Used Car Salesman for percussion quartet | Michael Daugherty, composer

Used Car Salesman
for percussion quartet (2000)

Instrumentation: Percussion quartet (I=vibraphone/tambourine; II=marimba/maraca; III=eight metals/two gongs/tambourine/claves/vibraslap/two car horns/tambourine; IV=bass drum/four tom-tom or paddle drums/bongos/piccolo snare/four woodblocks/three cowbells/four cymbals/claves/maraca)

Publisher: Boosey and Hawkes, Hendon Music (BMI)

Duration: 10 minutes

World Premiere: April 18, 2000 / Hancher Auditorium, Iowa City, Iowa / Ethos Percussion Ensemble

Program Note:

The first performance of Used Car Salesman was given on April 18, 2000 by the Ethos Percussion Ensemble at Hancher Auditorium, Iowa City, Iowa. It was commissioned by Hancher Auditorium, the University of Iowa. Funding was provided by the Hancher Auditorium Millennium Fund through the University of Iowa Foundation and the National Endowment of the Arts. It is scored as follows: Percussion I (vibraphone, tambourine),Percussion II (marimba, maraca), Percussion III (Eight metals, two gongs, tambourine, claves, vibraslap, two car horns, tambourine), Percussion IV (Bass drum, four tom-tom or paddle drums, bongos, piccolo snare, four woodblocks, three cowbells, four cymbals, claves, maraca). Duration is ten minutes.

Used Car Salesman is a tribute to my father Willis Daugherty (born 1927) who is a dance band drummer and was a used car salesman in Cedar Rapids, Iowa from 1955-60. In my composition, I create a musical landscape where I reflect upon the world of the 1950s used car salesman. In addition to the percussion quartet performing on a wide variety of metal instruments from the scrap heap, I punctuate the rhythmically complex counterpoint with spoken text:

Used cars
I got used cars
I got used cars
Right Here!

Good Evening Ladies Gentleman
I know what you are thinking
Can you afford to buy this car?
Let me tell you something.
You can’t afford not to buy this car!

Kick the tire!

I never lie I’m a Used Car Salesman

No credit?
We finance!

Trust me!
I’ve got a deal for you.

Get their confidence
Get their friendship
Get their money

Ladies and Gentlemen
Don’t settle for less
You deserve this car
It’s got—
Power brakes
Power steering
Power windows
Power locks
Power seats
Power antenna
It’s loaded!

Used Cars
You got Used Right Left Here!

This is my last offer
Take it or leave it!
As is. No warranty

Don’t blame me!
I’m a used car Salesman

–Michael Daugherty