with his garage band the Box Tops. "The Letter" becomes a massive hit, and Chilton goes from farting around the Memphis suburbs to national television, playing 15,000-seat arenas, opening for the Beach Boys, and right to the bank with a fat check made out to America's Youngest Hitmaker. And there are girls, one of whom will make him a father before he can legally drink in Tennessee (the first thing fast proving no more a burden on his conscience than the second). It's a rock-and-roll pipe dream come true, but the constant touring and industry hoop-jumping wears on the kid: "It was sort of a job to me," he's quoted as saying later. "I wasn't such a great fan of our group that I was really caught up in thinking that I was a tremendous great artist or anything." By the time the Box Tops fold in 1969, Chilton, eager to grow as a songwriter but already yesterday's news, finds himself in the peculiar position of having started his career from the absolute top-a number-one record. And where can you go from there?