On This Day, May 2, 1972: Bruce Springsteen auditioned for Columbia Records

On This Day, May 2, 1972… 

A 22-year-old Bruce Springsteen auditioned for Columbia Records A&R exec John Hammond in New York City. Hammond was known for working with such artists as Billie Holiday, Aretha Franklin and Bob Dylan.

At the time, Springsteen had already gained a local following due to his live shows, but he had yet to garner a larger following.

Bruce performed “It’s Hard to be a Saint in the City” at the audition, and Hammond was impressed and wanted to sign him. Later that night, Springsteen performed for Columbia execs at the Gaslight Club in New York and later recorded a demo, landing him a deal with the label.

Springsteen wound up signing to Columbia on June 9, 1972, and released his debut album, Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J., in January 1973. He has spent over 50 years with the label, releasing his last album, Only the Strong Survive, in 2022.

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