"Baltimore": the story of Tori’s 1st single

Saturday 1 October 2011, by Cécile Desbrun

In 1980, a friend of the family who will become Tori’s personal archivist, Billy, suggested that Tori enters a city theme song contest. She co-wrote the song “Baltimore” with her brother Mike and won the contest. The song celebrates the city of Baltimore and its baseball team in particular, the Baltimore Orioles. At the time, Tori was a big college basketball fan but didn’t mind about writing a baseball song. “I figured I wasn’t whoring too much to do baseball instead of basketball,” she told Kalen Rogers in the authorised biography All These Years. “You know, it’s a sister sport; it’s got a ball.”

A private vinyl pressing of the song was made in the fall of 1980 under the name of Ellen Amos (just a few months before she chose Tori as a stage name) and so was born Tori’s first single, one of her rarest collectible items that can fetch above $1.800 in auction sales. Between 500 and 1000 copies of the vinyl were pressed. Interestingly enough, the record was released on her own “label”, MEA (for Myra Ellen Amos) and she was awarded a citation from the Mayor of Baltimore for “the splendid quality of public service you have rendered.” She also made her very first apparition on local TV this year to sing her song.