets not only a quiet and rather mysterious young man who is a songwriter, but also the legendary, washed-up soul/jazz/pop singer, Dulcie Brown. When tragedy strikes, JJ finds herself caught in a tangle of secrets, thwarted love… and maybe even murder.

The author is a multi-Grammy-winning, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, and the story reflects that, as JJ learns the language of the business: songs with bullets, Cashbox, Billboard. The names of famous recording artists leap off the page: Bobby Rydell, the Drifters, Leslie Gore; Famous to me, a reader of a certain age, whose memory of their music fills my heart. Still, I wondered whether they would resonate with the story’s intended teen audience.