JOHN CHAFFEE AK.A. Uncle Sam Receives Hollywood Music in Media Award Nomination


Music In Media AwardCleveland-based singer-songwriter John Chaffee (, who has given voice to millions of his fellow frustrated Americans with “Play By The Rules”, recently received word he has received a Hollywood Music in Media Award nomination for the song. With biting wit and blunt truth, Chaffee points out in his song and video, everyone agrees: we’re all fed up with leaders and others in the public eye who keep failing us because—you guessed it—they don’t “Play By The Rules.”

Surprised by news of the honor, Chaffee said, “This is an unexpected recognition of a song I hope is resonating with the people. I’m very appreciative of the HMMA’s nomination. I’ll be at the show, perhaps with boots on!”

John Chaffee FriendsChaffee will find out if he wins the award when the Hollywood Music in Media Awards ( take place on Thursday, November 19 at The Highlands located in the world-famous Hollywood & Highlands / Kodak Theater complex in Hollywood, California.

The “Play By The Rules” song and video concept grew out of his growing anger over a daily dose of stories of corruption and scandal, not only in our nation’s capital but also in communities across the country.

The colorful and irresistible video features Chaffee, a dead ringer for “Uncle Sam,” in red, white and blue garb singing as he walks through colorful but decadent urban landscapes including junkyards that work perfectly as a metaphorical backdrop for his pointed plea of a chorus: “Cut me in, bail me out, failure’s not my fault/Responsibility, what’s that, just a word that’s all/I’m trying very hard, to chill and keep my cool/I’m trying hard to find someone, who’ll just play by the rules/Is there anybody out there, who’ll just play by the rules.”

“Early this year,” he says, “it seems we were told almost daily about another tax issue, or ethical issue, or moral issue, not just with the nominees for public office but also our representatives currently serving in government as well as others in positions of public trust. It’s an arrogance that leads to the belief that there are no consequences for your actions.

John Chaffee as Uncle Sam
John Chaffee as Uncle Sam

“And I wondered,” Chaffee adds, “‘how do you know who to trust anymore? It seems nobody plays by the rules. The American people are coming to grips with the grim reality that trustworthiness is becoming a difficult thing to find. To me, ‘Play By The Rules’ is a song about the values taught to us as children that seem to be eroding in the lives and conduct of those people we are supposed to be able to look up to and respect. In many ways, America has become like a rudderless ship, careening across the water wishing she had a moral compass. There was once a Dignity Code, but it’s no longer in our rule book. Maybe it’s time to bring it back.”

Author: Losillë
Mother, wife and kinda old.

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