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'Jerry Maguire''s hit song

A Jerry-Built Tune

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SUBJECT: The ”Jerry Maguire Mix” of Bruce Springsteen‘s ”Secret Garden.”

SYNOPSIS: An unofficial version of Bruce’s tear-jerking ballad from the Jerry Maguire soundtrack mixes in key movie dialogue. Now playing on more than 150 stations, it’s become the sappy make-out song of the moment — even though it’s not in stores and neither Springsteen nor director Cameron Crowe approved it.

BACK STORY: Ken Benson, program director of Portland, Ore., radio station Z-100, lifted misty lines like ”You had me at hello” from an Oscar screener tape and inserted them between Bruce’s vocals as ”a novelty thing. We put it on the air on a Tuesday afternoon,” says Benson, ”and by Wednesday it was the most requested song on the station.” Amazed by the reaction, he mailed tapes to a few radio friends. ”Copies of copies were made, and it just started networking itself through the radio system,” he says. ”We’ve had hundreds of requests.” Surprisingly, no one associated with the movie or the soundtrack seems particularly upset by the un-licensed and unauthorized mix. Springsteen and Crowe are refusing to comment, and despite having a radio hit for the first time, Tom Cruise won’t discuss the song either. But Danny Bramson, Maguire‘s music supervisor, who coproduced the soundtrack with Crowe, is thrilled: ”It’s inspiring that this could happen on a grassroots basis with no organized attempt from either the filmmakers or the guys that put the album together,” he says. ”It’s wonderful to see that [the mix] has struck a chord.”

CULTURAL SIGNIFICANCE: Despite the mix’s success, don’t expect to hear Geoffrey Rush blathering over Rach 3 or Romeo & Juliet‘s Claire Danes crying ”Wherefore art thou Romeo” during the Cardigans’ ”Lovefool” on the radio any time soon. ”This just happened. This is not something that was born from a trend,” says Glen Brunman, head of Epic Soundtrax, which released the soundtrack. ”I don’t know that there will or should be a lot of these moments in the future.”