"You could be a good singer from now ’til hell and back and if you haven’t got material, you’re just standing there with your mouth open. You’ll be singing commercial jingles for the rest of your life."
The Frustrated CFO's comment:
When I first heard this long-ago interview on The Best of The Mamas & the Papas compilation, I thought right away that Mama Cass stumbled on something very fundamental and universal here. It's not just music. Without writers, actors wouldn't have roles to perform. Without choreographers, dancers would be standing there motionless.
In fact, I frequently use this quote as an analogy in business situations. It works wonders, for example, in shrinking heads of "star" traders and salesmen, who think themselves to be the only important people in an organization. They forget that the music they are singing to clients and customers is a combination of the company's goodwill created by executives, the finances that buy the products, the infrastructure that delivers and supports the commerce. Without all of these efforts together, they would be standing there with their mouths opened selling... nothing.